We developed this blog to provide golf course maintenance information to our members. From projects, small and large, to updates on course conditions, we want to provide as much information as possible. Although we hope this blog answers all of the pertinent questions regarding our operation, we always welcome more personalized dialogue. If you have questions beyond the information found on this blog, feel free to contact our golf course superintendent, Trevor Hedgepeth.



Friday, March 27, 2015

Spring Aeration 2015

Each March we perform our annual spring aeration to the golf course. Aeration is important to growing and maintaining sustainable turf because the process: reduces thatch; improves infiltration rates; increases porosity; alleviates compaction and firms up our surfaces. Without an aggressive aeration program, turf grass would be very difficult to manage throughout the heat and humidity of summer. Although a 14-day disruption to play, aeration is a "necessary evil" in providing championship conditions throughout the growing season.

In this blog post, we will walk you through our typical spring aeration... step by step.

  • Verti-cut the surfaces at a depth of .100" 

  •  Deep tine at a depth of 7" with 1/2" solid tines on 2"x 2" spacing 

  • Dry-ject the greens to a depth of 2.5" (for an explanation of dry-ject click here)
  • Core aerate with 1/2" hollow tines on 1.5" x 1.5" spacing
  • Remove cores and blow off greens 
  • Apply top dressing sand at a rate of 700 lbs. per 1000 square feet 
  • Drag sand with a sweep n' fill 
  • Blow and brush sandy excess 
  • Roll greens with a 1-ton asphalt roller 
  • Amend greens with fertilizer based on our soil tests 
  • Water in amendments 
  • Roll greens with our DMI Speed Rollers 
  • Mow greens with no buckets on the final afternoon prior to re-opening 

Tees and Approaches 
  • Vert-cut with our Weidemen Super 600 to a depth of .75" 
  • Drag and blow clippings from the vertical mowing 
  • Solid tine to a depth of 3" on 2" x 2" centers with 5/8" tines
  • Apply top dressing sand at a rate of 700 lbs. per 1000 square feet
  • Drag sand with a sweep n' fill 
  • Blow and brush sandy excess 
  • Edge and replace tee plaques 
  • Roll with our DMI Speed Rollers 
  • Amend with fertilizer based on our soil tests

  • Deep tine fairways to a depth of 6" in two directions 
  • Vert--cut fairways on 1" spacing to a depth of 1/2" 
  • Core aerate fairways with 1/2" tines on 2" x 2" spacing 

  • Drag cores with drag mats 
  • Blow cores towards the center of the fairways
  • Vacuum cores with our Stec machine 
  • Apply top-dressing sand at a rate of 500 lbs. per 1000 square feet 

  • Drag sand with our sweep n' fills 
  • Final blow on fairways 
  • Apply gypsum at 15#'s per 1000 square feet 
  • Drag in gypsum with a steel mat 
Roughs and Intermediate Cuts 
  • Core aerify roughs with 3/4" tines to a depth of 1" on 3" x 3" spacing 
  • Drag roughs with a harrow-tine 
  • Apply gypsum at 15#'s per 1000 square feet
  • Drag in gypsum with a steel mat 

So, this gives everyone a nice summary of our process. In terms of time-lines, days 1-5 are used for the aeration/topdressing/amending processes. Days 6-7 are used to tweak any areas that we missed and clean-up the golf course. Day 8 is used to re-set all play supplies and conduct a final inspection of the course. After re-opening, we use the first week to mow-off excess sand and debris while re-setting all of our mower lines. Although it is tempting to aggressively roll and mow the greens once re-opened, we choose to slowly ramp up our intensity. One of the worst things that we can do directly after re-opening is to press the grass tissue against all of the sand that has yet to be worked below the canopy line. This potential abrasion can counter-act the strides we make during the aeration process. Our goal is that by week 2, (April 6th) we are aggressively maintaining the surfaces in preparation for our Opening Day Celebration and Master's Week.

We hope this blog helped to explain our spring aeration practice. Although a disruption to play, it is a necessary operation for our course. We cannot wait to get passed the clean-up so that we can offer championship conditions on a regular basis.