Thursday, August 4, 2011

Heads Up! Greens Aerification Notice:

Putting green surfaces at Bull's Eye will be aerified as soon as the weather turns cooler and less humid.  If  you recall, greens aerification to prepare putting greens for the on coming heat stress of summer was cancelled due to excessive heat levels on the day we set aside for this purpose back in June.

At present, we have no fewer than nine greens under extreme duress and in dire need of immediate attention.  It is my plan to aerify greens damaged by the winter kill first for the purpose of "interseeding" them using quarter inch tines with the narrowest spacing possible.  The aerification holes will create a "safe" zone from mowers for the seedling to establish and grow.  I have noted the our most successful interseeding of damaged green is found in aerification holes completed in early May.  As a result of treating winter damaged greens first means we will be bouncing back and forth between nines.

This is the best time of year to establish turf from seed and we are going to pull the trigger and take advantage of it.  Currently my thoughts are to close no more than three holes a day.  (We only own one aerifier and this method will impact play the least allowing us to reopen the green when ready.)  Our crews will be removing (shoveling) cores by hand to minimize damage to the greens.  Greens will be topdressed "just enough" to replace the material removed and "broomed"  (by hand?) to fill the aerification holes to the top.  They will be seeded and rolled. A heavily hand watering to settle the dust will follow.  Once drained, dry and firm, they will reopen for play.  Hopefully by noon each day.  My greatest fear is this; will the weakened putting surface roll over and die due to the stress of brooming sand into the holes?  But if the Poa dies, so be it, it will be to the benefit of bentgrass establishment. 

Signage will alert the golfer which hole is being worked on.  I will allow the golfer to hit his drive on that hole, but will not tolerate a shot for the sole purpose of crew safety.

I will post an aerification video from Pace Turf that better describes the benefits of aerification.