We have had some incredible weather in the last month for the beginning of fall golf season, and hopefully everyone has had a chance to take advantage. Leaves are beginning to change color, and even begin to fall in areas. It is truly hard to believe that both Ladies Closing Day and the Men’s Hole in One Stag are this week, signifying the end of the main golf calendar. Even with that approaching, there will still be ample opportunities for some great fall weather to come out and enjoy your golf course.
Our staff was quite busy in the last couple of weeks beginning our fall agronomic practices. Greens and fairways were verticut, a process that removes some excess growth and organic matter. A video of our fairway verticut mower in action on #6 can be viewed here.
Tees were aerified on September 4th, and as you can see to the left, we removed a lot of thatch from them! With the warmer temperatures we had, the holes have already healed in for the most part. Here is a link to a video of all staff performing their role in clean up. The process involves many persons on blowers, as well as drag mats and manual removal of the excess grass in the end. They all did a wonderful job!
Greens will be aerified on October 4th (Front 9 and the Large practice green) and 5th (Back 9 and Small practice green) using a solid 1/2” tine. Both before and after poking these holes, a generous amount of sand will be applied to incorporate into the surface. We will then use brooms and blowers to get that sand into the holes, and finish off with a roll.
Fairways will be aerified the week of October 8th, using a solid 5/8″ tine. Both processes will involve no plugs being brought up, which is how we aerify them in the spring. All of this is of course, weather permitting. With the multiple chances of rain in the 10 day forecast, it is best to call ahead to the pro shop for the latest information on the golf course. I will also send out updates via this blog. Below are a couple pictures of us fine tuning the process on the short game greens last week. Bowser and I were pretty happy with the result given the drizzle that fell when we were trying to brush and blow the sand in.
While a short term inconvenience to ball roll and playability, aerification is the foundation of proper soil and turf health and a critical component of any agronomic program. It provides new channels for root growth, oxygen to the rootzone, additional avenues for drainage, and relieves compaction. The USGA has a few nice articles further explaining the benefits and importance of aerification, a couple of which you can view here and here. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this busy and quite necessary time in our maintenance schedule!
If you have any questions about aerification, or the golf course, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please enjoy the great weather that October usually brings to our area. I hope to see you out on the golf course!