The weather this past week was excellent for our annual spring aerification. With the course closed Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday the turf team was able to complete numerous cultural practices to improve health and playability of the turf. Without the course being closed we would not be able to accomplish half of what we did.
The crew aerified greens with a needle tyne “venting” that allows for oxygen exchange promoting rooting and the release of nutrients for growth. This form of aerification is non intrusive, and after rolling a couple times you wouldn’t notice that this was completed. We then solid tyned all the tees and approaches to help reduce compaction and thatch, providing a firmer playing surface. After the aerification was complete, we slit seeded bentgrass in the low areas on fairways to help minimize winter injury from ice. When the aerification was completed we sand topdressed all the greens, tees and fairways. Topdressing greens (photo: below left) will promote a firmer surface to help reduce ballmarks and provide a smoother surface for a truer ball roll. Topdressing fairways (photo: below right) and approaches will provide firmer playing conditions and help minimize worm castings. Light and frequent topdressing will continue throughout the season to enhance the conditions of the greens, tees and fairways.
In all, I couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions to achieve these cultural practices. These management practices will provide short- and long-term benefits, improving the overall condition of the course.
Have a great weekend,
Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent