This time of year is always very challenging to grow healthy turf while providing great playing conditions: the days are long, the weather is often hot and humid, and disease pressure is high and traffic is at its peak. Providing high performance turf while under such adverse conditions requires us to be strategic with some of our own defense tactics that help the grass sustain these environments.
Weekly venting (aerating) the low spots on the greens is one that has worked very well for us. You may have noticed tiny holes on the surface of some of the greens earlier this week. Low spots retain moisture much longer than high areas, and turf decline can happen very rapidly. Allowing air to move through the surface and into the root zone allows the plant to breath. This is essential for the plant. Below is a photo of these small holes around the cup. It also shows the view below the surface of the air channel that allows air to move from the top then down through the organic layer and into the root zone. (see photo)
Have a great weekend.
Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent