Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why do we aerate?

I have gotten more than a few questions on the reasons behind aeration of the greens and, to a lesser extent, the tees and fairways.  The following video does a great job of explaining the reasons.

The main takeaways from this video are:

1) Relieve compaction.

2) Reduce organic matter build-up.

3) Provide passageways for water and oxygen to move through the soil.

The sand top dressing also has the added benefit of smoothing the putting surface.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aerification of greens

We have completed the aerification of the greens.  Leslie Park did the front 9 greens on Tuesday, September 14th and the back 9 on Wednesday.  If you are curious about the process we use, you can check some of the videos and pictures that I have.

First is the aerator, a Toro Procore 648.  It is self-propelled, 48 inches wide and has 30 3/8 inch tines.  The speed we use puts the tines down every 2 inches.  Here is the machine in action.

Here are the plugs that result

We then blow the plugs into the center of the green to make picking up the plugs easier.

We then pick up the plugs.  We pile the plugs up in our storage area and keep the pile turned over so the grass doesn't grow.  In the spring, we will use the material as we would use topsoil.

Here is a close of the green after we have picked up the plugs.

We then take a greens mower with special cutting units called "verticutters" installed.  These special units vertically mow the grass and basically cut grooves in the playing surface.  This stops the grass from growing along the ground and creates a  more upright plant.  This increases the speed the ball will roll along the green.

Here is a close up of the vericut units.

And a picture of the green after verticutting.

We then spread sand on the green with a machine called a topdresser.  The sand replaces the plugs that we have taken off. 

A picture of the green after the sand is put down.

We then use a large brush to move the sand into the holes.

After we are all done, the holes should be filled and the green should look like this.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I wonder how many words video has saved me?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Leslie Park will be aerifying greens beginning on September 14th.  We will be doing the front nine on Tuesday and the back 9 on Wednesday.  We hope to begin with the tees immediately following the greens.

Cartoons can do it, why can't you?

An animation from the USGA on how to repair a ballmark

I won't coment on the quality of the animation.  The information is good.