Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Aerification holes on the greens

I have received a few comments about some of the holes left open after the aerification process this last week. I would like to assure you that having a few open holes will not hurt our greens. While we try to fill as many holes as possible, it is almost impossible to get them all. The turf will grow over the hole and will still allow more water to enter the root profile. This is not a bad thing and the root system will actually fill the hole up over a few weeks. There is a misconception that this is why the greens are bumpy and also that the sand needs to be all the way to the top of the leaf blades in the exposed holes. This is impossible to accomplish and still be able to mow the green. The turf has to grow across the hole in order to smooth the green out the rest of the way. without the turf the sand will not stay in place. Cutting the greens with too much sand only causes the high performance reels to pick up the sand and throw it in our grass catchers. In the process of picking up this sand, it eats away at the steel reels causing grooves and wear on the reels. These reels then have to be backlapped for long periods of time to remove the grooves so they will again cut precise. This takes man power and valuable life off of the reels. If we had a half million dollar budget I would just buy more reels as needed and not care about what the sand does, but in todays world at Riverlands we have to make sure we do not waste any money. I have the hardest job of them all in making the decision either to cut the greens and cause more issues with the reels or not cut the greens for a few more days and inconviencing our members for those extra days. I know that our greens were slow and bumpy this last weekend. I would prefer to have them perfect at all times but in todays world the reality is that in order to have good to great greens we have to suffer those few days or weeks of giving them exactly what they need to survive. I am constantly being told how much better our greens are then this club or that club and I notice the pride in those members telling me that. They know that these aerifications are neccessary evils and the sole reason for our greens staying in great shape.

So when you make a judgement about why we do not do this or do that, just think for a second about the rest of the year you are playing on some of the best greens around. I know a good 20 clubs that would die for our daily conditions of our greens year round and one of those clubs is right down the street.