Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spring Aerification

Update (3/19/14)
Here is a Youtube video from our consultant, Dr. Larry Stowell that does a fantastic job of explaining aerification.

Pace Turf Video

Aerification is one of the most important cultural practices that we do during the year.  Spring is the perfect time to punch open the turf on the golf course to give them a nice breath of fresh air. It sets the tone for the season by reducing compaction, allows for the release of carbon dioxide and the infusion of oxygen, control thatch buildup and allow for better water penetration.

The illustration above is a good representation of what we are trying to accomplish when we aerate the golf course.

Compaction is one of our worst enemies and occurs throughout the season. It is caused by foot traffic, mowers, power golf carts and even golf balls striking the putting surface.  Compaction makes it difficult for roots to grow deeper and denser. If we can promote a strong healthy root system we will have a grass plant that is better able to withstand the heat of summer because the plant is able to reach moisture deeper in the soil profile.  Compaction also makes it more difficult for irrigation water to percolate into the soil to be available to the plants roots.  When we aerify the greens we remove the plugs and fill the holes with sand. Sand is an excellent medium for roots to grow in and for water to move through, so we make extra efforts to ensure the holes are well filled.

Thatch control is also a primary reason for aerification. Thatch is the layer of dead and rotting organic matter that is just under the plant canopy.  On the greens we want to keep the thatch layer to a absolute minimum. Too much thatch makes the greens bumpy, spongy and soft which are conditions that are not desirable for a smooth and fast putt.
Culturally, thatch is our enemy because it can prevent water, fertilizers and chemicals from making it to the plant roots where they can be used.

As you can see, I have mentioned roots a few times. They are the key to healthy plants, so we go to great lengths to promote strong and vigorous root growth.

Here is a short video of the greens aerator working on #3

I hope that this has been helpful in explaining why we need to aerify the golf course. 

The golf course maintenance crew works very hard to get the job done in as short of time as possible and to speed the recovery of the greens so that you can play on great putting surfaces.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Unfortunately, we had some vandals damage the 12th green this weekend. The pictures below show the damage and although it looked bad it was all easily fixed.

The cup used to be there. The vandals used the flagstick to dig the cup out of the green. 

This and the next picture were from more damage about 30 feet from the cup location.

Folks, although we can fix the damage that happens to the golf course, keep in mind that when we are fixing vandalism we are not doing something else on the golf course. This is preventable to some degree by our neighbors. Please, if you see any suspicious activity on the golf course don't hesitate to call the sheriff. Let the troublemakers know that there are eyes everywhere.


Chris Mains

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chipping Green Bunker Rebuild

I am sure you have all noticed that the chipping green in finally being rebuilt. The project is going well and I thought that I would share some pictures of the project. They show different phases of the project especially before and almost after.
 Here is a before photo. We have already started to remove the sod from the green.

 Stripping the sod off to be reused.

 Another before picture showing how severe the face of the bunker is.

 A very telling photo showing the layering of the soil and sand from years of practice shots. The top layers is the accumulation of bunker sand being thrown out over the last 8 or so years.

This photo shows the near final elevation of the green and bunker. The face will be much softer. The crew removed approximately 6 dump-truck loads of sand from the mound between the green and bunker. That is a lot of sand!

The final phases of the project is to put new liner in and then install fresh bunker sand. We also need to re-install the sod and let everything knit down before we can reopen the practice area.

Sod all replaced! We need to roll, topdress and fertilizer the area to speed recovery.

Another angle.

Please observe the signs indicating the area is closed. We will let you know when the area can be used again.

We appreciate your patience during this project and know that the area will get a lot of use when it is re-opened.

I have been known to tweet

Feel free to follow me when I tweet. My twitter is here

Chris Mains

Blogging to inform

I feel that it is time to start using this blog to help keep all of you more informed with the conditions and activities happening on the golf course.  Many of my colleagues have found it to be a great tool for educating their members on the various things happening. I will try to keep it current with relevant content that might link to other websites or have photos of projects that we are working on.  Please feel free to leave feedback. 

Thank you.

Chris Mains