We started the day by rolling all the greens prior to topdressing to work out any imperfections that were created from all the traffic due to pulling cores and deep tinning. Another issue with pulling cores is the pulling of the drain lines on all the XGD greens (as seen here on #4); although just a few seasons old now, these lines still have developed the root mass in comparison to the rest of the putting surface and a lot of heaving occurs.
Following the roll, we began topdressing the greens. Sand is paramount to the success of a healthy putting surface and improves playability with firmness and surface drainage.
Our new material handler improved efficiency on the day, turning a 8 man job in the past (using a dump truck and shovels) into a 2 man job allowing to get started on coring tees with the rest of the staff.
These views never get old!
After a green was completed, we used a coco drag mat to work the sand into the holes and canopy of the putting surface.
Finished product, over the next couple of days we will continue to broom in different directions with push brooms to continue working the sand around on the putting surface with the hopes of putting our first cut on greens during the first of next week. I know this is a nuisance, especially with us opening back up for business on Friday, but it is important not to rush with mowing and harvesting the sand. Allowing the plant to grow through the sand will go a long way on protecting our equipment and reaching the goal of improving our putting surfaces for the long term.
Once greens clean-up was complete, we began pulling cores on tees. Tees have accumulated a lot of thatch over the years and this process will help eradicate the problem. Similar to greens, the thatch build-up in tees in preventing water infiltration, nutrient uptake and firmness of the respected playing surface. Do you ever feel like your walking on a sponge on some of the tees? Well, this is largely in part to the thatch becoming puffy during the heat of the summer causing unevenness to the surface. An aggressive program of thatch removal over the next couple of years will allow us to achieve lower height of cuts on tees/approaches to improve firmness and playability.
We used 1/2 tines on 3 inch spacing on all the tees. I have decided not to topdress these surfaces this time, mainly due to time, budget and equipment constraints. Following a couple of mows, the holes will close and it will be as if we were not even there.
Today (Wednesday), we plan on finishing the topdress application on the back 9 green and placing a broom on all greens this afternoon. We should complete 13-18 tees by lunch to allow us to start mowing rough and putting the first cut on fairways following the slice on Monday.