Friday, April 22, 2016

Aerification Week Recap

As I'm sitting down to write a recap on the busy week we just had, I can't help to be grateful that A) Mother Nature is giving us some well timed post aerification rain and B) how proud I am of the staff that crammed a full week of work into three days (4 with mowing).  Here is a recap of the week:


You couldn't have asked for better weather to aerify.  Even the drier conditions leading into the week allowed us to pull arguably the best core on greens in now my 7th aerification.  We used our traditional method on pulling cores with a 5/8 inch tine on 1.5 inch spacing at a depth of 3-3.5 inches.

Our core collector attachment would drag the cores to the edges of each green forming piles for removal.  The cores have been stock-piled at the shop and will be used to backfill the new cart path edges on 1-4.
The other benefit of pulling such good cores was the ability to apply additional topdress sand.  In the past, we have use only three trucks with aerification on greens.  This spring, we put out 4 trucks equaling over 62 tons to cover our 4 acres of greens.
Using a cocoa mat, I would spin the greens to work the sand into all the holes.  After that step, multiple brooms were placed on the greens on Tuesday and Wednesday to continue working the sand into the canopy.  Finally we rolled the greens Wednesday afternoon to work out any of the imperfections that were created during the process.
Due to limited staff and the forecasted rain at the end of the week, an executive decision was made to solid tine our tees and approaches instead of pulling cores.  The clean-up is extremely time consuming and by reducing the need for manpower, we were able to mow the entire property prior to today's rain to stay caught up with spring growth.  We used a 1/2 inch solid tine on 2 inch spacing on tees and approaches.
Following the solid tine was a healthy dose of topdressing on both tees and approaches.  Again, due to the favorable conditions we were able to apply more sand than normal on both respected surfaces.
The final cultural practice of the spring was slicing our fairways to relieve compaction and improve water infiltration/oxygen exchange. 

On Thursday, the assistants knocked it out of the park by amending the entire property.  Our 23 acres of fairways and approaches were finished by early afternoon.  

Following fairways/approaches, we amended all of the greens and tees to help with soil structure and recovery.

Again my hat is off to the staff, we were able to complete the whole process with half the manpower (arrival of H2B seasonal guys should be in next couple of weeks) while still maintaining the course before the forecasted rain.  We worked sun up to sun down Monday-Wednesday and the Assistants along with myself wrapped up just before dark on Thursday.  Was a great week and we rewarded ourselves with cookouts at night to have a little fun along the way.

Cart Path Phase 2:

While taking advantage of being closed, our paving contractor was onsite to complete phase 2 of the cart path work on 1 green to 4 fairway. Here are some pics to show their work.

The old path on #2 below the green was removed and a new one was installed to replace the gravel path to the left of the green next to the wood-line.

Extensions were created by #1 green and on #2 tee to improve traffic follow and reduce wear. 
Tree Work:
Our tree contractor was here on Monday and Tuesday to remove two pines.  The leaning pine was removed from above the wall by the putting green due to safety concerns.  A pine next to the 12 tee shack was removed to improve the sight line from the upper tees.

In addition to removing the two pines, the company's climbers addressed multiple trees on the property by removing deadwood and limbs that were encroaching into play or effecting agronomics.  Examples include: The two large Oaks to the left of #3 green that were reducing sunlight to the putting surface, The cluster of oaks around the forward tee on #16 that were effecting shot making, The cluster of oaks around the flag pole behind #16 green that ole glory has gotten tangled up in and the specimen tree on #6 by the fairway was cleaned-up to improve health and aesthetics. Here are some pics of the daredevils.

That's a wrap on the busy week.  Thank you for cooperation and continued support during this bi-annual process.  It's shaping up to be a great season and we look forward to seeing you on the course!


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