August 9, 2013

Another great day for golf at Sandpines

Earlier this week, the greens were "vented" (sounds better than aerated) using small solid tines. The greens have seen quite a bit of traffic from mowing, rolling, fertilizing, top dressing, and playing since the last time they were aerated in late April. All of this traffic adds up and the surfaces of the greens had become compacted and sealed off. They were in need of some improved gas exchange and infiltration. Venting fulfills this with minimal disruption to the putting surfaces. There is nothing to pickup or cleanup after the greens have been vented. The greens are simply rolled and then they are ready for play. The small solid tine holes don't impact ball roll much at all. Venting of the front nine greens was completed on Monday. The back nine greens were vented on Tuesday. The practice greens were completed at the end of last week. There are many courses that have incorporated venting into there greens maintenance programs during the peak season with great success. Improving turf health without reducing putting quality is the goal.

Jerry venting 16 green

Before you get excited, yes we still need to core aerate greens. The venting process only achieves some of the benefits of core aeration. With core aeration, thatch is removed and sand channels are created for prolonged gas exchange and infiltration. With venting the benefits are fairly short lived. Therefore, ideally venting would take place every 3-6 weeks during the peak season. I think venting once per month during July, August, and September would be about right at Sandpines.

Green surface after venting and before rolling

Green surface after venting and rolling