Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Out with the OLD. In with the NEW.

The course got a little face lift this week. Post aerification means a whole new set of pins, flags and cups. It is amazing to see the difference in the flag color after a year in the sun. New pins and cups means 'hopefully' straighter pins that have not been worn down from the repeated use. Also the new tee markers have replaced the winter globes. This means the return of the senior gold tees, which we have had many questions about. Overall it just makes the course look more attractive and shows us season is finally here!

We found an old microscope in the office last week and decided to test it out. You can see a few tiny blue/green spots here on the leafblade of our nursery green. This is the tracker dye that we use when greens are sprayed.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Welcome to aerification week! It was a long couple of days out here on the Ridge. Though Monday morning was held off about an hour and a half due to a frost delay, we were able to finish all 20 greens within two days! With holes spacing 2.5x2 inches and an optimum depth of 5 inches, there were about 4 million holes punched in the bentgrass overall. I have taken pictures of every step of the process along the way, and added a note on the bottom explaining what is happening. 
Here you see Jose making the first few passes on #1 green. 

Samples of the cores being taken. Usually I would add keys or a golf ball to show comparison of size. Like I said, the holes are 2.5x2 inches.

Uriel on our core harvester. The cores travel up a conveyor belt to the back of the workman where Eduardo will then spread them around.

I tried to squeeze the whole process in one picture. Victor and Daniel would then follow with backpack blowers opening up more holes and blowing loose cores off to the sides. 

Superintendent Andy Klein was our topdress man. Making many trips back and forth to the shop, as it took roughly three workman loads of sand per green. 

Once the sand was on the green, Wes took a steel mat around to disperse the sand more evenly. 

I then put a double roll on each green to try and smooth them up before the final drag the next morning.

Finally it was my job, along with some help from Letty, to take a finer coco mat and try to fill in all remaining open holes. The greens were then rolled one more time, followed by fifteen minutes of water. 

This is the ideal finished product. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Every green has drain tiles running underneath that gets rid of water and excess gasses. Over time these drains can get clogged causing problems on the greens. As you can see here the drains have been capped underground allowing no way to reach them. Using maps we have been able to locate the drains on a few of our problem greens and bring them to the surface. The next step is to blow air or flush water through if needed to make sure the drain gets cleared.

 'Why is it that every time the greens start to get in perfect condition, those guys go and poke holes in them?' Just one comment that I overheard this week. Yes it is already time for aerification! Monday March 21st the front nine will be closed, and Tuesday the 22nd the back nine. We have started this year with a light verticut. The lines that you will see in the greens are where multiple blades tickle the turf pulling out part of the thatch or organic layer.