Today we started to core aerate the greens. My plans are to work on just a few greens each week. This way we can do the job right and get the green playable before we move on to the next green.
This is the first time in 10 years that we are core aerating the greens. I did core just a few greens 3 years ago but this time we will complete all the greens. Our topdressing program is the backbone to maintaining the proper balance of organic matter but this year was an exception the heat, constant heavy rains and high humidity worked against the topdressing program and the greens developed more organic matter then the sand could dilute. The only way to get a handle on this is to remove it mechanically.
Organic matter or Thatch is good if under control, it can protect the crowns from traffic and provide a surface that is not to firm. The green will then accept well played shots . Now when the green has excess organic matter there can be a multitude of problems too numerous to list
The process is quite simple but also takes 1.5 hours to complete each green when done properly.
First the green is core aerified using a 1/4 inch tine. This tine is actually smaller then a pen.
Once we have removed all the cores which totals about 3 of our small golf carts the green is topdressed with a little more sand then we usually use. The green is then broomed, rolled 2 times and broomed again. An organic fertilizer is then applied and the entire green is watered .