After an exceptionally sluggish first half of April, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Greens aerification on both courses was completed in the last two weeks of April and could not have gone much better than it did.
The Lake Course was verticut, cored, sanded and broomed as scheduled on April 22-23, followed by a much needed deep tine aerification on the 24th. The Hill course was completed in a similar fashion the next week. This may have been the smoothest core aerification we have had, ever. Several factors have contributed to our successful aerification this spring. Great weather, a seasoned staff and a new piece of equipment. The weather was just warm and breezy enough to quickly dry the plugged cores so the greens could be picked sooner, yet just cool enough that rapid dessication was not a problem.
The core of our hard working staff has been with us for a few years now and have been cross trained to be able to operate nearly any piece of equipment we own. Some are more capable than others, but they all do a nice job. This cross training has allowed me to put a second operator on an aerifier and get one entire course cored in about 4 hours. In the past, using one machine, we could only efficiently get 12-14 greens done in a day and still keep up with cleanup.
The third part of our improved operation involved the purchase of a new
brush setup. This one new brush fills the holes better and quicker than our other three brushes being used at the same time. This means quicker recovery and better profile management than we could accomplish in the past.
With everything going so smoothly the first two days of the week and the little amount of play in late April, we decided to take advantage of this time to get in an extra deep tine aerification with some tines called bayonets. The look of a bayonet is self explanatory and their advantage is the relatively small surface disturbance compared to what happens below the surface. I used the shorter bayonets last season for mid season venting with good success and I'm just as happy with the deep tine version. I believe they will allow us to get in another deep tining in with minimal disturbance to play. A real advantage in our battle to maintain healthy turf.
I know I mentioned them earlier, but I just can't thank my staff enough for their hard work. If you see them on the course please take time to show your appreciation.
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