20th September 2019 in Blog, Golf Course Maintenance Week – 1st – 4th Oct Share Twitter Facebook Tom and his team will be carrying out our annual course maintenance between Tuesday 1st Oct and Friday 4th Oct. We appreciate your patience whilst this necessary work is taking place. If you are on the course during this time please allow the greenkeeping team to finish any work they are undertaking before playing through. The co-operation of everybody will minimise the time required by the greenkeepers to carry out the work. Aeration is one of the greenkeeper’s most powerful means of improving turf quality, but it makes the golfer’s heart sink, particularly when this is carried out when greens are in their prime condition. Many of our members often ask what is involved and why we carry out hollow-coring of the greens so we have summarised why this process is done and the long term benefits to the greens. What are the benefits of aeration? Compaction relief and improved surface performance Better penetration of water and air Fertiliser/nutrients delivered into the root zone Improves soil structure Improves rooting capacity Longer use of the surface – increased playability all year round Releases toxic gases from the soil Increases shoot growth What is hollow tining? It’s the physical removal of cores of turf from a playing surface. The holes are generally 13-20mm in diameter and of varying depths depending on the reason and location of the tine. The cores are ejected, swept up and removed and are then used to make excellent compost and therefore retaining some of the nutrients longer term. When completed, a smaller mass of soil will occupy the same area of earth. Hollow-tining is different from solid tining which involves a hole being pierced into the playing surface without the removal of any soil or organic matter. A similar process of verti-draining is carried out on fairways and approaches which creates aeration through the formation of deep slits into the playing surface. Why is it done? Course traffic from a busy summer of golf causes the ground to become compacted and hardened. This means drainage is less efficient and the grass’s roots are prevented from absorbing oxygen which long term can lead to poor growth on the onset of disease. Hollow tining allows the compacted turf to expand and air and moisture to be more easily absorbed into the soil. The coring helps address the problem of thatch, which is a layer of grass stems, roots, and debris that settle and accumulate over time. Too much thatch on a playing surface will cause the grass to hold on to water much like a sponge. Tining also removes accumulated fibre in the grass’s root zone. It allows for the exchange of poor soil layer for a better one through top-dressing. This is why the greens are normally covered in sandy top dressing immediately after they’re cored. In addition, coring allows for overseeding: another effective way of improving the quality of the playing surface and introducing fresh growth to the playing surfaces. Following a hollow-core and top-dressing the greens are often rolled in order to minimise the impact of the coring and smooth out the playing surface.