On Monday, June 6th we completed a solid-tine aerification of the North Course Greens that is known as “venting.” Following the venting process, we mowed the greens, “dusted” with an extremely light rate of sand topdressing and rolled greens to return to normal playing conditions. Given the wet weather pattern we have been experiencing and the frequency at which we have been rolling greens to maintain ideal ball roll, the hidden root system underneath our smooth canopy of turfgrass was effectively sealed off from pertinent oxygen exchange with the surface. Maintaining that exchange of oxygen into the root zone of the plants is an important part of keeping the grasses that populate our putting greens healthy throughout the summer stress season.
We used 3/8 inch solid tines on our aerifiers to punch solid holes down through the turf canopy and into the root zone of the soil, approximately 4″ deep. This creates channels for air flow into the soil, thus breaking the “seal” between the layers and reestablishing oxygen exchange. While this is a form of aerification, which is usually thought of as an invasive processes setting back the desired playability of the putting surface, this process does not remove any material from the putting greens. The 3/8 inch solid tines are the size of a standard No. 2 pencil which we affectionately refer to as “pencil tines.”
While the holes may be slightly noticeable for some part of this week, they have little to no impact on ball roll on the putting surface. Those that played yesterday may have noticed a less than perfect roll at times, but this mornings mow and roll on the North greens has helped to further smooth the surface. With continued rolling throughout the remainder of the week and cooperation from mother nature, players this weekend will be greeted with expected standards on the putting surfaces.