We’ve told you why our golf courses do it; now you get a quick glimpse into how they do it. Arrowhead Country Club Course Superintendent Heath Roberts is here to explain a little more about the aeration process, and show us first-hand how their crew puts the practice into action.
Heath Roberts: We do 50,000 rounds a year here, and we’re sand-based greens, so there’s steady compaction on those greens all the time. You can see the difference. You won’t see it now because the grass is growing, but in the springtime you’ll see those little holes we punched will actually have … That’ll be the greener grass where grass is growing. It helps alleviate compaction, and it’s just a must.
With bermudagrass, it grows so fast it’s always producing thatch. You’ve got to take that out, and it’ll get puffy even. With greens you want a nice firmness to the top. It allows for a better playing surface.
We close each nine during that process for about three weeks for a healing process. The first thing we do is “verticut” our greens. It’s a process of slicing the greens, pulling out dead grass. It actually helps the grass grow better, and promotes new growth. Then we come through with aeration tines. We use hollow tines. There are different kinds, but we use a 0.41 inside diameter tine, going to about a 4-inch depth, and we go across the green. The machine actually brings it to the edge, and we come through with a hand crew and pick up (the pulled soil plugs). After that it’s just top dressing and adding fertilizer, then the waiting process.