Greens Aerification Damage

Dear Spring Run Members,

I know many of you have played since we opened last Thursday. There have been a lot of questions and concerns as to what happened to some of the greens. Back in June, during the first closure, we aerified and performed all the cultural practices that were recommended by the USGA during their visit back in April. When we performed their recommended cultural practices, it decimated the root zones of our greens. Because we are in rainy season it is very hard to grow roots this time of year and strengthen the root zone. Roots typically stay where there is water present. Because it is rainy season the roots of grass typically stay shallower than normal. Since the aerification caused a weaker root zone on the greens, we have been doing some extra chemical applications to try and help the root growth. As we approached the second closure, I decided that we were not going to do our typical aerifications because I was afraid that would be too detrimental to the health of the greens. We started by putting our top-dressing layer of sand on the greens, so when we aerified it would push the sand in to the greens and offer a little more stability to the green. Also, instead of pulling cores we used solid tines to poke holes in the greens. This allowed us to get our aerification holes and get sand into the profile without being too disruptive to the greens. When we aerified the greens however, it pulled some sections of greens up where the roots had not healed as well as other areas. These areas were also very hard to spot since we had our top-dressing layer of sand down already. After we aerify greens, we always roll them to try and firm them back up before we start dragging the sand into the holes. When we did this these areas acted like a wave cresting and crashing. It essentially folded the sod over and created indentions in the green. Once we caught the damage, we stopped the process immediately and regrouped. We made all the necessary adjustments as quick as possible so the damage would not continue and sodded the damaged areas immediately.

I realize that this is the last thing that any of us wanted to happen. I can tell you though that, while the greens are a little unsightly right now, they have been making steady improvements every day and looking better each day. With the current progress we are making I think we will be back to normal in a few weeks’ time and looking great for season. My staff and I would like to thank you for your continued support and would like everyone to know that we are working as fast and hard as we can to heal these areas. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

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