Greens aeration is scheduled for Monday September 8 and Tuesday September 9. Nine holes will be completed at a time by the turf management staff. Listed below are the four main benefits of greens aeration.
1. Improve Playability - The minor disruption in the playing surface immediately following core aeration ultimately helps improve playability. Removing cores helps create a firmer and faster green with increased plant health and density. It also improves the smoothness of the greens in conjunction with sand topdressing.
2. Removal of Organic Matter - Removing organic matter, commonly known as thatch, is crucial to a healthy green. Too much organic matter buildup in fine turf restricts water infiltration causing wet conditions on top, and dry, hydrophobic conditions deeper in the soil. It also ties up valuable nutrients needed by the plant and can cause a "sponge-like" surface vulnerable to mechanical injury.
3. Increase Pore Space - Removing cores creates much more pore space for oxygen. Oxygen is essential to the root system of a putting green. Without a strong root system, putting greens will not be able to weather the hot and humid summers. As the cooler weather slows down the top growth of the grass plant, the root system goes into overdrive as it works to create a deep mass of roots for the next season.
4. Improve Water Infiltration - The channel created by the removal of a core allows for a higher percolation rate of water. This channel of fresh sand is free of organic matter and allows for much faster drainage. This creates a drier and more firm playing surface that protects from wear associated with saturated soil conditions.
The labor intensive process of core aerating greens is absolutely necessary for the health and great playability of golf course putting greens. The few days of disruption seems like a minor inconvenience when you are able to provide many months of great conditions afterwards. The desired putting green conditions of today's golfer are not achievable without core aeration.