Thursday, October 11, 2012

Golf Course Cultural Practices

Our golf course closures have finished for the year and the onset of cooler, drier weather will soon be here. There was a multitude of work completed on the course during the closures including verti-cutting and aerification of the greens, aerification, verti-cutting and top-dressing of all tees, aerification, verti-cutting and top and verti-cutting and aerification of all roughs.

Verticutting of fairways

Aerification of fairways

Vacuuming of  fairways

Circle cutting and final clean up of fairways
 All of this work is carried out 'in-house' by our trained staff using our equipment. It takes an immense amount of co-ordination and communication with all staff members to complete the work on schedule and still provide sufficient time for the turf to recover and be in a playable condition upon re-opening.

The benefits of these practices are numerous including improved turf rooting, penetration of rain and irrigation water into the soil, oxygen exchange in the soil profile, improved fertility uptake, smoothness of the playing surface, improved green speed, reduction in disease pressure, thatch reduction and overall improvement in playability for all golfers.

Verticutting of Greens

Aerification of greens

Core clean up on greens

Dragging of sand into the core holes on the greens

Without question, the cultural practices carried out on the course can easily be frowned upon by most golfers, not only here at Copperleaf, but at every golf course throughout the world. From a management point of view, I too, dislike seeing the turf grass disturbed so much. It is by far one of the most challenging times of year; however,I know that the work carried out now will provide the highest chance of success during periods of turf stress and high golf play. I appreciate the patience of our year round golfers during these times and to please understand that these procedures are for the betterment of the course.

As always, Mother Nature plays an important role in the success of the operation. Any rainfall can slow the entire process down and make it extremely difficult to brush sand into the greens, drag the aerification plugs to break up the soil and to vacuum the verti-cuttings.

However, with the teamwork of our entire staff, the ability of our mechanics to keep everything operating safely, and a little luck; everything always seems to get completed on time.

A little luck never hurts!

The final product

Posted by David Dore-Smith
Director of Golf Course and Grounds Maintenance
Copperleaf Golf Club

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