March 24, 2015

Out With the OLD, In With the NEW...

We are now a full week into our Spring aeration and things are going nicely. Greens were drilled & filled with sand to a depth of 12". We followed that with our traditional core aeration using a 5/8" tine. A significant amount of organic material as well as old silt and clay soils were removed from the greens and over 80 tons of new sand added. Out With the OLD and In With the NEW! A fairly aggressive process for sure and one that will pay off big time come July and August.

This picture shows the green just 1 day following aeration.

Fast forward 1 week and we see the greens healing up nicely.

We can expect about double the heal time for the Drill and Fill holes.

Currently we are half way through Fairway aeration and hope to finish up Thursday this week. Sand will be applied to all Fairways, Tees and Approaches next Monday and Wednesday.

Your patience is appreciated during this important process. We know this is a disruptive time for all golfing members. It is a long 3 weeks for all of us in the Turf Department as well and we are looking forward to wrapping things up on Wednesday next week. Despite what some may think, aeration is not something Superintendents look forward too as it is stressful on the turf and staff alike. This year has been particularly straining as we have yet to fill out our seasonal staff. The regular staff has stepped up with a great effort and some long hours. Please thank them when you are out on the course. What we do look forward to is providing members and guests with the best conditions and experience possible. The cultural practices performed over a few weeks in Spring will set us up for a fantastic golfing season here at Claremont.

Josh Clevenger; Golf Course Superintendent

March 9, 2015

Spring Aeration

It's hard to believe but it's that time again... Spring Aeration. The weather forecast for the next 10 days is for dry conditions allowing us to begin our aeration as planned on Monday the 16th. The schedule is as follows:

March 16, 17 & 18  - Greens Drill & Fill / Core Aeration
March 19 to 23 - Tee & Approach Aeration and Sand
March 23 to March 30 - Fairways Core Aeration
March 30 & April 1 - Fairway Sanding

Late last year, we took soil core samples and sent them to ISTRC (International Sports Turf Research Center) to analyze the physical properties of the soil in our greens. This very in-depth testing of 8 inches of root zone has given us a large amount of hard data. Varied soil particle size and numerous layers throughout the 8 inch profile has made it difficult to establish healthy roots, has created issues with properly watering the greens and allows for more salt accumulation in the root zone. The recommendation was to perform an aeration called Drill and Fill to modify the subsurface by removal of old material and incorporation of fresh new sand. 

Please take a look at the Drill and Fill Video from the last blog post...

While this is a new process for us, the Drill and Fill has been used for years, many times on modified soil push up greens like those found here at Claremont. We will follow the Drill and Fill with our traditional core aeration and sanding and hope to have the greens healed up in 4 weeks time.

drill and fill video