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Golf course spring maintenance week

Mar 12, 2018 | Jenni Ashford

The greenkeeping team at Exeter Golf and Country Club has started the spring course maintenance ahead of the golf season. Spring course maintenance involves aeration of the greens and surrounding areas in order to improve the quality of the surfaces.

March is an important month in the golf course calendar as the preparation work taking place now will impact the course for the season ahead. Exeter Golf and Country Club benefits from excellent drainage and consistent course maintenance and investment ensures the course remains open year-round (except the odd day, here and there, when rain or snow dictates), unlike many other courses in the area.

Deputy Course Manager, David Chappell will be sharing video updates on the work taking place over the coming days to explain what they are doing and how it will benefit golfers when the season gets underway.


Day one

features verti-draining and pencil tines to relieve compaction in the greens allowing maximum oxygen to reach the roots and provide space for re-growth of grass.


Day two

After completing the aeration works on the golf course, the greenkeepers began dressing the greens with an 80/20 mix of sand and peat. This work will help smooth out the surfaces, improve the soil profile and aid organic matter control. The dressing is applied at an 8-tonne rate which is lighter than usual and then blown into the surface and this process should be completed by the end of Tuesday.



Aerating the golf course

Why are we aerating?

There are lots of different approaches to aeration but essentially, we are interested in controlling organic matter in the surface, aiding water movement through the profile, decompaction and maximising oxygen availability to the grass plant. There are many machines and techniques to help us achieve this in a fraction of the time it would have taken just a few years ago.

We sometimes receive the comment ‘the surface is good why are we aerating again?’ The simple answer is that we aerate to keep it the surfaces in good condition. Without aeration, even the best drainage profiles will sit as wet as puddles if there is Just a 10mm layer of compact organic matter above it. Therefore, aeration is a key ingredient to successful turf management.

With most golf clubs having a busy golfing calendar the greenskeepers need pre-book aeration dates, spring aeration is very often in March for our South West climate. Greenkeepers will select the best aeration method for the weather conditions that they will encounter e.g. with good growing conditions larger tines may well be used as recovery can be speedy. With poorer growing conditions smaller tines so that recovery is not to sluggish. Therefore, it is all about the recovery. If conditions look to be poor then change from hollow coring to solid tining however commit to hollow core later in the year or perhaps a change to smaller tines at closer spacings?


Golf course maintenance


See the videos of the golf course hole-by-hole

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