Thursday July the 9th, the golf course here at East Lake Golf Club has reopened for play following our annual summer maintenance closure. It was an extremely productive ten days. As the course heals into tournament ready conditions, we are excited for our members and guests to experience the benefits of all of our hard work. Specifically, players who frequent our facility will notice: greens that are firmer and faster, tee boxes and chipping areas that are tighter and firmer, fairways that display healthier turf growth, and uniform rough growth across all areas of the course.
In Part 2 of our 3 Part series recapping our Annual Summer Maintenance we will discuss the rest of our maintenance practices from the past ten days.
Putting Green Verticutting
Saturday morning we started our verticutting processes on greens, due to multiple bouts with heavy rains we were not able to complete this process until late Monday night. In all the process required 10.5 hours of work from 12 people (126 total man hours). Our regular process was slightly altered due to conditions following aeration, and the depth of the verticutting. First, we had to brush the greens surface in order to smooth clumps of sand left behind the Dryject process. Normally, Dryject is a much cleaner process, but the increased amount of sand on the putting surface following our hollow tine aeration in combination with the constant stream of water used to clean the rollers on the Dryject machine resulted in some minor clumping of sand on the putting surface.
|An example of putting surface conditions before (left) Dryjecting, and after (right).|
Additionally, a double hollow-tine aeration with 5/8" tines significantly affects the smoothness of the putting surface. Anytime maintenance is performed to the surface of the greens, we want the machine to contour to the surface with extreme accuracy. To accomplish this we brushed (to smooth the sand) then rolled (to smooth the surface) the greens before the verticutting process began. This double rolling accounted for the 6th and 7th roll performed on the greens post aeration.
Next, we began the verticutting process. For this process, Howard and Chris set our verticutting blades at .200" below roller height (or .2" deep into the green). This depth allows us to aggressively remove dead grass deposits which soften the putting surface. Additionally, this process forces the Bermudagrass to grow in an upright, neutral position (reducing the effects of grain) and creates new growing points where stolons were once connected. Everytime we verticut greens we backtrack, two directions, downhill first, meaning we always make our first pass downhill in a specified direction, then the second pass is made on the same line uphill. This is done until the entire green has been completed, then a second predetermined direction is preformed in the same manner until completed. The second direction creates a 45 degree angle from the first direction. We find that this 45 degree angle greatly minimizes the affect on ball roll durring the healing process.
|Verticutting putting greens. Downhill first, 2-8, then back-track. (and the storms were rolling in...)|
|Sweep-n-Fill on putting greens. Uphill only, same direction as verticutters. Look at all of that organic matter being removed!|
|Putting surface condition post sweep-n-fill, pre-mow.|
Lastly, a backtrack mow was performed at regular mowing height. Needless to say, much sand passes through our reels during this mow, and thus we choose to not use buckets to catch what clippings are cut. Following the backtrack mow, the buffalo blower made a pass across the green, again to remove organic matter. You might be picking up on a theme here.......... REMOVE ORGANIC MATTER!!!!!
Reshaping of Lake Banks #10 / Silt Dredging #2
|Number ten tee here, with an example of some of the previous conditions on the left, scraping and shaping on the right.|
|Number ten completed! Looks great!|
In Part 3 of our Annual Summer Maintenance Closure Recap we will show off our new practice green, and discuss other aspects of our aeration schedule such as, "Why do you aerate greens first, then verticut?" Look out for Part 3 next week!!!!