Now that we're in the middle of the Winter/Spring transition, the weather and ground conditions are pretty unpredictable and it affects our work as much as it does the playing conditions.
We had our first of 4 aerifications scheduled this week. Aerifying with frozen greens can cause more harm than good so it was going to be a game-time decision if we'd be able to get the process started this week. Luckily, over the weekend, the greens thawed completely so I began deep tining the greens on Sunday evening. This is a slow process so I wanted to get ahead of our aerifyers so they weren't waiting on me.
Monday morning, the temperatures were below freezing so the greens didn't thaw out until about noon. Once they were thawed, we aerified all of our greens with 1/4" hollow tines (pulled cores), cleaned the greens, and topdressed them. I like to do the 1/4" tines in two directions to remove more material (read-nitrates and thatch) but still have a quick recovery period. Monday night into Tuesday looked great and I knew we would have no freezing or even frost on the greens.
Tuesday was a perfect day! We did our second aerification, cleaned, and topdressed the greens, and after this round, we brushed the sand after blowing it into the holes, then we rolled the greens. My staff did a fantastic job and worked together well to efficiently complete a tough greens aerification. Mother Nature also helped us by making Tuesday such a perfect day.
Above, you can see the holes from the 1st round already filled and the second round still open.
Wednesday and Thursday, the ground was frozen in the morning so we worked on aerifying the tees in the afternoon. Approaches will be aerified next week.
Friday is the first day of Spring...and its snowing. This will melt tomorrow (Saturday) with an anticipated high temperature of 57, but its not helping the course recover from aerification.
Please see our other article regarding course conditions and expectations for the early Spring.