This week and next you will notice that we will be core aerating fairways. The process is very similar to how we aerify greens with the exception that fairways take much longer to complete and because of cost we do not topdress. We will be pulling 5/8" cores from fairways and they will be picked up with our core harvester. By picking up the cores we leave a lot less soil at the surface of the fairway giving them a cleaner, less dirty look. Once we pick up cores we blow or drag any left over material off the fairway and we then start the next fairway. Yesterday we completed #1 fairway and today we are going to complete #9 and #14 fairways. Depending on the amount of play, mechanical breakdowns, and the weather conditions we hope to complete 1 to 2 holes a day. We will not start a fairway until the previous fairway is completed. Once fairways are completed we will aerify the walk paths which will take 2 days to complete. Below are pictures of pulling cores (lower left) and cleaning up cores with our core harvestor (lower right).
You can expect fairways that are completed to have a lot holes and some small areas of soil. Overall the fairways will be very playable and softer than we are used too. On the fairways that are aerified, play lift clean and place, this will allow you to clean any mud you may have picked up on your ball. With good weather and some timely rain the fairways should recover nicely, two weeks after they were completed. Below are pictures of #1 fairway once it was completed. As you can see fairways are clean and from afar (lower right picture) you would hardly know we aerated.
Core aerificaiton is an important process for all turfgrasses. It relieves compaction, helps elongate roots, removes thatch, improves soil gases, and helps with water infiltration. Core aerification is vital to improving the health and playability of our fairways.
Thanks and we apologize for any inconvenience.