Spring Aerification at TPC Stonebrae Is Underway!
Each spring, TPC Stonebrae undergoes an aerification process lasting five to six weeks, a process that relieves the course’s greens and fairways of all the extra stress they endure during the fall and winter seasons. Aerification is the process that removes all the buildup of organic matter produced during the year to allow the roots of the greens a chance to breathe and reinvigorate themselves. As we enter into the summer season, it’s important that the greens are well prepared and healthy for the anticipated heat.
At TPC Stonebrae, our aerification process is similar for both the greens and the fairways. Take a look at the multiple steps involved in the process:
Step 1: On the greens, the sprinkler heads are flagged so that they are visible to make holes or plugs in the ground. On the fairways, the Graden is used to verticut the area and remove dead debris. Once the heads are marked, the aerifiers proceed to aerate the area and clean the plugs.
Step 2: After all the holes and plugs have been aerified, they are clean. The greens are brushed with a greens groomer. Plugs from the fairways are swept up by the John Deere Pro Gator. Low areas of the fairways are hand shoveled to push cores out.
Step 3: After being brushed, remaining debris on the greens and fairways is blown off using a buffalo blower. Because so much of the surface area on the greens is removed, they are then hand-watered to prevent any stress from slowing the recovery growth process.
Step 4: Once the area has been primed, the holes are ready to be filled with sand and gypsum. On the greens, a blower is used to move the sand across the greens and fill the holes. After the holes on the greens are filled, they are then double rolled to help smooth the surface. On the fairways, a drag mat is used to spread the sand evenly across the fairway.
Step 5: After all the holes have been smoothed, it’s time to apply the amendments (Earth works 5-4-5, Potassium Sulfate and Cal-CM-Plus), which are then watered to help them break down and absorb in the grass.