Aerification update

The weather continues to be in our favor today which will enable us to complete topdressing of the greens. There are only 4 greens to complete: # 4, 5, 7 & 9. The topdressing is scheduled to be delivered at 10 am, so we should be completed by 3 pm.

Fairway aerification will be in progress today on holes 7, 8 & 12. The smaller section of 7 fairway along with the larger section of 8, and the bottom of 12 are aerated using solid tines. These tines do not pull a plug. This method allows us the firm up the surface of these normally wet fairways by filling the aeration holes with topdressing. If we used coring tines we would have to remove the cores by hand before we topdressed which would be very labor intensive and cost prohibited. These fairways along with # 3 landing area are the only ones that are topdressed.

We will resume core aeration on Tuesday August 26 on the back nine fairways, weather permitting of course. Thanks for everyone’s patience’s during the entire aerification process.


Bermudagrass defines the word “weed” as the following:

“a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop”.
This defines the Bermuda grass that is growing on the tees, collars, fairways, and roughs through out the golf course! This warm season plant (thrives in the summer) has a very aggressive and invasive growth pattern. Its spreads via rhizomes (underground horizontal stem, that produces leaves and roots) and stolons ( a prostate stem that produces new plants, usually found at the surface) and can be very difficult to control!
Bermuda 003
Bermuda 004
Bermuda invading the nursery green!!
In case your wondering how it got here at Bala, and other area golf courses, it was the turf of choice back in the 1950’s before fairway irrigation was the norm. This plant needs very little water to survive and is very winter hardy! So it made a good fit for the times.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be attempting to control this weed though out the course! i say control because it is almost impossible to kill it without costly soil sterilization. And since it doesn’t even make a half decent playing surface, letting it grow is not an option either as it will eventually take over the playing surface!
Last summer I experimented with a new herbicide called Pylex, the results were very impressive although there is some discoloration of both the bermudagrass( it will actually turn white over time) and the desirable perennial ryegrass. Here is a pic from the18th fairway from last August.
Pylex 8-30-13
So there is no reason for fear when you come across these areas. The discoloration will subside with time. Please remember the game is played on a surface not a color! And as we over seed during aerification of these invaded areas,  the new seedlings will fill in the voids from the declining bermudagrass.
Oh and to show you how tough of a plant it is, this is the asphalt curb on #11!!
yes its growing through the curb!!!!


Greens aerification is scheduled for this upcoming Monday and Tuesday, August 18 & 19. Fairway aerification will also be taking place on those days but will take two weeks to complete with good weather conditions. Think sunny, dry, breezy days, the same conditions that make playing the game that much more enjoyable! So here lies our conflict. We’ll both be vying for the same space!!

Green aeration 14

Green topdressing14

Greens aerification is the most disruptive process. We perform on average, 11 separate activities per green to complete the process! And this is under the ideal weather condition I listed above. Throw in some clouds and or a brief shower and the 11 can easily turn into 15 or more steps. This is why we need to be out there when you want to be playing. So I ask for your patience’s and cooperation during aerification. There maybe times when you approach the green(s) and there is no cup or flag in it, its covered with plugs and or topdressing or one of the Green Dept. staff is in the middle of a process. Please give us the right of way. The less waiting we have to do, the quicker we can finish and the greens can start the healing process!

In the near future I will write about the benefits of aerification.