Friday, February 14, 2014

A very busy week just gone with tees on both courses being renovated.  As posted last week they haven't been done for two years and needed it desperately.  The process consisted of a deep scarify, hollow tyne with 16mm diameter holes and then the resultant cores rubbed back in to the surface which effectively topdresses and fertilises them.  It is a very labour intensive operation as the scarifying takes quite a bit of time and the resultant material needs to be removed.  As you can see in the photo below about 4 cubic metres of material was removed from 6 tee West alone.  The cores then have to be dry to be rubbed back in and then cleaned off.  A final mow finishes the task.  Full recovery should be about 3 weeks but the playing surface is fine as is.

15 West tee being aerated

Load of material removed from 6 west tee.
There are lots of problems that can arise including all the markers and sprinklers being hit by the machines but by indicating their locations you can avoid any nasty surprises.  However it's the hidden problems that can cause some worries such as tree roots and with so many tree adjacent to tees they are full of roots and most are quite near the surface.  The photo below shows where the aerating machine punched through a root and took out a core which obviously blocks the core and doesn't do much for the machine either.

Normal empty tine on left and tree root core on right!

I didn't get a chance to photograph the scarifiers in operation but they are a pedestrian version with a 400mm (16 inch) cutting width.  We have 2 of the machines and they are a "Graden GS04" model and are Australian made.  They were developed by an engineering company in Melbourne called Graden Engineering which takes its name from founder Graham Dryden.  Graham was repairing a local councils machine and commented that he could make a better one and so he did.  The machine has been so successful that many Superintendents in America actually now say they are going to "Graden the greens" instead of scarifying. 

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