Our Fairways have been amazing this Spring and we decided to pull the trigger and get them aerified this week also. It still amazes our staff that the Fairways have not been aerified in at least 5 years, yet they still look great and drain fairly quickly considering the clay soils. We aerified these with a PTO driven John Deere 1500 and we went with a .750" inside diameter tine on a 3" by 3" spacing. The tine we used is called a "Green Bay" tine, as it is designed for the frozen tundra and other extremely dense soils. it has a wall thickness of .25" and is extremely durable. We have approximately 25 Acres of Fairways and our staff managed to aerify and clean up all of these surface in two full days. We used a metal drag mat on these surfaces as well, but once we separated the thatch from the clay we used a Toro 4500 with mulching blades to mulch and disperse the remaining soil. It was a very dusty and dirty job but it should help our Fairways out immensely. We are planning on aerifying all Fairways again in early July and hope to make this a annual practice and not a special event.
Here is a picture of Israel beginning the aerification process on #1 Tee.
Here is a close up of the material that was pulled up on Tees. You will notice that the majority of the material on the surface is thatch as the river sand base has already fallen back into the aerification hole.
This is the two tractors in the beginning process of aerifying #4 Fairway. The yellow flags that you see are for marking irrigation heads or valves, drain basins, and granite yardage markers.
Here is an example of the common aerification core that we removed from the Fairways, it is easy to notice the clay soils at the bottom of the core and the thatch at the top of the core.
Here is our staff pulling the metal drag mats behind the carts to help disperse and break up the material.
This is the product prior to being blown off, with the forecasted rains and our fertility application next week we should see full recovery from this aerification in 10 to 14 days.
With the short grass verification completed, we will focus our efforts on aerifying the Roughs in between the cart paths and the Fairways and Greens. These are always so compacted due to the volume of carts that move through the property. We hope to finish these by Friday afternoon. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Thank you for taking a moment to read about our efforts to improve the conditions of Windermere Golf Club.