Club News

Why Do We Always Aerate When The Greens Are Perfect?

Many golf courses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region consider mid-August an indicator that aeration is upon us. Depending on location, desired turf species and golf calendar, core and solid-tine aeration may already be taking place.

One question we often receive is: “Why does our superintendent aerate when course conditions and weather are perfect?” This question is very perceptive, and explains why aeration is performed when the weather and course are best. Weather plays a large role in turf recovery. Thus, performing aeration when the weather favors turf growth leads to quicker recovery. Additionally, aeration is stressful on plants. Performing aeration on healthy, “perfect” turf is critical. If aeration is conducted on already stressed turf, the result could be disastrous.

The range of ideal weather varies depending on the desired turf species. In other words, if your course is promoting bentgrass, mid-August to early September is a good time to aerate. The warm days and cool nights of early fall favor bentgrass growth, placing the competitive advantage on bentgrass over Poa annua. Conversely, if the desired turf is Poa annua, core aeration can be performed later in the fall. There is less chance for stress on Poa annua in late summer and early fall. Unfortunately, the golf schedule often dictates aeration timing more than the weather which could compromise proper aeration timing.

Another question we often receive is: “Why is so much sand applied?” Superintendents realize aeration is never popular. However, the benefits of aeration far outweigh the potential problems if nothing is done. Superintendents also understand that playability is a concern. Following aeration, especially on greens, filling each of the aeration holes with sand will promote quicker recovery and improve ball roll. There is no denying that surface disruption occurs during aeration and that greens will play differently following aeration. However, effects on playability as a result of aeration can be minimized if aeration channels are completely filled with sand. Ultimately, applying enough topdressing sand to fill aeration holes will result in a smoother post-aeration surface that recovers quicker than a surface with open aeration holes.

Aeration is performed every year to improve turf health and playing conditions. Core and deep-tine aeration are critical for the health of highly maintained grass. Keep in mind that every time you comment on the exceptional conditions during the golf season, a large part of maintaining those conditions is routine core aeration. Do not lose sight of the long-term goal because of the short-term inconvenience.

Source Elliott Dowling edowling@usga.org

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service

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The R&A and USGA release 2016 edition of Rules of Golf

2016 Rules of Golf

The governing bodies of golf today announced the release of the 2016 rules of golf which will take effect worldwide from the 1st of January , 2016.

The process of reworking the rules takes a 4 year collaborative effort from both bodies. The result of which is aimed to improve golf as well as the interpretations of rules.

The most significant changes in the 2016 edition are :

  • Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address – Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving After Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.
  • Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card – A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.
  • Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment – The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification.
  • Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke – As announced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (Anchoring the Club) prohibits anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.

 

Please refer to the Royal and Ancient website for full online edition of the rules as well as handy videos that explain some of the more troublesome points.

Full Article Here…