Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Fairway Aeration and Sand Topdressing

We started our second heavy sand topdressing of our new Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda fairways following a solid tine aeration this week as scheduled. We aerated and topdressed hole #'s 1 & 2 as well as  #'s 17 & 18 yesterday. Spreading the topdressing sand  is a  time consuming process as we can move and spread only 4 yards at  a time from three locations where we have stockpiled sand. 

We topdressed only three holes yesterday but will topdress another four today. We have the front nine tomorrow to continue  and because of the specific holes proximity to sand, we are shooting to get another 4 completed, almost finishing the front nine with #7 & #6 left. We will complete these along with back nine par 3's on Monday 8/29/22 when we are closed. That will complete the FW aeration and topdressing process for 2022

Thursday 8/24/22 we will have to topdress the back nine hole's of #15 & #16 and the entire course is scheduled to be open. Playing off of the topdressing is one thing, but we need to drag the topdressing in on these holes  after it has dried.  We will start this dragging process around 10:30 AM  and it will be a dusty mess, as evidenced by some of the below pictures. We don't want to expose our members too this dust,  so when we start this dragging and blowing process at 10:30 AM we are going to ask members to skip these hole's after playing #14 and head straight to #17. 

A picture is worth a thousand words. Above depicts how dusty it gets when we drag the topdressing in. It has to be dry to get it to move so Thursday 8/24/22 between approximately 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM we are going to post the above sign on #15 tee 

Conditions are never perfect when we are executing any of these necessary cultural practices, but the only other option then F9 & B9 alternating closures  would be to close the golf course for 5 days to complete the process. Below are as promised, some pictures of the process that is currently underway.

Step # 1 -  We flag all the sprinkler heads, valve boxes, yardage markers  etc. so the operator can lift aerifyer over the object and not destroy it. 
Step #2 - Aerify fairway. We chose solid tines this application which requires no cleanup of cores or debris prior to topdressing.

Aeration pattern directly after aerifying.

Step #2 - Applying topdressing at the rate of 50 tons per acre. That's 1500 tons which equates to over 50 truck and trailer transfer loads. We stockpile sand prior to this operation in the maintenance yard and adjacent to #12 green, as well as  the corner lot on Barton Road and in the back corner of the parking lot.

Another cool shot of Enrique topdressing #12 fairway with lake in the foreground and bunker in the background.

Step #3 -  Initial dragging of the dried topdressing into the fairway aeration holes and turf canopy

Closer look at the dragging process

Step #4 - More subsequent dragging, blowing, mowing with an old mower, whatever it takes to get this volume of sand incorporated into the turf canopy. Typically we would irrigate heavily after aeration and topdressing to get the soil profile evenly wet facilitated by all of the aeration holes, but then we need to dry the area out to do the extra dragging and blowing necessary to move the sand deeper into aeration holes and turf canopy. 

This sand will dissipate after a few days while it gets further worked into the turf canopy and soil via aeration holes. This leaves us with a week to catch up on some details and then as I indicated earlier, we will start to aggressively core aerate and seed our rough areas. More on the specifics of that process next week.

Thanks for Your Support

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