Greens renovations got underway on the 3rd October 2016 with the greens verti-drained using 22mm tines to a depth of approximately 8 inches. This process took the best part of 3 days. The vertical draining was then followed up with the turf iron to minimise disturbance. Vertical draining allows the exchange of gases in the soil allowing carbon dioxide out and oxygen in. It will encourage healthier deeper root growth, it aerates the soil and relieves compaction. It also helps to improve the greens surface, improve and promote good soil structure and creates quicker drying surfaces.
Hollow coring started on the 17th October using the Toro Procore with 15mm hollow tines to a depth between 2 1/2 to 3 inches. With this being a labour intensive process the 18 greens in play were completed within 5 days, with the putting greens done the following week.
The green staff received some additional help from 2 retired members, there efforts were greatly appreciated. So a big thank you goes to Frank Phinn and Norman Russell. Ideally we would have liked to carry out any green renovations earlier in the season so the greens have the best chance to recover with the higher growing temperatures. Unfortunately due to a congested fixture diary this wasn’t possible.
So what is hollow coring and why is it required ? Hollow coring is the removal of cores from the playing surface. The hole size can vary in diameter and depth depending on the reason required. The cores are ejected,cleared up and removed.
Why is it done ? With the volume of traffic we have it causes the ground to become compacted and hardened. This means drainage is less efficient and the grass roots are prevented from absorbing oxygen. Hollow coring allows the compacted turf to expand and air and moisture to be more easily absorbed. The coring helps address the problem of thatch.(Thatch is a layer of grass stems,roots and debris that settle and accumulate overtime). A thin layer is acceptable but too much thatch will hold water like a sponge.
Once the hollow coring was completed nearly 40 tonnes of top dressing sand was applied. This was to replace the removed material to help dilute thatch, restore surface levels and firmness, improve drainage and/or generally improve the overall quality of the root zone.