Grass Clippings


Dear Members & Friends,

Hello from the grounds department! Aerification time has come and gone and Mother Nature smiled down on us once again with the entire process only taking two weeks! Aerification holes on the greens were already filling in after only 7 days! As always, we thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of year. This is a necessary part of the maintenance program, and you can expect putting green conditions to be outstanding in the spring and throughout the 2014 season.

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Core Aerification is one of the dirty words of turfgrass maintenance. Give a veteran superintendent a dollar for every time he has heard, “Why do you punch holes in our greens just when they start to look good?” and he would be a wealthy man. Unfortunately, today’s players are even less tolerant of core aerification.

This attitude has resulted in less frequent or smaller tine core aerification. An important purpose of core aeration is the physical removal of unwanted organic matter from the upper portion of the root zone. When core aeration is neglected, the upper portion of the profile can be an inhospitable place for plant roots to grow. The pore space in a dense organic layer is dominated by small, water-filled capillary pores, while the large air-filled macropores are lacking. Oxygen is necessary for the plant to carry out respiration, which is the conversion of stored food to energy. Respiration takes place in the roots and, therefore, good air exchange in the upper soil profile is vital to plant survival. Aerification of turfgrass is a necessary evil (cultural practice) to maintain healthy plants. Benefits are thatch control, compaction relief, beneficial air and gas exchange to the root zone, improved water movement, greater nutrient penetration, increased shoot and root growth and improved soil structure. All of these are vital to a healthy stand of grass mowed at less than .120 inches. A healthy stand of grass naturally recycles organic matter into the upper soil profile of greens when roots, shoots, stolons, and other plant parts are replaced throughout the season. This organic matter accumulation must be removed with core aeration! The medicine (aerification) does not always taste good but a healthy patient (grass) is worth the effort and inconvenience! It is always our goal to make aerification as painless as possible.

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I would like to take a minute and introduce the major players on the grounds staff and the guys who play an integral roll in the overall look and feel of your club. My assistant grounds superintendent and right hand man is Jason Larabee. Jason has been with the club now for four full seasons and has a huge knowledge base along with a great eye for detail. Sam Holysz is the equipment technician at your club. Sam has been at the club for four seasons as well and comes to us with years of experience in building maintenance, equipment repair and fabrication. If there is anything that’s broken around the club or in need of repair, Sam is generally called in to rectify the situation and he really can fix just about anything.

The grounds staff is in full leaf cleanup mode. The irrigation system will be winterized soon and snow mold applications on greens, tees and fairways will be made in the next couple of weeks. Come out and enjoy your club this winter as we are working on some fun and exciting winter activities for your enjoyment. As always, if there is anything my staff or I can do to make your experience here at the club more enjoyable, please don’t hesitate to call. See you all around the club this winter!

Best Regards,

Jesse Shaver
Grounds & Facilities Manager
(269) 998- 4407