Golf Course Aeration Season is Upon Us!

Posted by Cole Handley on Mar 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

It's aeration season. Come to Poppy Hills to take a break from your home club.

Golf course aeration season is upon us…..well most of us, that is.

I’m not sure which is a dirtier word, shank or aerate? I prefer the replacements of lateral and vent.

All jokes aside, I know it’s that time of year when every other phone caller asks, "When are you guys aerating?"....which brings us to this week’s topic.

The Importance of an Effective Aeration Schedule for Maintaining Long-Term, High-Quality Turf

Do you ever notice that right when your home club's greens are absolutely perfect, the superintendent strolls in throwing around that dirty word?

Well, there’s a reason for that. Having an effective aeration schedule and program is imperative to maintaining high-quality turf over a long-term basis. And the key to a quick recovery is to do your “punching” when the turf as at its healthiest. March, April and May bring the ideal soil temperatures,  healthiest greens and longest days of the year to Pebble Beach. Unfortunately for us all, we will most likely be pondering the "auto two putt" rule when setting our gambling bets on the 1st tee.

When guests ask, “Well, how are the greens?” it's typcially a tough conversation to have. Each course has its own method and strategy on how to best handle this invasive process, which ranges from .25 in cores and light topdressing to .75 cores with heavy dressing.

The Condition of Poppy Hills' Greens During Aeration Season

In discussing the topic with Poppy Hills Golf Course Superintendent Matt Muhlenbruch I couldn’t be more happy or confident that Poppy Hills' greens will be at the very top condition during this aeration season.

"Having newer greens and staying consistent with topdressing, allows us to vent the greens early in the season with a very small core creating a very minimal effect on roll and best of all getting us back into prime shape while most other clubs are firing up the aerators and looking at a 2-3 week recovery period." -- Matt Muhlenbruch, Poppy Hills Golf Course Superintendent

With that said, asking a Super when the greens are going to be “pure” is like asking the golf pro if it’s going to rain next week. The short answer is, "It depends on the weather."

If your home club has just been aerated, what do you do?

  1. First Solution: Come play your "home away from home" at Poppy Hills. Our venting takes place on March 5th. It will be a distant thought by the end of that week.
  2. Second Solution: Embrace it. It’s just like when you bury a ball in the face of a bunker. Do you go on crying about it or do you roll up the pant legs, dig in the spikes and swing for the fences? I don’t know what this says about my golf game but I love putting on aerating greens, all you have to do is aim it at the hole and hit it hard, right? As I often tell my students and employees, only you get to chose your attitude. If aerated greens are the worst thing that ever happens to you I’d say you're doing pretty good!

The Greens Conditions We All Know and Love

I’ll wrap it up with this: Nobody wants the greens and course to be in better shape than the golf course superintendent -- and they are the experts. They will do absolutely everything in their power to get us back to the conditions we have been so fortunate to be accustomed to expecting. This year, when the opportunity presents itself, I encourage you to thank your Super for doing what he/she must do, wish them luck on the weather and aim it straight and hit it hard.    

Thank you for reading! We'll be back soon with another blog post. And in the meantime, we hope to see you at Poppy Hills golf club this March.

If you'd like to reserve a tee time, please click the button below to fill out an online form. Or, if you have questions or would like to talk live with someone from Poppy, please call us at (831) 250-1819.

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Topics: Poppy Hills