Hobbit’s Glen Aerification Updates and Information

The greens at Hobbit’s Glen will be aerified during the week of March 5. During this week, the back nine will closed on March 5 and March 6 and the front nine will be closed on March 7 and 8. The greens will be aerified using ½” coring tines. The greens will be topdressed, brushed and rolled after. There will be small sand filled holes (1/2”) visible for an estimated four weeks, with the exact duration of these conditions being weather dependent.

Renovations started on February 26 to the cart path on Hole #13. The portion of the path that will be replaced stretches from the beginning of the fairway to the black tee on Hole #14. This portion of the path will also need to be backfilled with soil and sodded. Because the area between the fairway and cart path is not very wide, we are evaluating the benefits of sodding from the path to the edge of the fairway. This project will take approximately two weeks to complete. During this process, Hole #13 will remain open with modified tee placements to enable the construction process.

It is important to know the factors that are taken into consideration when assessing the scheduled timing of aerification projects. Aerification is scheduled based on recovery time, the golf calendar, labor availability and to minimize annual bluegrass encroachment. Taking these factors into consideration led to two options for timing our spring aerification.

One option is to aerify in mid-May because bentgrass and other cool season grasses are at a 100% peak growth potential. This factor will allow the greens to heal the quickest during this time. This is typically after annual bluegrass has already germinated, so there is less risk for annual bluegrass encroachment. With that being said, the course is typically in great condition this time of year; the fairways are greening up, the rough is in great shape – and then we disrupt the greens if we aerify.

The other option was to aerify in early March. The bentgrass is not growing but the temperatures are typically too cold for annual bluegrass germination. The greens take significantly more time to heal due to the cooler temperatures, although less rounds are impacted this early in the season.

Both times of year have unique advantages and disadvantages that must be weighed during the decision making process. Last year, we aerified in May in order to prevent further annual bluegrass encroachment and to reduce the recovery time. We received a lot of feedback that members preferred for the greens to be aerified in March, despite the longer heal time.

Our decision to move forward with the early March time frame for aerification is a direct reflection of the value we place as organization on the voice of our members. From an agronomic perspective, we believe we can aerify in early March, prior to annual bluegrass germination. This timeline is contingent on our effective use of pre-emergent herbicides to prevent further annual bluegrass encroachment. Aerifying in March is consistent with our goal for the course to be in peak condition for as much of the year as possible.

Below are links to two articles discussing more information regarding greens aerification and aerification timing.

USGA-Why do golf courses aerate so much?

Adam Moeller-Core Cultivation: Timing is Everything