Monday, November 4, 2013

Lowering the front collar of #5 green

The collars on the front of some of our greens that are flatter can become artificially raised from the years of topdressing sand.  Sand can be blown to these areas during major aeration projects or the natural turning on the topdressor and turning off the machine can lead to more sand being applied to these areas right off the edge of the green surface.  Raised collars can slow water from going off the front of the green and or trap water from going off the green.  In a way, the higher collars create a bath tub effect which is never good for bent grass turf.  Excessive moisture creates a number of issues:
  • Softened conditions which contribute to bigger ball marks, spike marks and poor ball roll out.
  • Removes oxygen from the soil and creates a anaerobic or oxygen deprived soil profile which contributes to poor root systems and easily damaged turf.
  • Encourages disease both surface borne and root.
  • Encourages poa annua to become the dominant turf because it loves excess moisture.
  • Elevated soil temperatures during the summer heat which can damage root systems.  Moisture is a great conductor of heat.

One of our worst greens for this issue was #5.  I was hoping to get this situation corrected last fall during the bunker project but we were just too strapped for time.  The moisture from last week softened conditions enough today and we tackled the problem right before lunch.  We removed one pass 18" of green height sod from the front of 5 green since it was beginning to elevate up to the collar.  We removed about 12' of collar/approach sod and laid it out to use over once the soil was leveled.  We left about 6' of sod on the outer edge of both sides of the approach.  Once the sod was removed, we took out 1-3" of excess sand which had built up over the years.  Upon removal of the sand, the sod was laid back in place.  We will be lightly sanding the sod cracks to reduce the potential for the sod to dry out and will do some light topdressing before winter sets in.  Once the turf begins growing again next spring, we will do some additional smoothing of the surface with sand.  The overall health of 5 green should improve with the evacuation of excessive water from the front area of the green.  

Staff cutting pieces of the approach on #5 and laying it on the boards in the order it was removed.

Same  as above.

After the sod was removed, we hand shoveled and raked the area smooth.  We then used our  laser level to insure the water would move away from the green.  Once that was complete, we used our compactor to smooth the surface of the area before laying the sod back in place.  Of course Lady is checking out our work as usual!  She did approve.

The staff edging the sod back in place to the existing grade on the side of the approach.    As you can see the green does slope from back to front but does flatten out at the front of the green.  When we pulled the row of sod off the green, there was a anaerobic black layer of disgusting smelling sand in the front of the green.  The fronts of our greens do have a tendency to hold extra water since we do not have drainage but they will not hold as much with water being able to move more freely off of the green with the lowered collar during rain events.

The finished product.  This area will be painted as Ground Under Repair.  Please walk around this area the rest of this season and please move your ball from this area before playing your next chip or putt.

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