Hollow Coring of Greens

Hollow coring is planned for the greens beginning on week commencing Monday 10 September 2012 weather permitting.  See fixture calendar for details of coring operations and play restrictions.

It may be useful for our members to note the following information in relation to the coring operations and why it is necessary.

All decisions regarding the maintenance of our course are taken after consultation with the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) and the Course Manager.

STRI provide specialist knowledge and advice to golf clubs and survey each course on an annual basis. This year, agronomist Andrew Windows, undertook this. His task is to survey our course and provided data from the same locations to compare, year on year, the progress of our course, and our greens team in dealing with issues raised previously.

In particular this means running tests on our greens to determine the quality of the playing surface (ball impact on landing, bobble on run etc). This includes several tests, which are sent to their laboratory for analysis. The main determinant of this is to establish levels of organic matter which contribute to “thatching”. This term is so dreaded by green staff as it leads ultimately to poor grass growth, poor drainage – poor greens.

The currently accepted treatment for this is hollow coring. This removes a high percentage of bacteria, replacing it with dried sand to counter the problems. New advances are in the area of chemical treatment, which is said to remove the need for hollow coring, but to date no scientific evidence is currently available that suggests that this actually works and is also at this moment very expensive.

The current STRI reports shows a build up in bacteria levels due to this process being unable to be completed in the last 2 years. They recommend that we undertake this treatment this year. There are two important criteria for this to be successful. First is dry weather so that the sand remains dry and runs easily into the holes (one fill and one top up). There also needs to be growth left in the season to enable the grasses to restore themselves to previous levels.

Currently the world`s most popular selling piece of greens equipment is the Toro Pro Core. We have secured a lease on such a machine to minimise the disruption to our playing season. The effect on our greens should be around 10 days, then recede. Courses that have already undertaken this treatment include Loch Lomond, Helensburgh and Paisley.

We have delayed this process to the week beginning 10 September due to our poor summer – this will, however, be weather dependent.

For further reading click the link below for an article by the USGA. Note that the article is based on USA practices where they generally core in spring however apart from this the principles remain the same.

Putting Green Aeration Article

Elderslie Golf Club, 63 Main Road, Elderslie PA5 9AZ | Telephone: 01505 320032