Golf course aeration is the annual practice of punching small holes into the turf. Aeration is meant to provide more room for grassroots to grow and keep the common Bermuda grass turf healthy. Golf course groundskeepers consider aeration a necessary practice for healthy turf. These holes allow fresh air to get underneath the green and allows excess soil water to evaporate.
The Process of aeration is actually quite simple. Large mechanical aerators are available for the job. They can be hitched to the back of a tractor or truck and guided across the turf for even aeration. As the machine passes over the grass, the machine punches holes in the ground while simultaneously removing the dirt (also called plugs). Water and air are then infused, and new space is made for the growth of new roots.
After the initial aeration process, the holes are then “topdressed”, or plugged with sand. After this process, the grass is left alone. The topdressing eventually disappears with watering. All in all, it takes a week for the turf to get back to normal.
Why Aerate Golf Courses?
Though it isn’t a popular process among golfers or golf course owners, aeration is necessary as it keeps the entire course at its healthiest. It’s better to maintain the grass you do have properly, than start from scratch with new common Bermuda grass seeds! Aeration provides:
- Loosened soil that was previously packed in by the weight of golfers, golf carts, and other machines.
- More room for roots to grow, which is especially important for grass with wide-set roots – one of the characteristics of common Bermuda grass, which is frequently used for golf turf.
- More deeply rooted, stable grass for a healthier overall putting surface.
What About the Holes?
If you’re a frequent golfer, the holes that occur with aeration can be a little irritating when you’re trying to play. Right after aeration, it might be best to stay home if you get easily frustrated – aeration holes can be very annoying. They can still be annoying after the next week or so, but eventually, they’ll go away and you’ll forget all about them.
In a standard golf game, there are in fact rules about aeration holes. If your ball ends up on top of an aeration hole, that’s the spot you’ll be putting from on your next turn – no exceptions! That is of course unless you’re playing a friendly game in which you can bend the rules a little. But overall, aeration holes aren’t seen in the rulebook as an abnormal ground condition.
Though you may not like it, aeration is an important process that ensures your golf course stays in top shape. Without it, you might end up with a course that feels even rougher than it does during the first week of aeration! Want to learn more about how aeration works on common Bermuda grass? The experts at Stover Seed have all the answers you need. Reach out to our team for more information.
Aeration is a process essential to keeping golf courses lush and healthy. Though the initial process is simple, the time it takes for the turf to get back to normal can take weeks – but the results are well worth it. Groundskeepers use a machine to make thousands of holes across their golf turf, providing the grassroots the chance to expand, and take in more water and air. Unfortunately, an aerated golf course can be a bit of a pain while you’re trying to improve your game. Don’t worry. Though these holes can be a little aggravating at first, you’ll barely notice them in a week’s time!