Monday, September 26, 2011

What a drag

Now that we are finished with greens, tees, approaches, and most green surrounds, our aerification efforts are now focused on fairways.  As we have done in the past few years, we will pull cores using our Wiedenmann Terra Spike XF.  We have some 10 inch tines on the machine, but we can only get a depth between 5-6 inches before the tractor bogs down.

After the cores are pulled and allowed to dry just a bit, we hit them with our new drag mat, Par Aide's Core Buster.  So far, I like this one better than our usual metal drag mats.  It is better, in my opinion, for a number of reasons.  It is plastic and much lighter to load and unload.  The individual cells are larger so plugs do not get stuck to the mat.  The cells are deeper so plugs bounce up and down many times before exiting the ride.  Finally, it looks like it will hold up much longer and when it does need repair, you can replace one square instead of the whole thing. 

After a few passes with the drag mat, we hit the fairway with a tractor mounted blower and move on to the next one.  We'd prefer to pick up all the plugs and topdress with some sand to improve drainage and fairway firmness.  This year, we will skip the sanding to save on funds with hopes to get back to it in the future.  The sand would be great, but pulling out the plugs is the major benefit of the practice, producing drain channels for the winter rains that are coming up in the rear view mirror.  I miss summer already.