Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Why do we aerate greens?
Posting & Tracking Scores for Handicap or Factor
“The purpose of the Golf Canada Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable for golfers by providing a means of measuring one’s performance and progress and to enable golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.
Through this system, each golfer establishes a “Golf Canada Handicap Factor” which is a numerical measurement of a player’s potential (not actual) scoring ability on a course of standard difficulty.
The Handicap Factor is calculated using the best 10 of the player’s last 20 rounds and updated with each new round played. The Handicap Factor travels with the golfer from course to course and is adjusted up or down depending on the length and difficulty of the course played, resulting in a “Course Handicap”.
The Course Handicap is the number of strokes a golfer receives from a specific set of tees at the course played and represents the number of strokes he would require to play equitably against a “scratch” golfer (a golfer with a Handicap Factor of “0.0′). The more difficult the golf course, the more strokes the golfer receives and vice versa.”
Tracking your progress
Now let’s start tracking your progress, just for fun or if you want to participate in club events like men’s and ladies nights. Scores can be posted on the kiosk in the clubhouse or online at www.GolfCanada.ca this is one of the benefits to being a club member and member of GolfNB/GolfCanada.
On the Kiosk search using your last name. Online at GolfCanada.ca use your first and last name as you registered with the golf club. Password online initially is set as 123456 but can be changed when you login.
Posting scores: You can post scores hole by hole or 9 or 18 hole totals.
When you post total score you should be posting what is called an adjusted score, which are the maximum number of strokes you can take on a hole for handicap purposes. In other words adjusted after the round for posting only.
Another reason to post hole by hole is to assist us to analyse the actual difficulty of the holes on the course based on real scores of golfers of various handicaps.
Why do we aerate greens?
Consider that aerification is merely a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for the course. When you see them, remember that without those little holes, the greens would eventually die.
Aerification is a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for golf courses.
For grass to grow at 3/16-inch, they need to have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen.
Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the grass plants stay healthy.
In most cases, aerification involves removing 1/2-inch cores. The spaces are then filled with sand "topdressing" that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward.
Other aerification techniques use machines with "tines" or knives that simply poke holes through the soil profile.
A newer technique even uses ultra high-pressure water that's injected through the soil profile to create small holes that relieve some compaction but heal quickly.
Preventative maintenance is an integral part of successful golf course management. Golfers view aerification as an inconvenience that takes the greens out of play for a day, pulling cores from the greens and leaving holes that can affect putting for many days before healing. To add insult to injury, aerification is best done in many parts of the country during mid-summer, at the height of the playing season and when most greens are in prime condition.
But a golfer needs to understand how important aerification is to producing healthy turf.
Aerification achieves three important objectives. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green’s roots and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch.
Like so many things, the quality of a good putting green is more than skin deep. In fact, the condition of a green has a lot to do with what goes on below the surface. In order for grass to grow at 3/16-inch, it must have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen. In good soil, they get the oxygen from tiny pockets of air trapped between soil and sand particles.
Over time, the traffic from golfers’ feet (as well as mowing equipment) tends to compact the soil under the putting green – particularly when the soil contains a lot of clay. When soil becomes compacted, the air pockets on which the roots depend are crushed, and the roots are essentially left gasping for air. Without oxygen, the grass plants become weaker and will eventually wither and die.
Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the grass plants stay healthy. In most cases, it’s done by removing ½-inch cores (those plugs you sometimes see near a green or in fairways) from the compacted soil, allowing for an infusion of air and water that brings a resurgence of growth. The spaces are then filled with sand “topdressing” that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward.
Older greens often are constructed of soils with significant amounts of silt, clay and fine organic particles that are prone to compaction. Filling aerification holes with sand improves drainage and resists compaction. The periodic introduction of sand to a green’s top layer can over time, avoid or postpone expensive rebuilding or renovation of greens.
Finally, growing of turf adds to a layer of organic matter on the surface. This layer, called thatch, is an accumulation of dead stems, leaves and roots. A little organic matters makes for a resilient green, but too much invites diseases and insects. Topdressing with sand can prevent thatch buildup, and aerification is one of the best ways to reduce an existing layer and prevent an excess of thatch from becoming established.
Other aerification techniques use machines with “tines” or knives that simply poke holes through the soil profile. A new technique even uses ultra high-pressure water that’s injected through the soil profile to create small holes that relieve some compaction but heal quickly.
There are many types of aerifying machines with different attachments that address different problems in the various stages of the life of a green. So the next time you’re ready to scream when the aerifiers are brought on the course, remember that a little preventative maintenance produces the best greens over the long haul.