We do a number of things to the greens at Camp Creek to maintain the health of the turf. Turf health is dependant on a number of factors such as the proper amount of water, acceptable soil type, soil nutrition, soil aeration, etc. These conditions become more important when the turf is maintained at a mowing height of .100”. One of the ways that we keep the turf healthy is to quadratine the greens. This process involves removing a small ¼” plug around 2.5” deep on 1” X 1” centers. One of the main objectives is to remove as much of the thatch (organic matter) as possible. This operation is accomplished as follows:
Aerify green w/ ¼” quad tines on 1” X 1” centers, let plugs dry, drag green with a steel drag mat. This removes the soil from the plugs and allows this soil to fall back into the holes. Blow plugs to center of green with Buffalo blower, rake plugs into a pile and load them into a scooter for removal, blow green again with Buffalo blower, blowing off any remaining plugs, verticut green with the blades set at 1/16” below the rollers, double mow green with cleanup mowers using a counter clockwise cleanup. These mowers are set at .120”. Brush greens with Greens Groomer brush, roll green then irrigate for 3 minutes. The greens are not mowed at .100” after rolling to limit scalping. The greens are rolled again the next morning then mowed at .100”. This process that we use is less intrusive than the process that most people use thereby leaving the greens much more puttable. The down side to our process is that it must be done more often. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the process that allows us to accomplish our turf health goals as well as produce the smoothest putting surface possible. The next scheduled quadratining of the greens at Camp Creek is set for Monday, May 12th. If you would like to see this process in action, give me a call at 850-231-7610 and plan on coming out the morning of May 12th.