Spring Aerification

Spring is the time for us as Turfgrass Managers, to start thinking of the new season that will be upon us in just a few short months. It is an important time to prepare the turf for the stresses of the summer heat, and relentless pest pressure. To prepare the turf, we use a combination of cultural practices including the most important one, core aerification.

The turf grows in a unique environment, getting nutrients and life support from the soil. An ideal soil system is 50% insoluble material, while the other 50% is made up of 25% water, and 25% oxygen. If you noticed, I mentioned “ideal.” Over the winter months the soil has become saturated with water, and since the insoluble material cannot be displaced, oxygen is pushed from the soil system, leaving the turf in a less than desirable situation.

With that being said, as turf managers, we make the decision to core aerify the turf. The goal is to balance the soil’s three part system, while also removing unwanted thatch created by the natural attrition of the shoots, roots, and stems. The process also enhances nutrient uptake while the plant begins the root driving process. We remove about 10% of the turf’s surface. To offset thatch buildup, removal of 20% of the surface per year is recommended by the USGA. That gives us the reasoning behind the need of twice per year. Click here for the recommendations of the USGA.

Core aerification is a disruptive process. Playing conditions will be affected for up to four weeks, depending upon weather. An application of fertilizer, one week before aerification day, will get the plant growing rapidly. Expect reduced green speeds coming into aerification. The day of aerification, after we have filled the holes completely with sand, we will apply another application of fertilizer. The purpose of increased fertility during this process is to speed up the healing process and give the plant the nutrition it needs to grow roots.

2012 Spring Aerification Dates

  • April 25th and 26th.
  • As we are able Tees, Fairways and Approaches will be aerified during April.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS, MG

150 Marker Test

The 150 markers on the course used to be green posts. The posts became maintenance nightmares. The poles needed to be removable for playability purposes but, they became crooked and started to lean due to the repeated rrwmovaland replacement. They also were cumbersome for the rough mowers to hop of and remove while they were mowing. We have removed the posts and are looking at some replacement ornamental grasses.

The ornamental grasses will be inside a circle that we can easily maintain and the circle will be large enough for the rough units to maneuver around. The ornamental grasses will look better overall and be less labor intensive.
We are going to place the grasses near the putting green for the members to review. If you have a certain grass that you like please bring it to the golf committee, Trish or myself. We will bring the comments to the golf committee meeting for review.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Justin Ruiz, CGCS, MG

Timberline High School Golf Team

We have hosted Timberline High School's Golf team for two seasons now. Each season they make it a point to help us out with jobs on the golf course as a thank you for letting them make use of our golf facility. If you haven't seen the two teams out doing the extra work here are some pictures.


We had a ton of debris staged at the back of the range from the recent storm. The kids picked through the debris to get golf balls and walked the range to pull hundreds of plugged balls out of the ground.

This weekend a lot of kids have volunteered to caddie for the Indian Summer Master's tournament. Last year it was a great success. Next week they will have another work party on the course. They plan to sand and seed as much as possible throughout the golf course and practic area.


A big thanks goes out to Timberline from all of us on the maintenance staff. They have helped us out tremendously with clean up and course repair. We appreciate everything they have done.


We wish you the best of luck for your 2012 season.


Thank you,


Justin Ruiz, CGCS, MG and all of us at maintenance.



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