We converted our greens from bentgrass to Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass in July of 2003 and for the first 4-5 years our greens were as close to perfect as we could make them. The turfgrass plants were young and had not produced a distinct mat or organic layer at that time. When the economy made its downturn around 2009-2010 the decision was made to lessen our aerification practices to try and keep the golfers happy, keep the cash register ringing and try to limit the downtime of the greens during the summer golfing season.
I know "aerification" is thought of in many golfers circles as a lengthy four letter word but it has to be done. The USGA Green Section recommends the removal of 15-20% of the greens surface in a single year and through our practices over the past years we have only been getting between 8-10%.
We will be using a 3/8" coring tine on a 1.5" x 2" spacing. The cores will be removed from the green and the topdressing drug in, greens mowed, greens rolled, and watered heavily. I do not think this will be overly disruptive to the putting surface since we did the back of #9 green last week and to my knowledge no one even knew we did it.
We will be working all summer to remove the organic layer in our greens. Our large core aerifications will be performed on June 3 and 4 and August 4 and 5. We will also be performing spot aerification on some of the weaker greens at other times during the summer months.
Over the past several years the popularity of ultradwarf bermudagrass greens has taken off in the South, especially here in Chattanooga. As I said, I don't want to sound like a "know it all", but if you are a superintendent growing an ultradwarf bermudagrass or a member or owner of a course that has ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, please do not make the mistake of skimping on proper aerification practices. It will come back to bite you and when you least need it to.