We had some good fall weather and a couple of weeks ago, we had a member/guest event scheduled, so you always struggle with when do we aerate? Do we wait until the last minute and then run the risk of getting caught by inclement weather?
You can’t get caught, but it’s also difficult to schedule aeration. The course comes first, but you don’t want to have 18 fairways cored when you have a one-day member/guest going on. We aerated before the member/guest and they were going to go hard at it afterwards.
The course has to be No. 1. Years ago, it might have been that we needed the revenue, so it might have more important that the golf course be open than to be cored. However, the golf course is your most important asset. You’ve really got to take care of it and take time for maintenance.
You can’t just do it once and then, forget about it for three years. It’s an ongoing maintenance issue like putting oil in your car. Try not putting oil in the car for a year or two and see what happens.
In the case of a golf course, it’s what’s under the green that’s most important. Sure, the surface has to be nice and quick, but if you don’t aerate, you’re going to have thatch which, in essence, is just disease – it gets in there, holds moisture and spreads disease.
The key to balancing revenue and aeration times is scheduling. You know you’re doing it every year and most golf courses do a small aeration mid-season.
We’ve been talking to our entire team about next year and when we will aerate and what days we will topdress.
If you get it into the schedule early, everybody is aware of it. We know it’s best for the golf course and that it has to get done. Then, as those dates approach, the members are aware of it, the public is aware of it and the staff knows it’s coming up.
Communication is important when it comes to everybody who has a stake in the golf course being aware of this important maintenance issue.