The project on #1 Green at BVCC is coming along nicely. The improved drainage continues to function well which has contributed to the overall health of the green. The sod, which has been transplanted for three weeks, has tacked down into the soil. The sod seams are growing in and the turf is beginning to put down some very healthy roots. This is a great sign of a successful establishment phase.
Now that the sod has established itself, we have begun the next phase of the project which is to begin getting it playable. The main concern with playability when you sod a green is getting it level so the ball does not bounce all over when you strike a putt. To help with smoothness, we have been mowing and rolling the green every 2 to 3 days.
Another practice we have been doing to help smooth and level the sod has been top-dressing. When we top-dress, we apply sand at a heavy rate. We then use a brush to “broom” the sand into the canopy of the turf. The low spots within the sod get a little extra sand as the brush goes across the sod. The turf then grows through the sand, which then helps to level out the green. An easier way to picture this is by thinking about when you fill a divot. When you fill a divot with sand, the turf around it grows into the sand which keeps the playing surface, whether it is a tee box or fairway, level. The same is happening on #1 Green except the green is also getting help from the turf underneath the sand. We will continue this topdressing program at least once per week until we get all the low spots level with the rest of the green.
An additional practice we will begin next week will be aerifying. When we aerify, we will be removing part of the sod layer than inhibits water, fertilizer and air from getting to the roots. Not only does this help with plant health, but it also helps with play-ability. After aerifying, we will roll the sod and use that same topdressing method to continue smoothing out the surface.
While the project on #1 Green has been very tedious and time consuming, we have been very pleased with the process so far and we continue to be thankful for your patience during this project.
Golf Course Superintendent
Bella Vista Country Club