The number one problem on most greens throughout Europe if not the world, is the organic matter content in the top 40mm. The greens at Pike Hills are no different, as was highlighted by the STRI Report commissioned by the Golf Club earlier this year.
Getting over a tonne of sand into a green using a pedestrian Graden with a sand hopper calls for a lot of work. With sufficient Staff on the job a green can be treated and back in play in less than one hour. The system firms up the greens and has many benefits in reducing the problems associated with the build-up of thatch (organic matter).
One pass with Graden firms the greens as much as three hollow core passes.
Dr Ruth Mann BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, MBPR of the STRI conducted Organic Matter Control Trials throughout 2009 and 2010. These were conducted over 90 replica trial plots upon which all forms of aeration were carried out to include hollow tining, micro tining and the use of the Graden Sand Injection system. The results showed the Graden Sand Injection system was most effective and reduced the organic matter in the top 25mm of the test plot turf by 60%.
The Graden machine used on the greens to remove the thatch and fill the groves with seed and sand. We put 20 tonnes on all the greens. Hopefully we should see some germination in 2-3 weeks.