As you will have seen this week the ground staff have been very busy Hollow Corring the greens, this is some short term pain for long term gain!. detailed below is some of the processes and reasoning behind this work;
The hollow tining of greens is an essential part of most golf course maintenance programmes. It’s a recognised and proven technique carried out every year at most UK golf clubs. Here is the lowdown on what hollow tining is and why it occurs.
So what is hollow tining?
It’s the physical removal of cores of turf from a playing surface. The holes are generally 13-16mm in diameter and of varying depths depending on the reason for the tine. The cores are ejected, swept up and removed. They make excellent compost. When completed, a smaller mass of soil will occupy the same area of green/tee/fairway.
Why is it done?
Course traffic causes the ground to become compacted and hardened. This means drainage is less efficient and the grass’s roots are prevented from absorbing oxygen. Hollow tining allows the compacted turf to expand and air and moisture to be more easily absorbed.
The coring helps address the problem of thatch. (Thatch is a layer of grass stems, roots, and debris that settle and accumulate over time.) A thin layer is acceptable but too much thatch will hold water like a sponge and close the course more in winter.
Tining also removes accumulated fibre in the grass’s root zone. It allows for the exchange of a poor soil for a better one through top dressing. That’s why the greens are normally covered in sandy top dressing immediately after they’re cored. We have added in excess of 35 tonnes this week alone, with possibly another 30 tonnes planned for next week
In addition, coring allows for overseeding: another effective way of improving the quality of the playing surface.
When is it done?
Hollow tining is generally done out-with the main playing season: often in early autumn. It’s important that the tining is completed before the weather turns wet and cold so there’s time for growth and for the holes to seal up. So the best time to hollow tine is late August /early September, but this coincides with the playing season at most clubs. We will possibly look to hollow tine very early in the spring season in preparation for the season.
I hope this helps people understand a bit more the reason and methods of this process.