Scott Bordner, RiverCrest Golf Club, Phoenixville, PA:
"The goals for fall aerification were to remove as much of the top organic matter as possible, give the roots oxygen to breath/create a gas exchange, relieve compaction, and create sand channels to increase water infiltration to the rootzone. The turf is very worn down at the end of the season and precaution must be taken with the turf to ensure proper recovery, therefore we perform a portion in-house and have a contractor bring in their less aggressive machines to finish it off.
We began by pulling smaller cores from the top 4" on a very tight spacing, allowing the top layer to breathe and dry out from all of the rain. The plugs were pulled to the side, hauled away, and any remaining debris blown off. We topdressed heavily with sand and brushed over the green twice to fill most of the holes.
On Tuesday we rolled the greens after they were dry to eliminate sand sticking to the drums and creating a mess. This set us up for Dryject to bring in their machines on Wednesday. These sand injection machines are the best at punching a straight sand channel through the profile. We adjusted the pressure way down for our greens to aggressively attack the top layer with a fat channel. This procedure is very labor intensive as the machine needs to be filled with buckets (we used nearly 40 tons of sand for three machines).
We followed that process with a brush and another roll before we added the organic fertilizer as the finishing touch. All goals were accomplished and the healing process has already begun.