Every maintenance measure is associated with a restriction of play. The measures described below are maintenance measures that are necessary for the regeneration of the turf. The more the golf course is used and the less favourable the weather conditions are on the course, the more important regeneration measures become.
An important prerequisite for maintaining and using the lawns or for playing on them is, among other things, sufficient permeability of the turf for water. The frequent overloading (by footfall but also by maintenance machines) of individual playing elements of a golf course, especially the tees and greens, leads to compaction. This compaction makes the use of mechanical measures absolutely necessary in order to maintain the function of these stressed turf areas. In addition to this overloading of the turf, there are other natural reasons to carry out regeneration measures.
For example, lawn grasses - due to the natural formation of new shoots - form a permanent felt. Lawn felt is therefore organic material that increasingly forms on depleted, biologically weak soils (e.g. golf greens). This felt layer, which consists of dead grass shoots and roots, leads to soft greens when wet (often the cause of slow greens!) and acts like a sponge that prevents the soil (turf base layer) from being evenly moistened. This in turn results in these lawns being more susceptible to fungal pathogens. The roots do not grow into the soil, but only spread in a shallow upper layer. This reduces water and nutrient permeability to deeper layers. The turf is not very resilient. Excessive felting can lead to major problems during play (e.g. waterlogging and/or dry spots on the greens).
To prevent the formation of felt layers, the organic material is cut vertically with rotating blades during scarification and then removed. Since grass growth is most pronounced in the months of April to July, more frequent scarifying is recommended during this time.
Andy Wale / Greenkeeping Team