It’s the first week in November and temperatures are starting to drop. Octobers average temp was 10.4 degrees Celsius, nearly double last years. With this in mind our main efforts have been in maintaining grass growth and keeping playing surfaces as good as possible for as long as possible. Not forgetting the leaves that are steadily falling around the course.
The drop in temps has slowed growth down and allowed us to make a start on bunker renovations, however the main focus of this blog post is going to be on the Air2G2.
You may have seen me out using this strange machine during the week and wondering what it is and does. The Air2G2 is a machine used for aeration a lot like the Verti-drain but the main difference is that it leaves very little disturbance in its wake. The machine has 3 probes that are inserted into the greens subsurface. The 2 outside probes work at a depth of 11 inches and the middle probe at 6 inches. Once in the subsurface compressed air is blasted out vertically and horizontally through 10 small holes at the tip of each probe. The middle probe works at a lower depth to create a wave effect of air that shoots throughout the subsurface shattering any compaction build up. It’s basically keyhole surgery for grass, minimal disturbance on the surface but very invasive beneath.
The machine I used was on demonstration from the local dealership Greenlay. We were very fortunate to have it at Ponteland for the week as it is a machine in high demand. This is due to how well it targets the subsoil with little disturbance. It is absolutely essential to carry out autumn aeration to relieve compaction from the seasons play and also to head into winter with free draining surfaces. With the Air2g2 we have done this and kept the surfaces playing well, if you only play at weekends you would be hard pushed to see any evidence of aeration. When Verti-draining, the surfaces are full of holes and can take weeks to recover.
Here is a short video I made whilst using the Air2g2.
After using the Air2g2 this week I can say it’s a fantastic machine and it does exactly what it claims. I would recommend anybody to try it……. BUT do we need to rush out and buy one?!? I’m confident that we have a very good aeration program throughout the year and we keep ontop of any compaction that occurs. The biggest benefit of having this machine is for the members, if they don’t want to see disturbance to the surfaces then this is the machine to use. If they are happy with the current program/disturbance then I think hiring it in the future would be best.
The only down side to the Air2g2 is that because it doesn’t create a high number of holes in the surface we cannot apply sand after use whereas with the Verti-drainer we have the option to follow up with a heavy sand application.