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Turf Talk: Compacted Tees

Currently a good percentage of the tees on the golf course are quite firm, leading to difficulty
getting a tee in the ground. This issue has been especially noticeable during periods of drought
with temporary relief following periods of rain. However, this does not mean that the underlying issue with tee firmness is due to moisture; instead it is by product of compaction.

Compaction can cause many issues including poor oxygen levels in the soil, nutrient runoff,and water runoff, which all in turn lead to a very poor and excessively firm growing environment.This compaction essentially “seals off” the soil not allowing much water to penetrate. This is why decreases in firmness are typically only seen after large amounts of rainfall. Small amounts of rain or irrigation cannot penetrate well enough to make much of difference.


The Oaks Course photo

The solution is simple: aerification.

However, this is not the time of year to perform aerification. The plan going forward is to keep the tees as moist as possible, which without rain to aid will be difficult (heads would have to run for hours to match heavy rainfall) until the start of the 2018 growing season. When growing conditions are favorable we will be able to aerify the tees at least once, but hopefully twice in order to relieve this compaction. Also the plan is to use a cheap organic fertilizer 1 to 2 times per season, which provides a much slower release but at the same time adds organic matter to the soil which aids in water retention. Lastly a wetting agent will be used to help keep the surface from “sealing off” and be available for water uptake.


Turf Talk John



Turf Talk is brought to you by Oaks Course Superintendent, John Fields. Stay tuned for more about the turf of our course and additional information as we roll out this new blog series!

11240 Brown Bridge Road
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 786-3801