Traditionally, golf courses in the desert southwest aerate bermudagrass putting greens two or three times during the summer season. Golfers often comment that by the time greens heal from the first aeration – i.e., achieve acceptable surface smoothness and speed – it is time for the second aeration. Furthermore, some courses offer discount green fees following aeration. Therefore, a growing trend is to combine multiple aerations into one event – often conducted in mid-July when bermudagrass growth is optimum and the fewest rounds of golf are being played.
The technique of combining aeration events varies from course to course. Many aerate with 5/8-inch outside diameter tines – with depths varying from 3 to 6 inches – on 1.5 x 2-inch spacing followed by a second aeration that is offset 30 to 40 degrees. Often, the second aeration utilizes the same tine size and the same or wider spacing – e.g., 2 x 2-inch spacing – but slightly shallower depths. Although conducting multiple aerations takes more time, the time it takes putting surfaces to heal following combined aeration events generally is the same as recovering from a single aeration. Don’t believe it? Watch the video to see for yourself.