Drenched July 3, 2015 By John Daniels, agronomist, Central Region

Whether you prefer to use bayonet tines, cross tines, needle tines, or a spiker, venting is vital to sustaining healthy turfgrass during stressful weather. 

Consecutive weeks of moderate to heavy rainfall spanning across the Central Region has disrupted many routine golf course maintenance operations. As a result, numerous important cultural practices scheduled during this period have been postponed. With the saturated state of affairs we are setting up for a tough summer.

While we cannot make up for all the rounds lost because of rainouts, there still is time to address agronomic issues before the onset of summer stress. Don’t wait until the heat of summer to begin venting your putting greens. Instead, be ahead of the curve. Start venting greens once conditions are firm enough to accommodate aeration equipment without causing damage. If you don’t have access to an aerator, try using a spiker. Opening the surface to promote a more favorable balance of air and moisture in the upper soil profile is critical to maintaining what roots you do have. Smaller-diameter solid tines are recommended to limit surface disruptions and allow for quicker recovery, especially for those managing cool-season putting greens.

Golfers need to be cognizant that extra cultivation, like venting, probably will be necessary throughout the summer given the recent wet weather. Hopefully, communication and education will lead to understanding and patience.

For more information on the topic please review: Venting Aeration—A Benefit To Putting Greens


Source: John Daniels (


Central Region Agronomists:

Bob Vavrek, agronomist –

John Daniels, agronomist –


Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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