Meet Marty Crowe
This month we’re coring the golf course – an essential maintenance we do every year which sees the putting greens aerated to loosen the soil and help air moisture and nutrients get to the roots. We thought we’d take the time therefore to talk to Marty Crowe - The Vintage’s Golf Course Superintendent - about the process and the work that goes into keeping our course in tip top condition!
How long have you worked at The Vintage?
I began working at the vintage in 2005.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
It’s an early 5:30am start for the team with a pre-start meeting and the assigning of daily duties. We let the Pro Shop know any relevant information they may need to communicate to guests regarding the golf course (such as pesticide applications etc.). We then follow up on work being performed with particular attention to greens surfaces, quality of cut and check for disease and pest activity.
How long does coring the course take?
Staffing, weather and breakdowns are the main variables that affect the time it takes to undergo the course renovation process. Starting from Sunday afternoon we aim for all greens to be scarified, cored and cleaned off by Monday afternoon. The first pass with top dresser is to be completed and brushed in by Tuesday afternoon. Extra passes and brushing will continue as needed for the remainder of the week.
Why is this such an important process?
This process allows for better movement of water and oxygen through the root zone and helps reduce unwanted organic matter. This makes for a surface that is nicer to play on and will better handle the stresses of summer.
Do you do just the greens or the fairways as well?
During this week we scarify fairways and reduce the height of cut to aid thatch removal. Tees are also scarified and height of cut reduced for thatch removal. In addition to this, we solid-tine the tees to aid the movement of water and oxygen through the rootzone.
Can golfers play straight after or does the course need time to renew?
Once we are completed the golf course reopens for play. Putting can be a challenge on freshly cored and top dressed surfaces with the golf ball not being allowed to roll as truly as it normally would. The following weeks after coring the greens will be frequently rolled and dusted (light top dressing) as sand settles in the core holes. Once the new growth fills out the sward, the height of cut will also be lowered improving overall consistency.
Can you share some tips for keeping your lawn at home healthy and happy?
A great tip for keeping your lawn healthy at home is understanding what is giving you trouble and the correct timing of applications for that particular problem. If it’s weeds, try to time control methods before they set seed and are given a chance to spread. If it is insect issues, understand the time of year they are active, a correctly timed preventative application might mean you don’t see any turf decline in your lawn.