Hollow Tining
Greens Communication
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Hollow Tining/Coring
Why when our greens are possibly at their best does the green keeper insist in ruining our greens with this hollow tinning business?
If he has to do it why can’t he wait to the end of October when the golfing season finishes?
The answer to the first question is given in some detail below. The answer to the second question is that the hollow tinning process is very stressful to the grass plant and in order for the greens to recover quickly the process must be carried out at a point in the growing season where plant growth is still strong and the greens can recover quickly. If this process is executed too late in the growing season you could well be left with very poor bumpy greens well into the next playing season. So a little pain now could avoid a lot of pain later!
What is hollow tinning and why is it needed?
The primary purpose of hollow tinning is the removal of organic matter (commonly referred to as thatch) from the root zone of the grass plant. To keep organic matter content in the root zone of sand based greens below 3 to 4 %, the optimum for healthy turf, the USGA Greens Section recommends core aeration treatments that impact 15 to 20% of the putting surface each year. In our latest hollow tinning exercise surface thatch was first removed by verti-cutting which as the name suggests is cutting vertically into the grass canopy, to a depth of 3.5mm. This procedure is used to remove surface thatch, which is a layer of dead grass stems, roots and clippings which if left in place will result in a very soft top layer that starves the plant of oxygen and also is a rich breeding ground for numerous fungal diseases. Removal of this layer, coupled with the hollow coring keeps the greens healthy, allows the turf to breathe and absorb nutrients and facilitates the application of sand topdressing which keep the green surfaces firm and dry. The hollow tinning also reduces soil compaction, facilitates better water infiltration rates and promotes efficient gas exchange at the plant roots which is essential for healthy plant growth
All golfers hate the mere mention of this process. The greenkeeping industry has been trying for years to come up with less surface disruptive practices that deliver the same result but all efforts to avoid this have failed. There have been a number of research projects initiated and fancy new machines designed in an effort to eliminate the dreaded hollow tinning. However to date, all these efforts have seemed to work for maybe one season but all of them, if you excuse the pun, have, in the end, ran into the sand and hollow tinning had to be re-introduced sometimes after the greens have been completely lost.
So, much as we all hate it, hollow coring is a necessary evil and a pain that must be endured whether we like it or not

The work carried out last week by our Greenkeepers is captured in the following video clips:

Click the titles to open the videos

1. Verti-cutting

Cutting into the green canopy vertically to remove thatch

2. Hollow Coring

Two to three inches deep and two-inch spacing

3. Cores removed by tractor-mounted core collector

4. Cores loaded into utility machines for removal

5. Applying Top Dressing Sand- 70 to 80 tonnes for 22 greens.

6. Drag matting sand to get bulk of sand into core holes

7. Brushing sand into cores for a smoother finish

8. Final brushing and striping for visual ascetic

9. Greens lightly rolled to smooth out putting surfaces

10. Application of granular fertilizer to promote growth and rapid recovery

11. Final infilling by hand and machine.

Recovery is quickest if the weather remains fine.

The Greens Committee

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20.09.2018 10:29
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