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Slicing on fairways/fields/padang bola

Posted by mynormas on June 7, 2011


Many – or maybe I should say all – Malaysian golf courses would do cultural practice on their greens. They would dethatch, they would scarify and they would aerate them by hollowtine at least once a year, more often, twice a year. But rarely do we see the same thing being done on fairways or fields; whether football or municipal.

Why not?

Most of the time it is because the size of the area demands that a lot of resources; machinery and manpower have to be devoted to complete the job. In the case of dethatching or hollowtining, we will have to get rid of the

Many machines needed to just collect the thatch. Not all in picture; the trailer not here.

thatch and cores and over the size of the 18 holes; that is a lot of stuff. Plus the work will also be in the way of the golfers. If the weather is unkind, a sudden downpour halfway through the job may mean a messy fairway for days if not weeks.

should we?

You mean should we actually do these cultural practice on fairways, roughs or fields? Of course lah! For the same reasons that we do the work on the greens. The fairway has thatch, it needs aeration, bla bla bla. We may not need to do it at the same frequency or intensity of the green, but do it we must. In fact, for areas close to the green like approach and collars, perhaps we shuld do it at the same intensity. Because they are played on  with almost the same pressure as on the green.  Plus with too much thatch, there will be less ball roll espcially when wet. Same principal for padang bola too coach. The thatch acts like a sponge holding water.

How?

I would recommend dethatching to be done at least once a year. And hollow-tining too. The thatch will have to be sweeped and disposed. The cores can be flailed or perhaps mown with a rotary to break them up (I’ve never actually tried that though) and then dragged as topdressing.

Really?

I understand, it is tough to do, what with not enough equipment and the pressure of trying to fit in as many golfers as possible during the dry periods and these works can’t be done in the wet season. So what can be done alternatively 1. Do it only at the landing areas (though you may get fairways with different characteristics) 2. Do it only on selective fairways (but do it on whole fairways) or 3. Slice.

A slicer that is used regularly.

Now we get to the punchline for this whole post. Why are some golf courses, football fields, padang bola letting their slicers rust in the workshop? I seen it with my own eyes. The slicer, can be used frequently to help water and air penetrate through to help the micro environments under the thatch to do their stuff. Slice the fairway once every two months alternating with rough; that way, we could create a contrast between rough and fairway more. Some golf courses have this expensive small flags to mark their sprinklers, but I used to have workers who mark the sprinklers with oil palm leaves (not fronds) that they can afford to just leave there after the operation or let the mower run over.

Slicing during dry season tends to leave a dry edge to the sliced turf but it is temporary and I think it is better than the alternative; localized dry spots!

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