New life has been given to the playing surfaces at East Renfrewshire GC in Glasgow following the arrival of a Wiedenmann Terra Spike XP6 aerating machine provided by Fairways GM, the Wiedenmann exclusive UK dealer for Scotland.
One of the key tasks faced by course Manager Barry Nichol, who was promoted to the top job six months ago after serving for 10 years as the deputy, was to identify an aerator to target historic deep-lying compaction on greens. The club, a notable moorland course, designed by James Braid, celebrates its centenary this year and has traditional clay push-up greens, many plateau style.
“Most have an ash layer about 10 inches down, so we needed something to hit and go through that to break compaction,” said Nichol. “We’ve been redraining two or three every year, and you can see progress, but regular deep aeration is essential.”
After discussion with Rob Hogarth, Fairways GM’s Regional Sales Manager, and Stuart Cameron, Area Demonstrator, Nichol opted for a new Wiedenmann Terra Spike XP6, the deepest machine in the company’s fleet.
The XP6 arrived at the beginning of December, enough for several outings before Christmas, all using 20mm diameter tines and around 5° of heave.
Nichol said: “You always get good advice from the GM team, as many are former course managers and greenkeepers themselves. The ability to go to 14-16 inches with wider tines was required. Deep compaction layers need a bigger tine to break them up. It is great to shard through the compacted layers of the soil’s profile to allow air, water, and nutrients through, and while it would have suited us well to get more done before the year end, we made a good start. The XP reaches so far down, leaves a clean hole and does exactly the job we need. The 1.6 m width suits us as we have a few tight spots to turn.”
East Renfrewshire GC is set 500 feet above sea level and its distinctive moorland credentials ensure it is always busy.
“When you are talking greens, even in winter, we have to be mindful of disruption to the surface,” added Nichol, “Tining up to three times in the off season will probably be enough. In the playing season, aeration must be discrete. We still need to break up compaction layers just below the surface to keep it loose for drainage, so we will only ever pencil tines to a depth of 120-150 mm, but you could have a particularly wet or dry summer, so the knack is to choose when to go if the conditions are right.”