For decades, we have been topdressing and adding sand through aerification practices to golf greens. These practices, for the most part, have had an excellent impact on the overall playability of putting surfaces. For instance, smooth putting greens can be created from these practices. However, there are a few drawbacks for greens.

As excess sand is brought in or blows off of the green, it tends to build up in the taller, surrounding collar. This can result in issues with consistent ball roll and increased scalping on cleanup cuts. In addition, the accumulation of sand in the collar can create water damage from lack of air or from winter freeze/ thaw cycles, which are due to the water’s inability to freely flow from the green. The latter has caused some significant problems in Northeast Ohio this year as winter ended and the snow melted. The solution for this “dam collar syndrome” is actually pretty simple. Aerification got you into this mess, and it will also get you out.

Core aerate your collars with 1/4” – 1/2” tines and harvest the cores. Repeat the process as soon as you cannot see open holes in the collars. Over the course of one season, enough material will be removed so that the collar’s soil height will match that of the green. It will be helpful to treat these areas with a quality wetting agent immediately after removing the cores. This will minimize midsummer watering stress. Matador, Vivax, or Revolution are exceptional wetting agents to use.