Green Aerification: A necessary evil for golf courses

KPJ Golf Tips

Karen Palacios-Jansen

Just when the greens on your home course start getting fast and rolling smooth, it seems like the golf course superintendent purposely messes them up by punching and sanding them. Golf course maintenance can be frustrating for golfers.

The other day, I played my home course with some friends and we had to endure bumpy, shaggy and sandy greens because they had just been aerated. Our course just got green and lush after the long winter and now they are tearing up the course. Core aeration (also know as aerification, aerating or aerifying) is a maintenance practice that promotes healthy turf growth, especially in compacted surfaces such as putting greens. A machine, known as an aerifier, removes 3 to 5 inch long cores of turf and soil.

The removal of cores, allow water, air and nutrients from the top dressing to reach the soil roots, thereby enhancing growth. It is the responsibility of the golf course superintendent to maintain a good stand of grass on putting greens. Greens are the bread and butter of a golf course and the reputation of a course and the superintendent who maintains it is often determined by the condition of the greens.

Ideally, the greens should be punched once a month during the growing season or summer months, but due to profit margins and golf course politics, most courses only aerify greens twice during the growing season, sometimes compromising the conditions of the greens for the sake of more play. So don’t curse the course superintend this spring when you have to play on top-dressed greens and instead, thank him for taking good care of your course.

When greens are bumpy and sandy you need to make a few adjustments in your short game technique.  First, take a more lofted club to hit pitches and chip shots. Second, swing back longer and accelerate through to a higher finish to get the ball up and spinning. The ball will not roll on shaggy greens, so you are better off carrying the ball close to the hole and letting it stop quickly with a minimal amount of roll.

Believe it or not, putting is a lot easier on sanded, shaggy greens. Since the greens are slow you can hit putts aggressively, not having to worry that the ball will roll too far past the hole. Make a conscious effort to stroke your putt to the back of cup. Forget about lagging long putts to the holes, you will leave the well short, try to make them. You may have one of your best putting rounds.

Send me your questions and comments-KPJ@swingbladegolf.com

Flexibility+Strength=Power

Golf-Specific Fitness Program
Golf-Specific Fitness Program

Strength training exercises, important for increasing muscle strength and bone mass, require the addition of weight or resistance to challenge the muscles. But some people think that free weights and machines leave them tight in the shoulders and chest, so it is recommend by many golf specific trainers to use resistance bands instead.  Available at sporting good stores, resistance bands stretch your joints and tendons while strengthening your muscles.  Strength along with flexibility is the combination you are looking for to increase clubhead speed for greater distance. All this week, I have presented exercises that not only strengthen your muscles, but help you increase flexibility. This combination of strength and flexibility is the key to power and distance.

If you are just starting to exercise, begin with a low resistance band and increase the resistance as you gain strength.  Build up to performing each exercise for three sets of 10 repetitions.  This week I will present three strengthening exercises specific to golf.  The third exercise this week is for your shoulder muscles.

The shoulder muscles have many roles in the golf swing, and they are an area that gets over-stressed and injured (rotator cuff). Throughout the golf swing, the shoulder joint rotates open and closed, while the golf club is moving at up to 100 mph.

If the shoulder muscles are weak, you will have no control over your club throughout the swing. If they are inflexible, you will not be able to get into the correct position at the top of your swing.

Shoulder Extension Exercise

Loop ends of resistance band around each palm. Raise arms overhead, hands together.  Keeping your elbows straight, lower one arm in front of you to hip level. Return to starting position. Repeat for 10 repetitions.  Perform the exercise with your other arm
Shoulder Extension
Perform the three exercises three times a week for at least six weeks for optimum results.

Send me your questions and comments-kpj@swingbladegolf.com.

Become a Fan of Cardiogolf on Facebook

Flexibility + Strength = Distance off the Tee

Golf-Specific Fitness Program
Golf-Specific Fitness Program

Strength training exercises, important for increasing muscle strength and bone mass, require the addition of weight or resistance to challenge the muscles. But some people think that free weights and machines leave them tight in the shoulders and chest, so it is recommend by many golf specific trainers to use resistance bands instead.  Available at sporting good stores, resistance bands stretch your joints and tendons while strengthening your muscles.  Strength along with flexibility is the combination you are looking for to increase clubhead speed for greater distance.

If you are just starting to exercise, begin with a low resistance band and increase the resistance as you gain strength.  Build up to performing each exercise for three sets of 10 repetitions.  This week I will present three strengthening exercises specific to golf.  The second exercise this week is for your shoulder muscles.

The shoulder muscles have many roles in the golf swing, and they are an area that gets over-stressed and injured (rotator cuff). Throughout the golf swing, the shoulder joint rotates open and closed, while the golf club is moving at up to 100 mph.

If the shoulder muscles are weak, you will have no control over your club throughout the swing. If they are inflexible, you will not be able to get into the correct position at the top of your swing.

Shoulder Flexion Exercise

Loop ends of resistance band around each palm.  Begin with hands together and extended in front of you at hip level.  Keeping both elbows straight, raise one arm straight up as far as you can go.  Return slowly to the starting position for 10 repetitions.  Perform the exercise with your other arm.

DSCN1174Send me your questions and comments to KPJ@swingbladegolf.com.

Strength + Flexibility = Distance for Golf

KPJ Golf

Golf-Specific Fitness Tips
Golf-Specific Fitness Tips

Strength training exercises, important for increasing muscle strength and bone mass, require the addition of weight or resistance to challenge the muscles. But some people think that free weights and machines leave them tight in the shoulders and chest, so it is recommend by many golf specific trainers to use resistance bands instead.  Available at sporting good stores, resistance bands stretch your joints and tendons while strengthening your muscles.  Strength along with flexibility is the combination you are looking for to increase clubhead speed for greater distance.

If you are just starting to exercise, begin with a low resistance band and increase the resistance as you gain strength.  Build up to performing each exercise for three sets of 10 repetitions.  This week I will present three strengthening exercises specific to golf.  The first exercise is for your chest muscles.

The pectoralis major, or chest muscle, extends from the sternum to the shoulder joint on each side of the chest and helps the shoulder flex and the arm extend. This muscle is vital for rotation and creating clubhead speed in the golf swing.

Chest Pull
Loop an end of the resistance band around the palm of each hand. Extend arms in front of your body at chest level, elbows slightly bent.  Pull band outward so hands extend beyond the width of your shoulders. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

DSCN1173Send me your questions and comments-kpj@swingbladegolf.com.

I teach Golf and Pilates. I am a LPGA Master Professional and Certified Personal and Pilates Trainer