Monday, October 25, 2010

Deep tine aerification...what is that?

Deep time aerification is a process that we have been utilizing for a number of years at Morro Bay GC and more recently at Chalk Mountain and Dairy Creek. The process of deep tining the greens involves the use of solid tines that are able to penetrate 6-14 inches into the soil. Normal aerification will penetrate 4 inches max. The purpose is still the same to aleviate compaction and increase the pore space in your soils for air and oxygen, thus creating a more aerobic condition for turf roots to "thrive". During years of only going 4" deep you will develop a shelf that is 4" below the turf and this shelf inhibits the turf roots from making their way deeper than 4" because the created compaction over the years; the very thing we are trying to aleviate! So by instituting the practice of deep time aerating are able to penetrate the 4" shelf and drive air and other benficial elements deeper into our greens soil profile.

The process is much more clean than a typical core aerification in the fact that we are not removing any material from soil profile, but rather poking a hole deep into the soil. The result is much less disruption to the surface of the green and a quicker healing process. Have a look at the photos below that were taken this fall at Dairy Creek.

The 5th green at Dairy Creek as the skies are clearing.
The process started around 4 am in the rain.

Here is a closer look at the tines as they slide their way through the turf like a hot knife through butter! You can see all of the water being squeezed out of the soil by the front roller that preceeds these tines. The greens were quite wet at the beginning of the process, but the benefits of this practice were quickly noted as the greens were firm and dry even as the rain continued.

A closer look at the front roller as is pressed the water out of the green!

Ah...the end result minutes after completion. Absolutely no water and ready for the sand. Actually on this day the rain would not let up and we had to postpone the topdressing to the following week to accomodate our tournament schedule. We rolled the greens that afternoon and began mowing the following day. This process actually closed up many of the holes which prevented us from filling the holes with topdressing. Instead of a heavy topdressing we came back a week later and did a medium topdressing to help fill in any depressions that were left from partially healed holes. The putting surfaces healed quickly and the holes are actually still open which can be witnessed when we cut cups and the roots are finding their way through the holes to the bottom! For the most part mission accomplished.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Now this may not necessarity be a golf related issue, but nearly everyone knows someone that has been effected by this disease through some sort of association whether you know it or not. This is a disease that most victims are not open about their situation and keep it a secret from as many people as possible, but the disease is quite common as you can see by reading the following litereature. I just wanted to add some informational content to help educate about life's issues for a change and maybe it can help someone you know in dealing with this disease. You can find much more information at

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year. An estimated 40,170 women are expected to die from the disease in 2009 alone. Today, there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.

If you're worried about developing breast cancer, or if you know someone who has been diagnosed with the disease, one way to deal with your concerns is to get as much information as possible. In this section you'll find important background information about what breast cancer is and how it develops.

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in one or both of the breasts. Breast cancer usually develops in the ducts or lobules, also known as the milk-producing areas of the breast.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer). Although African-American women have a slightly lower incidence of breast cancer after age 40 than Caucasian women, they have a slightly higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40. However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age. Breast cancer is much less common in males; by comparison, the disease is about 100 times more common among women. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,910 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among men in the United States in 2009.

Stages of Breast Cancer
The most common system used to describe the stages of breast cancer is the AJCC/TNM (American Joint Committee on Cancer/Tumor-Nodes-Metastases) system. This system takes into account the tumor size and spread, whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, and whether it has spread to distant organs (metastasis).

All of this information is then combined in a process called stage grouping. The stage is expressed as a Roman numeral. After stage 0 (carcinoma in situ), the other stages are I through IV (1-4). Some of the stages are further sub-divided using the letters A, B, and C. In general, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage IV (4), means a more advanced cancer.

These are the stages of breast cancer:

Stage 0 - Stage 0 is carcinoma in situ, early stage cancer that is confined to the ducts or the lobules, depending on where it started. It has not gone into the tissues in the breast nor spread to other organs in the body.
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): This is the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer, when abnormal cells are in the lining of a duct. DCIS is also called intraductal carcinoma. DCIS sometimes becomes invasive cancer if not treated.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS): This condition begins in the milk-making glands but does not go through the wall of the lobules. LCIS seldom becomes invasive cancer; however, having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of cancer for both breasts.
Stage I - Stage I is an early stage of invasive breast cancer. In Stage I, cancer cells have not spread beyond the breast and the tumor is no more than 2 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch) across.
Stage II - Stage II is one of the following:
  • The tumor in the breast is no more than 2 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch) across. The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
  • The tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters (three-quarters of an inch to 2 inches). The cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
  • The tumor is larger than 5 centimeters (2 inches). The cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
Stage III - Stage III may be a large tumor, but the cancer has not spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes. It is locally advanced cancer.
  • Stage IIIA - Stage IIIA is one of the following:
    • The tumor in the breast is smaller than 5 centimeters (2 inches). The cancer has spread to underarm lymph nodes that are attached to each other or to other structures.
    • The tumor is more than 5 centimeters across. The cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIB - Stage IIIB is one of the following:
    • The tumor has grown into the chest wall or the skin of the breast.
    • The cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind the breastbone.
    • Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type of Stage IIIB breast cancer. The breast looks red and swollen because cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast.
  • Stage IIIC - Stage IIIC is a tumor of any size. It has spread in one of the following ways:
    • The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes behind the breastbone and under the arm.
    • The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under or above the collarbone.
Stage IV - Stage IV is distant metastatic cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Recurrent cancer - Recurrent cancer is cancer that has come back (recurred) after a period of time when it could not be detected. It may recur locally in the breast or chest wall as another primary cancer, or it may recur in any other part of the body, such as the bone, liver, or lungs, which is generally referred to as metastatic cancer.