Golfers are spoiled. There’s really no other way to put it. When something seems less than ideal around the golf course, golfers are quick to complain. I’m sure that Superintendents out there are nodding their heads in agreement right now.
Well, we are in one of those times of the year where the complaining becomes even louder than normal. It’s aeration season! You know what I’m talking about. Rather than driving into the parking lot at your course and seeing the normal green conditions, you now see the putting greens covered in tiny little holes and blanketed by sand! Ugh!
Unfortunately, aeration is one of those necessary evils that golfers must endure a couple of times during the year. Generally, aeration takes place in April and October. Sure enough, here we are in April and I’m starting to see plenty of sandy greens.
I noticed this a couple of days ago while arriving for practice with my golf team at Cal State LA. Not all of my players were familiar with the aeration process. So, I figured there is no better way to understand it than to go and play on it.
It didn’t take long before they started to see the sand collecting on their golf balls as they began rolling putts on the green. Two things quickly became apparent. The greens were much slower than normal, and the putts didn’t break nearly as much as they usually would. But, rather than complain about the conditions, my team learned to appreciate what they offered. An empty golf course.
Yes, it’s true! The beauty of aerated conditions typically results in less crowded conditions. Remember earlier when I mentioned that golfers are spoiled? This is a perfect example of that. Sandy greens keep the everyday golfers from coming out during their normal times. Heck, I’ve known plenty of golfers who plan their vacations around the aeration schedule of their golf course.
Suddenly, my team has learned to appreciate the sandy conditions on the putting greens. We found ourselves able to hit more practice shots throughout the golf course, and we were never in jeopardy of holding up the players behind us. There weren’t any.
So, the next time you find yourself wanting to roll your eyes when noticing the aeration schedule on your annual golf calendar, you ought to think twice about restructuring your golf schedule. Rather than plan that vacation getaway, you might want to consider playing 36 holes during those days. After all, you’ll likely have the course to yourself.