Ever arrived at your favourite golf course, buzzing with excitement for a round of golf, only to find the greens looking like they’ve been the target of an overly enthusiastic woodpecker? That’s hollow tining for you. But before you let out a sigh of disappointment, let’s dive into why this process is not just necessary but beneficial for the greens and your game in the long run.


The What and Why of Hollow Tining


Simply put, hollow tining involves removing small cores of turf from the green. This process, a form of turf aeration, is crucial for the health of the grass. These removed plugs of earth might seem like a hindrance at first, but they play a pivotal role in maintaining the quality of the playing surface.

But Why?

Golf greens endure a lot of foot traffic. This compacts the soil, making it hard for water and nutrients to penetrate and for the grass to breathe. Hollow tining relieves this compaction, allowing the grass roots to absorb moisture and oxygen more efficiently. It also aids in managing thatch (a layer of organic matter that can hinder grass health) and improves drainage, leading to stronger, healthier greens.


Hollow Tining vs. Solid Tining: What’s the Difference?


Whilst both practices aim to aerate the soil, hollow tining removes soil cores, whereas solid tining, also referred to as verti draining, simply creates holes without removing any soil. Each has its place in comprehensive turf management, with hollow tining being particularly effective for combating soil compaction and thatch buildup.


The Golfer’s Perspective: Dealing with Hollow Tined Greens


Can You Play on Them?

Absolutely! Though the greens might appear less than perfect and play differently, adjusting your game and expectations can turn a round on recently tined greens into an interesting challenge. Remember, the short-term inconvenience is a small price to pay for long-term benefits.

A Silver Lining for Golfers

It might seem counterintuitive, but playing on hollow tined greens can sometimes work in your favour. The unpredictable surface might just give an unexpected assist to your putt. And while the greens recover, they’re often softer, allowing for more aggressive play with less risk of bouncing off the green.


The Care Beyond Hollow Tining: Ensuring Premium Greens


Why Sand Top Dressing?

Following up hollow tining with sand top dressing helps fill the holes, improving the soil structure and further enhancing drainage and oxygen flow to the roots. This step is crucial for a swift recovery and return to smooth, fast greens.

How Often Does This Happen?

Frequency varies, but most courses undergo hollow tining once or twice a year, typically during the quieter playing seasons to minimise disruption. This schedule ensures the greens remain in top condition year-round, ready to challenge and delight golfers alike.


Embracing the Hollow Tine


Next time you’re greeted by the sight of those peculiar green polka dots, take a moment to appreciate the intricate care that goes into maintaining the course. Hollow tining is a testament to the dedication of greenkeepers worldwide, ensuring that the greens we love to play on remain in peak condition.

Achieving the immaculate condition of golf courses that players desire requires not just expertise but also dedication. That’s where ALS Contracts steps in, offering a comprehensive range of sports turf services including hollow tining, top dressing, and more to ensure your golf turf is in perfect playing condition. Our team of specialists combines years of experience with the latest techniques and equipment to enhance the health and durability of your greens, making every game a pleasure. Trust in ALS Contracts to maintain your course at its peak, ensuring a superior golfing experience with every visit.

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