Calcium Products - Healthy golf greens without Aerification—Believe it or Not!
Calcium Product 98G

Healthy golf greens without Aerification—Believe it or Not!

Remember the show Ripley’s Believe it or Not with Jack Palance back in the early 80’s?  The premise of the show was to showcase unusual items and bizarre events so strange that viewers would question the claims. From what I remember about the show, it had that, you have to see it to believe it feel. The story of Spring Valley Golf Course in Livermore, IA, was one of those “believe it or not” moments for me.

Spending a day with course owner and General Manger Curt Berte, hearing his story, learning about the history of the facility, and discussing his agronomy practices, was truly remarkable. One of the most fascinating items we discussed was the fact that he has never, let me repeat that, he has never aerified his greens. The original 9 greens at Spring Valley were built and completed in 1978 and 9 more were added with an addition in 1989. That’s 36 years without aerification!! When asked about his philosophy on why he doesn’t punch holes, his response was simply put, because I don’t feel like I need too. He says that his greens are healthy with deep roots, have great soil make-up, great drainage and they play firm, fast and have always rolled true.

“To make a course work in rural Iowa, you have to draw the crowd to your course,” states Curt.  It was always his belief that he couldn’t afford to offer an experience that was less tSpring-Valley-Golf-Coursehan perfect to draw the crowds. He and his late father have always prided themselves with being one of the best conditioned courses in Iowa.  The main draw to the course today are golfers from the Twin Cities, Des Moines and Omaha, mainly due to the high quality of the greens.  Sports radio talk shows have referred Spring Valley as “Iowa’s Hidden Gem” and even “Little Augusta” because of the superb condition of the course.

While Curt’s story is not the norm, he is in the fortunate situation as the course owner to take risks that most other superintendents are not at liberty to even try. As he puts it, “if I screw it up, I am not going to fire myself, I just have to figure out a way to fix the problem.” Curt also doesn’t really care what his peers think about his practices, the only thing that matters to him is what the players think of his course. He tells a funny story about a local university that visited him 15 years ago. They told him there was no way he could maintain his greens without aerification, that he’d see compaction, poor rooting, plant heath deterioration and eventually, it would all catch up to him and then he would have to aerify. With a small smirks Curt says, “it hasn’t caught up with me yet! “

In future blogs I will highlight Spring Valley’s fertility program and cultural practices to showcase how they are able to keep their tees and greens so healthy for 36 years without aerifying.  By maintaining optimal greens throughout the entire playing season, Spring Valley has ensured that a major source of their revenue, players from major cities, would return year after year. It was with this mentality that Curt developed a fertility program that would allow him to by-pass one of the most popular cultural practice performed by golf course superintendents worldwide, commonly thought to ensure soil and plant health for greens, tees and fairways
Healthy, great playing greens without aerifying, believe it or not!

 

Additional Info

  • Article Reference:: Calcium Products, Inc.

Media

back to top
test-plot-desc-image

Maintained by Craig Dick, blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing, we have a wide array of blog articles from Craig and some expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming and growing tips, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Prev Next

Can 98G and SO4 be Applied on Frozen Ground?

We are often asked about applying our products on snow-covered or frozen ground. While it may seem intuitive that products should not be applied to...
Read more >

Take the 98G Challenge – See How Your Aglime Stacks Up.

Do you know how effective your aglime is in changing soil pH? Below are two photos comparing 98G, our pelletized lime product, to aglime being spread...
Read more >

Soil pH – The Foundation for Nutrient Availability

Every nutrient's availability is affected by soil pH. Soil pH is the foundation and main governing parameter of soil fertility. Every nutrient’s availability to plants is...
Read more >

Three Tips to Spot Sulfur Deficiency in Corn

Now is the time to start scouting for sulfur deficiency in corn plants. As you’re out and about this spring, keep these three tips in...
Read more >

Applying SuperCal Products on Snow Covered Ground

  We are often asked about making application of our products on snow-covered ground. Applications in the late fall and early winter should have the same...
Read more >

Healthy golf greens without Aerification—Believe it or Not!

Remember the show Ripley’s Believe it or Not with Jack Palance back in the early 80’s?  The premise of the show was to showcase unusual...
Read more >

World Forage Superbowl!

We know that growers using SuperCal have grown incredible forages. Now is your chance to win cash prize for doing what you already do so...
Read more >

SuperCal SO4 Strip Trials

The Iowa Soybean Association's On-Farm Network is conducting replicated strip trials to help farmers make informed decisions about sulfur applications.  Read the rest of the...
Read more >

Reclaiming your golf course . . . .

Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate is the most popular and most commonly used material to reclaim sodic soils and treat soils irrigated with reclaimed, sodic water. Please...
Read more >

Carboxylic acid . . . is it worth the price?

Carboxylic acids are added to some gypsum products to act as a ‘complexing agent.’ One of the claims is that these acids make the calcium...
Read more >

test-plot-desc-image

At Calcium Products, we’ve spent years testing our products to guarantee the highest quality and superior results to our customers. Click here to find a list of test results and use our pure, pelletized products with confidence.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Prev Next

Why we blog

I have been writing this blog for about 6 months now, and some may ask what is the point. When I first started with Calcium...
Read more >

Is Adequate good enough?

How do you decide when to settle for adequate over exceptional? Many of us do settle for adequate over exceptional, quite a bit of the...
Read more >

Liming Key to Fertilizer Utilization

Many farmers are bracing for the fall fertilizer season. The cost of dry fertilizers this fall is expected to be at all time highs. For...
Read more >

We want to hear from you

Good or bad, let us know what you think of our products. Is there something that can do to help your operation be more productive?...
Read more >

Fall Update

It's been a busy summer for us at Calcium Products. The website got a face lift, the SO4 plant has been expanded, and new products...
Read more >

Integrated Crop Management Conference

This week I attended the Integrated Crop Management Conference in Ames, IA. This was the first time I attended the program. I thought the group...
Read more >

Thanks to everyone for a great year!

Last week at Calcium Products we held our Christmas party. I love our Christmas parties. It is a great time for me to spend time...
Read more >

On a personal note...

It has come to my attention that I have not shared enough about myself on our blog. This is mainly due to the fact that...
Read more >

Compaction

Lots of rain last fall, long periods of snow cover reducing soil freezing, the potential for excessive spring moisture due to melting snow, Elwynn Taylor...
Read more >

Increased costs next year....

In an article in Corn E DigestOSU Extension Economist Barry Ward says that corn and soybean production costs are expected to increase 24-35%. He follows...
Read more >

Calcium Links

So much information, so little time to search for it? Here are some links we find particularly useful. Categorized for quickly narrowing down your search, these pages are sure to point you to quick answers.