Category Archives: putting

Coring – is it really done because the greens staff hate golfers – part two?


“Hitting a golf ball and putting have nothing in common. They’re two different games. You work all your life to perfect a repeating swing that will get you to the greens and then you have to try to do something that is totally unrelated. There shouldn’t be any cups, just flag sticks. Then the man who hit the most fairways and greens and got closest to the pins would be the tournament winner.”Ben Hogan

By Ian Hardie

In the post Coring – is it really done because the greens staff hate golfers? I suggested that there have been very few golfers that I have ever met – who are happy that the golf course is about to undergo maintenance

Well ok, I admit it – I’ve never met anyone that’s been happy about it happening

The practice of coring or core aeration as it should be named is something that almost all golfers find to be an extremely inconvenient interruption to their golf – as the resulting bumpy greens over the weeks that follow – can twist a golfer up in knots

Trying to figure out how to putt the ball into the hole over those un-helpful core holes

I guess that’s why some golfers seem to think that coring is just an evil plot to get back at the golfers by the greens staff – as a revenge for digging up their course the rest of the year but as I said in that first post;

The reality is that core aeration is simply a short term disruption that has long term benefits for golf courses and in actual fact without a regular program of core aeration

The surface of the greens would dramatically worsen over a few years and if not dealt with over the next few years they would eventually die

Something that I’m pretty sure isn’t an ideal thing to happen to any golf course!

So while most golfers begrudgingly understand that the practice of removing soil cores that are about the size of your little finger from the greens to allow for an infusion of air, water and anything the greens staff wants to add is necessary as it improves drainage, helps to resist green compaction and generally makes it easier for the roots of the grass to stay healthy

There is always one burning question that golfers ask when they next get to the course

‘Are the greens back to normal again or are they any good to putt on?’

Most golfers ask that question – as when they get to the golf course they generally view the greens from the perspective that the image at the start of this post is taken from – which by the way is of a green that was cored just over 3 ½ weeks ago

It looks like its back to normal from that angle doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, I think it’s a little too early to suggest that as if you take a look at this image that was taken a couple of seconds later, standing in the same spot but from directly above the green


The reality of how long it takes the green to recover from coring is a bit more apparent

That’s why the question ‘Are the greens back to normal again or are they any good to putt on?’ has always been an extremely difficult one for me to answer – as the judgement as to whether the greens are back to normal or any good to putt on

Is an extremely subjective question that is normally dictated by two things;

The first of which is how good a putter the golfer is that’s asking the question

If (like I have) the golfer has spent many years refining an extremely accurate and repeating putting stroke that can consistently produce putts that either go in or finish very close to the hole

The reality of putting a ball and having it deflected from its line by a core hole or two – is not a pleasant one and can easily mess with both their golfing mind-set – as well as having them start

To question their putting mechanics if that happens a few times during a round

On the other side of the coin, if you are a golfer that simply plays for fun and expects to have 2 or 3 putts on each green – with the occasional one putt during a round – then the fact that your putts may be deflected sideways by the odd core hole or two, won’t bother you so much

The second thing that needs to be considered is

How much the golfer relies on putting to keep their score low

I wrote about a golfer like that quite some time back in this post – because they had based their entire expectations of their game around holing a lot of putts during a round to produce the low score they were used to – they didn’t take kindly to the damage the core holes did to their score that day!

However, if it takes you considerably more shots to get to the green than it does to get the golf ball into the hole when you get there – then you probably aren’t going to be too worried if you miss the odd extra putt or two on the newly cored greens

I’m sure that you can understand by now why it’s a hard question to answer

My advice is that the more you base your game and expectations of scoring around good putting – the longer you need to wait to get back on the course after coring

Read that again to make sure you got that!

If your score or performance matters little to you and you golf simply for the fun, the fresh air as well as the social nature of the game – then the opposite applies and

You might as well get back on the golf course as soon as possible after coring

Enjoy a few rounds with less traffic on there than usual

Maybe use the time to try a few different things out or work on your game in some way

That way once the greens have recovered and are back to normal

You will be ready to

Play well


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Coring – is it really done because the greens staff hate golfers?

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