Why is Surface Aeration Important for Golf Greens? 

Surface aeration may be more important for golf greens than you think. Aerating the green brings in much-needed oxygen and nutrients for the grass and keeps your course looking fresh and green.



Compaction may be the most cited reason for performing core aeration and topdressing maintenance practices. One argument often posed by golfers is that the greens do not need to be aerated because they have received little play or traffic since fall aeration, so compaction is not an issue. Actually, surface aeration is incredibly important for golf greens. Aeration helps alleviate compaction, but compaction is only one reason, and it probably is ranked towards the bottom of the list in terms of importance for putting green aeration. 


As the term aeration implies, it increases the amount of space available for oxygen to penetrate the soil, which is critical for root growth and, ultimately, plant growth. Improvement in oxygen levels and water infiltration are achieved through the removal of organic matter. In modern putting green maintenance, removal of organic matter (thatch) from the upper portion of the soil profile and replacement with new sand topdressing to modify the existing soil may be the most critical reasons to aerate greens. 

Preventing Problems with Aeration

The grass is constantly producing organic matter through normal growth processes. Thatch is like a sponge, holding many times its weight in water. As organic matter increases, more water is held in the upper portion of the soil profile. While a limited amount of thatch is necessary, when organic matter levels increase to 3 to 4%, potential turfgrass problems, such as diseases and mower scalping, increase dramatically, especially under hot and wet conditions. To prevent excessive organic matter accumulation, research suggests that 15 to 20% of the surface area of a putting green needs to be impacted via some method of soil/ thatch removal. This can be done through core aeration or aggressive, deep verticutting. 

SubAir Systems

SubAir Systems is the leader in air flow technology and can assist you with all your surface aeration needs. The SubAir facility, located in Graniteville, South Carolina, houses their administrative offices, engineering, production, shipping, and sales which allows the SubAir team to provide personal service from planning to delivery. SubAir Systems is committed to providing innovative technology and premium service to meet the demands of today’s green industry. If you have any questions or would like to contact someone from our team, please call us at (866) 641-6663 or contact us online.