A Breath of Fresh Air for Tidewater Golf Club: The Annual Aerification Process

Jul 10, 2024 | Blog, Myrtle Beach Golf, Myrtle Beach Golf courses, North Myrtle Beach Golf

A Breath of Fresh Air for Tidewater Golf Club: The Annual Aerification Process

Golf courses, like fine wines, need time and care to reach their peak potential. At Tidewater Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach, we understand the importance of maintaining our pristine greens and fairways, which is why we commit to a meticulous aerification process once a year. This annual event not only sets us apart from other courses in the area but also ensures that our golfers enjoy the best possible playing conditions throughout the year. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details of our aerification process, why it’s essential, and what makes Tidewater Golf Club unique.

What is Aerification?

Aerification is a vital maintenance practice for any golf course. It involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This process helps reduce soil compaction, encourages root growth, and enhances overall turf health. While the idea of poking holes in the turf might seem counterintuitive to maintaining smooth greens, aerification is crucial for the long-term health and playability of the course.

Why is Aerification Important?

  1. Improves Air Exchange: Aerification increases the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the soil and the atmosphere, promoting healthier root systems.
  2. Enhances Water Absorption: By creating channels in the soil, aerification allows water to reach the roots more effectively, reducing surface runoff and promoting deep root growth.
  3. Reduces Compaction: Regular foot traffic and machinery use can compact the soil, restricting root growth. Aerification alleviates compaction, providing roots with the space they need to expand.
  4. Promotes Nutrient Uptake: The process enables nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil, reaching the roots and promoting lush, healthy turf.
  5. Prevents Thatch Build-Up: Thatch, a layer of organic matter that accumulates on the soil surface, can choke the turf if not managed. Aerification helps break down thatch, maintaining a healthy balance.

The Unique Approach of Tidewater Golf Club

At Tidewater Golf Club, we take aerification seriously. Unlike many other courses in the area that may aerify multiple times a year, we have a unique approach: we aerify only once a year and close down the course for an entire week to do it. Here’s why this method works best for us:

  1. Comprehensive Care: By dedicating a full week to the aerification process, we can ensure that every inch of the course receives the attention it needs. This thorough approach allows us to address any issues and perform necessary maintenance without rushing.
  2. Minimizing Disruption: Closing the course for a week might seem like an inconvenience, but it’s a strategic move to minimize disruption for our members and guests. By consolidating the aerification into one dedicated period, we reduce the need for frequent interruptions throughout the year.
  3. Optimal Timing: Timing is everything in golf course maintenance. We carefully schedule our aerification week to align with the growing season, ensuring that the turf recovers quickly and is in prime condition for the peak golfing months.
  4. Experienced Team: Our maintenance team, led by Superintendent Shaun Donahue and Assistant Superintendent Russell Woodson, brings decades of experience to the table. Their expertise ensures that the aerification process is executed flawlessly, with a focus on long-term turf health and playability.

The Aerification Process at Tidewater Golf Club

During our aerification week, the course is transformed into a hub of activity. Here’s a step-by-step look at what happens:

  1. Preparation: The process begins with meticulous planning. Our team assesses the condition of the turf, identifies areas that need special attention, and prepares the necessary equipment.
  2. Mowing and Clearing: The first step on the ground is to mow the turf closely and clear away any debris. This ensures that the aerification equipment can work efficiently.
  3. Aerating the Greens: Specialized machinery is used to punch holes into the greens. The size and spacing of the holes are carefully chosen to promote optimal root growth and soil aeration.
  4. Topdressing: After aeration, a layer of sand or topdressing material is applied to the greens. This material fills the holes, smooths the surface, and helps improve drainage.
  5. Fairways and Roughs: The fairways and roughs undergo a similar process, with machinery tailored to handle the larger areas. This ensures that every part of the course benefits from aerification.
  6. Post-Aerification Care: Once the aerification is complete, the turf receives additional care, including watering, fertilization, and monitoring. This helps the grass recover quickly and ensures it’s ready for play.

The Benefits for Golfers

While the week-long closure might seem like a sacrifice, the benefits for golfers are undeniable. Here’s what you can expect when you play at Tidewater Golf Club after aerification:

  1. Healthier Turf: The aerification process promotes stronger, healthier turf, which translates to better playing conditions. You’ll notice lusher fairways and more resilient greens.
  2. Consistent Playability: By addressing soil compaction and improving drainage, aerification ensures that the course remains playable even after heavy rains. Say goodbye to wet fairways and unpredictable greens.
  3. Enhanced Aesthetics: A well-maintained course is a beautiful course. The aerification process helps maintain the pristine appearance of Tidewater Golf Club, enhancing your overall golfing experience.
  4. Long-Term Sustainability: By investing in the health of our turf, we’re ensuring that Tidewater Golf Club remains a premier destination for golfers for years to come. Your round today supports the quality of play tomorrow.


Aerification is a cornerstone of our commitment to excellence at Tidewater Golf Club. By dedicating a full week to this essential process, we ensure that our course remains in top condition, providing golfers with an exceptional experience year-round. We’re proud to be unique in the North Myrtle Beach area for our approach, and we invite you to experience the difference for yourself. Join us at Tidewater Golf Club, where our passion for the game and dedication to course maintenance come together to create a golfing paradise.

The Community Impact

Beyond the technical aspects of aerification, there is a community element that makes this process special. The week-long closure allows our team to come together, focusing on shared goals and reinforcing the camaraderie that makes Tidewater Golf Club a remarkable place to work and play. Our staff’s dedication and hard work during aerification week reflect our commitment to delivering an exceptional golfing experience.

Final Thoughts

Aerification may temporarily disrupt play, but it’s a small price to pay for the long-term benefits it provides. At Tidewater Golf Club, we believe in doing things right, and our once-a-year, week-long aerification process is a testament to that philosophy. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of course care, ensuring that every round you play at Tidewater is memorable for all the right reasons.

So the next time you tee up at Tidewater Golf Club, take a moment to appreciate the lush fairways and smooth greens, knowing that they are the result of our careful and dedicated aerification process. We look forward to welcoming you to our course, where excellence in maintenance meets an extraordinary golfing experience.

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