“Our greens have gotten a lot better since we started doing it from a firmness standpoint,” Tritabaugh says. “They weren’t bad, but in my opinion, they perform now just as well as they did when they were new.”
Tritabaugh and his team do not use an amendment during the process. Instead, the holes are filled with 100 percent sand. “We’re able to get the exact same sand that was in the root zone when the greens were built in 2010,” he says. “From a spec standpoint, it’s the same thing that’s already in there.”
Some have raised the question of whether DryJect will supplant traditional aeration as a standard industry practice. Tritabaugh doesn’t necessarily share that sentiment.
“I think it’s a tool to be used depending on what the superintendent’s desire is,” he says. “I think it would be a mistake to say that (core aeration) is unnecessary or that solid tining is unnecessary or that DryJect could replace either of those things.”
Based on his experience, Tritabaugh doesn’t believe the DryJect method will render core aeration or solid tining obsolete. Instead, he considers it just another tool in a superintendent’s turf toolbox.
“I think it can in the right situation, but I think it would be unfair to limit (a superintendent’s) tools,” Tritabaugh says. “It doesn’t mean one is particularly better than the others, but I think in the right situation certain ones are better.”
Tritabaugh hasn’t relied on pull-core/solid-tine practices at Hazeltine in recent years, but he hasn’t abandoned them either. “We’ve done some different methods on a couple of our greens,” he says. “Is it a tool we want to use in the future? It could be, but it’s not a part of our standard cultural practices.”