Friday, 19 May 2017

Weekend Update

A busy week on the course with real grass growth throughout the course.
It's been our week of bunker & banking maintenance, which as you can imagine is a time consuming job. The rough has received a full cut with a few new areas being included to speed up play. The greens received an application of wetting agent during the rain on Monday, which was ideal for washing it into the profile.
All the work we have carried out on the greens is now starting to kick in, with a real growth spurt and seed germinating in all areas. The problem with these flushes of growth is slower putting speeds and also the Poa Annua taking on a brownish tinge due to fungal infection. It is not Fusarium Patch disease as we experienced in November, but a naturally occurring discoloration of the leaf and would quickly grow out. But following the impact of the attack last Autumn, I applied a systemic fungicide to prevent further discolouration.
To speed up the surfaces, we have reduced the height of cut and started using the brush on the greens mower. Reducing the height of cut has to be balanced against the needs of the new seedlings.
Matt Shimwell (the new Course Manager) has been working with us for 2 days this week, getting re-acquainted with our practices. This way, the hand over should be seamless.
Have a great weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Weekend Update.

It's been a busy few weeks catching up with outstanding jobs and tidying throughout the course.
The dry weather really has really helped turn things round for us. The only downside is the strong easterly winds which never promote growth across the course. Great if your trying to catch up with cutting, but not so good when you need to promote growth on the greens to aid recovery.
The greens were over-seeded with 180 kg's of Fescue/Bent seed on Tuesday using a hired in machine. This was followed by a top-dressing of sand . The Irrigation system is now up and running, so we have been watering daily to wash the dressing in and stop the surfaces from drying out too much. The greens have been ironed and a liquid application of Nitrogen and trace elements has been applied. Now we wait for the seed to germinate and grow in. We will be applying another light sand dressing on Monday to further smooth the surfaces.
Another downside of the wind is the sand being blown from bunkers, we have worked really hard blowing the sand back in, but please be understanding if you do end up in a bare lie in a bunker.

Enjoy Captains Round 1 this weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Weekend Update.

Well what a difficult week!
FYI, We do not shut the course to gain some perverse pleasure and deliberately wind the members up!
The course is only closed during periods of exceptionally bad weather to prevent damage in a variety of areas. We carry out a full course inspection first thing in the morning to determine conditions, as rainfall can be extremely localised.
The past 2 weeks, since Storm Doris, have been some of the most testing for Greenkeeping and course management I have known. The combination of heavy, persistent rain, followed by sunny days is the perfect storm for frustrated members and Greenkeepers. When the soil is saturated, it takes hours for surface water to disappear. But while the puddles may disappear, the ground is still full of water. Consequently, even small amounts of rainfall bring the puddles back slowing the drying process down even more.
The course has 2 distinct characters. Holes 1,2,3,16,17 & 18 are built on soil which drains much quicker than all the holes over Trub Brook. The contours across the course, gather rainfall into low lying areas. These areas have been drained, but following persistent rain, the drainage process slows.
Recent conditions have even stopped the Greenstaff from gaining access to the course to carry out work. The last thing we want to do, is cause damage ourselves when we are so close to the start of the season. While allowing play during poor conditions would keep some happy, the damage will linger on well into the season annoying all who play.
FYI. From 1/1/2016 to 10/3/2016 there were 18 days when the course was closed.
      From 1/1/2017 to 10/3/2017 there have been 9 days when the course was closed.

Despite the wet conditions, we have managed to start putting sand in the new bunkers and renovating the old. The additional seeding to the main greens has been delayed, as has the installation of the Perma Trak material around the 1st tee. As soon as conditions improve, these jobs will be completed.
Kevin Butler, a member of the Greens team, is leaving us today for pastures new (and dry, S&A). He has been a much valued member of staff for the last 5 years and we wish him well.
Fingers crossed for the weekend.

Mark & the Greens team

Friday, 3 March 2017

Weekend Update

Well the weather has really turned the screw the last 10 days. We are still trying to recover from storm Doris, well saturated soil has received regular top ups throughout the week, with no end in sight.
As we are getting closer to the season, any damage created now will have a bigger impact due to a short time window for recovery.

The new bunkers are now shaped, cleaned out and ready for the sand which will arrive on 6th March. Ground conditions may restrict access to them, but as soon as conditions allow, the sand will go in.
The weather has also pushed back the laying of the Perma-trak material on the paths around the 1st tee. The construction is complete and currently we expect the work to be completed the week of 13th March. The tarmac will be laid after this time.
The last few turfing jobs have been completed around the course and the carry on the 6th hole has been cleared and seeded. This area will hopefully speed up play and also allow more varied access to the 6th fairway.

The Tenax material has now been laid on the 2nd & 16th paths. This will receive an application of fertiliser next week to encourage the grass to grow thru the material. The paths will then be ready for use.

Fingers crossed for the weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Weekend Update

A really busy week on the course with drying conditions allowing us to press ahead with the construction and turfing on the 1st tee.

The 1st has been a really big project, which we started in November and has had many stages. Clearance, drainage, irrigation, shaping and the routing of the new paths as well as the provision of a buggy/trolley park. The weather has always dictated the pace of the work and recently we have managed to finish shaping and moving the rootzone material onto the new Ladies/Winter tee. This week we laid over 500 sq/m of turf and I estimate another 300 m will finish the job next week. The Rubber/aggregate path material is due to be laid by the contractors on or around the  22/23 February, as always this will be weather dependent. Soon after this, the tarmac will be laid near the Pro's shop.
The Tee will be in play for the Lady Captains drive-in and should provide a much improved surface.

Next week, we plan to carry out some early renovation work on the greens. Hollow-tining, over-seeding, top-dressing and the application of a granular fertiliser will all hopefully be completed. We hope this will provide the  greens with everything they need for an early improvement in the surfaces.

Fingers crossed the forecast snow flurries don't materialise for the weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Weekend Update.

The weather has really improved today, with almost spring like conditions. Much better than the drizzle, fog and cloud earlier in the week.

The Greens were slit on Monday & Tuesday to help keep the surfaces open and aid drainage. This was followed by a cut with the hand mowers (which we always try to use during the winter months) to restore the surfaces. The penetrant is still helping reduce the dew in the mornings and this will also help the greens fend of any disease outbreaks.

The construction work on the 1st tee continues when conditions allow, the surfacing of the paths will take place in late February/early March as temperatures need to be higher for the materials to look their best. The bank at the front of the Men's tee will be turfed next week and more work will be carried out on the Ladies/Winter tee, including the installation of sprinklers.

The bunker renovation work continues with the 10th greenside bunkers being dug out and prepared for turf. The turf will be delivered next week, so that will keep us busy.

The fairways will be slit throughout next week and we will then move onto the approaches and semi-rough. It would probably be better to use your fairway mat on most holes as this can be quite disruptive.

Have a great weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Update.

A busy few weeks, with favorable weather helping us move around the course.
The work has continued on the 1st tee and putting green area. with the new path fully stoned and compacted all the way to the 1st carry. The ground conditions have been testing due to the nature of the infill material used when the Ladies tee was constructed. The base of the new Ladies/Winter tee has been formed and covered with drainage stone. The next step in early January will be to install irrigation and spread the rootzone ready for turfing in late January. The other paths will then be prepared for the contractors to surface in February/March. As always, this schedule will be heavily dependent on the weather.

The greens have received a micro-tining to keep the surfaces open and aid recovery from the Fusarium in November. They have also been sprayed with a penetrant and a micro nutrient liquid to ward off further disease attacks.
We are continuing to cut them with hand mowers which should keep the surfaces tidy.

The bunker renovation work is continuing, with 2 completed and 2 more in various stages of completion. We are waiting for a turf delivery at the start of January and by then, a couple more should be ready. Some remedial work has also been carried out to the L/H bunker on the 17th green. These areas are GUR until Spring.

Merry Christmas to everybody from the Greenstaff.