Friday, 6 December 2013


At this time of year the surface of the greens can soften due to rainfall and lower temperatures. Added to this, the lower temperatures result in little or no growth to aid recovery from any damage.
This is why it is even more important to repair any pitchmarks you make on the greens.
The picture below shows a fresh pitchmark and 2 unrepaired marks. It could well be April before they recover.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

November 2013

It's been a busy month on the course. Our plans to drain the 12th & 14th greens have been put on hold due to the wet weather in October. There's no point in making a mess and the quality of the work suffering due to wet soil conditions.
We have plans to do some remedial drainage work on some of the greens in the next few weeks, but more about that next month.


It has become apparent over the last few years that members trollies are getting heavier and bigger. During the winter months this creates many problems with traffic management and wear on the golf course. With golf being a 365 days a year sport, many heavily trafficked areas require a rest to help them recover. This is the reason we attempt to control movement around the course using white lines. Unfortunately, human nature always tends to take the shortest route.

         Worn area due to trolley traffic at the back of the 15th green.

Next week, we will putting out ropes to shepard golfers away from these areas. We know they are unpopular (they get in our way too),  but they are a necessary evil on an inland North West golf course.
We are not the only clubs who use them as the below pic from Royal Liverpool last week shows.

Another issue with trollies, are the smooth wheels which in wet ground conditions spin and smear the surface damaging the turfs natural           drainage. Many clubs have now introduced a winter wheel policy and it is the club's intention to implement this for next winter.

More information about this change will be posted on the club's notice boards throughout next year and Brian in the Pro's shop will be providing many options for trolley users.

Self Seeded trees.     

Due to the size of the site at Hopwood, the self seeded Birch and Oak trees can quickly get out of hand and before you know it large areas have become copiced. This year we have had a chance to dig out over 7,500 plants varying in size from 1 - 6ft high. The time spent doing this will have a major impact on the course in future years. We have to do a lot of work in this area just to stand still. The photo below shows the dip in front of the 5th tee's where we removed over 50 young trees.

Winter mats.

From Monday the 2nd December winter mats will be in use on the fairways. The 1st, 5th, 7th, 10th & 11th fairways must be played with a mat from the fairway. The remaining holes will be marked with white lines. Shots inside these areas must be played from a mat. This should help our fairways stand up to winter play and preserve the turf for next spring.

Friday, 18 October 2013

16th Green drainage work.

The 16th green has suffered for many years with drainage issues, despite being set on a slope, the green suffers from large amounts of run-off water moving across the surface of the green. Many attempts have been made to solve the problems, including installing a series of drains around the back and side of the green.
This week we have installed a new piped drainage system into the green which we have connected into all the surrounding drain channels.

We surveyed the green before we started to make sure the main drain was placed in the lowest part of the green. Something which had never          been done before.

We installed over 125 m of 80mm diameter perforated pipe in trenches 250mm wide and 750mm deep.

Weather depending, we intend to carry out work on the 12th & 14th greens.

Drainage issues.

Long standing members may remember the drainage work which was carried out on the 5th, 8th, 11th & 16th greens back in 2001.
The work was carried out by a contractor using a system called "Turfdry". The system involved inserting "ribbon" drains into multiple narrow channels at a depth of 400mm. The "ribbon" drains measure 150mm x 25mm. The photos below show the material and the drains exposed in a trench.

The problem with the system is the drainage channels are so narrow they quickly become contaminated with fine particles and the water never manages to reach the "ribbon" drains. 
When we exposed these drains this week, out of a total of 20 lines only 3 had water in them.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Autumn renovation work.

It's that time of year when we carry out the essential renovation work on the greens.
Many of our members despair when we start this, but I will run through the reasons why it is so essential.
1. Golf is the only sport played on turf that does not have a closed playing season. All other sports:-  Football, Tennis, Bowls, Cricket etc have a large window of opportunity to carry out the essential work that is needed following a seasons play. 
2. Compaction, thinning out of the surfaces, thatch build up and sickly Annual meadow grass can all be dealt with during this renovation work.
3. Ideally, this work is carried out in the height of the growing season (August) to speed up recovery, but due to fixtures and the levels of summer play the work is pushed into September. 
4. We need warmth in the soil to aid seed germination and help the recovery process. 

We start by solid tining the greens to a depth of 300mm with 12mm diameter tines. In the past we have used larger tines, but these have proved too disruptive for the time of year.

We then deep scarify the greens with 3mm wide blades using a pedestrian Graden machine to a depth of 20mm. The debris is blow off the surface and removed. This leaves the grooves open to receive the seed (Bent & Fescue) which is then covered with pure sand dressing.

The dressing is then dragged and brushed into the surface to smooth and bury the seed to protect it during germination.
We then roll the greens repeatedly to again smooth and restore the surfaces. 
It is then up to mother nature and the weather to do their stuff.

I know this work is disruptive but the greens have improved year on year following this programme of improvements. Without this, thatch and compaction would build up and disease and Annual meadow grass would become real issues on the greens.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions and Feedback on the blog.

Following a Greens Committee meeting it has been decided that the blog will go back to it's original purpose of informing the membership of current events and work on the course.

This decision does not intend to stop members expressing their opinion on course related issues. Members can write to The Captain or Greens Chairman as in the past, and their queries will be dealt with promptly.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Recent comments

Following the recent micro-tining & top-dressing and the resulting negative comments, I thought they deserved a reply.
The greens have been slow to improve this year due to the really late spring and low temperatures. We are not the only courses which have been affected, as even many of the coastal links courses are behind their normal recovery rates.
The perception that all we have to do is cut the greens for them to have good surfaces is wrong. Mowing helps a great deal, but is always carried out in conjunction with rolling, verti-cutting, aeration and top-dressing. The more you cut and roll the more remedial work you have to carry out. St. Annes Old links were today deep tining their greens to a depth of 250 mm!
If you copy & paste the link below you will be able to read our Agronomists (Robert Laycock) report from May this year.

The comment about "20 years of talk about Bent & Fescues has come to nothing" is also incorrect. 10 years ago there were no fine grasses in the greens at Hopwood. Now some of our greens have over 50%. The issue in the spring is that the weedy Poa Annua is slow to recover from the winter, while the finer species recover quickly. It is the Poa that causes the uneven surfaces.

On Sunday morning before the Hulbert Trophy the course was saturated following heavy overnight rain. The greens were dry and free from puddles allowing us to mow and prepare the course for the comp. The reason for this was the micro-tining we carried out the week before allowing the water to pass through the soil profile quickly.

Following the very wet year last year, the rough grew very thick and caused problems in the playability of the course. Problem areas were identified and the rough was cut back. These area have been continued to be cut this year, with a lot of extra width on the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th & 17th holes. More work is being carried out at the moment to thin out any other problem areas and it is hoped to keep these area down through the season.
I can understand members frustrations with lost balls and slow play, but modern technology in golf tends to concentrate on distance and not accuracy.

As for the comment that the course is in "poor condition", this I cannot accept and I know of many members & visitors who have expressed their pleasure in enjoying the Hopwood experience.

Congratulations Ken on winning Captains 4th round last Saturday with a 67!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Ongoing Maintenance

Managing a golf course and its surfaces is not just about cutting grass. We often get criticised for "messing around" with the greens, when we are in fact carrying out essential work to maintain surfaces. 
On Monday we started micro-tining the greens to alleviate compaction which builds up following continued mowing & rolling. This allows the turf to breathe and lets moisture pass thru the profile and away from the surfaces. The tining is not disruptive and following mowing, the surfaces are restored and in many cases improved. 
We also apply pure sand as a top-dressing. This again prevents the surfaces becoming capped (improving drainage) and fills any small depressions in the surface smoothing them out. Since we purchased our new dresser the process has been much quicker and recovery quicker. 
I would ask the members to be patient during any periods of this work as it really is essential in maintaining and improving our greens.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Compost Tea.

Over the last 6 months you will have seen me mention Compost tea. 2 1/2 years ago the club decided to purchase a Compost Tea brewer to produce our own soil conditioning liquids.
The brewer consists of a cylindrical plastic tank which holds over 200 L of water. Attached to this is an air pump which aerates the liquid from the bottom. 
We fill the tank with water and then aerate it for 30 minutes to remove any chlorine. We then add a large Tea bag which is filled with compost and granular seaweed. As well as this we pour small quantities of Humic acid, Fish Hydroslate and molasses.
The brew is left to bubble away for 48-72 hours. As you can see from the photo, the solution gets quite lively. This is because the natural microbes and funghi in the liquid start to multiply. Both of these give the soil a much needed boost and help reduce thatch buildup, increase resistance to disease and reduce toxins in the soil. They also help release trapped nutrients in the soil.
We then add the solution to a sprayer with a further 400 L of water and apply it to the greens. The cost of each tank is around £70. When you consider that a single application of fungicide can cost as much as £750, you can see the potential savings are huge.
The organic way has always had many benefits and compost tea helps us maintain a natural management programme.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Northern Counties

The greenstaff have been putting the hours in to get the course ready for the EGU Northern Counties tournament. The weather over the last 5 days has been fantastic and really helped speed along our preparations. The greens have come on leaps and bounds, with the poa annua smoothing out its growth pattern. The bunkers have dried out and the sand has loosened again due to the lack of moisture bonding the particles. This is a direct consequence of the previous wet summers washing out the faces and contaminating the sand with fine soil particles. It's hoped to start correcting this next winter and also reduce the height of some of the faces.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Well Spring has sprung at last. The course is showing real signs of growth in all areas at last. The meadow grass in the greens is finally catching up with the bent grass and the surfaces are smoothing out. Of course, this also meant that the weedy poa was struck by Fusarium patch disease, which meant I had to spray the greens for the 1st time in 18 months. We couldn't risk the disease spreading with the Northern Counties event just around the corner.
We have continued to verti-cut lightly and we again will apply a light sand dressing this week to further smooth the surfaces and the height of cut will be brought down ready for the big day.
Lets hope the sun continues to shine so we can all enjoy the course.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Black Greens!

One of the methods we use for managing the greens is to apply Sulphate of Iron in liquid form.
Iron is an essential element in turf grass, but usually occurs in tiny quantities.
We apply iron in a sprayer with other micro nutrients and Compost tea. If applied regularly during the year, it helps to control moss, helps strengthen the plant against disease and darkens the turf. This last benefit is ideal at this time of year when we are looking to increase soil temperatures to help recovery. The darker the turf the more heat it can absorb from any available sunshine. And the way the weather is at the moment, we need all the help we can get.

The black staining of the leaf soon fades, but then leaves the turf a darker green.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


I never intended this Blog to be constant updates on prevailing weather conditions. But the extraordinary spring weather we are currently experiencing is having a major impact on the course conditions. 
As you may be aware, temperatures are still stuck in single figures combined with high winds further dropping the temperature. Spring conditions seem a good way off, with many trees still not in leaf.,
This is causing the turf on the greens to lay dormant, with little growth to aid surface recovery. We have already applied twice the level of Nitrogen to the greens, compared to this time last year, hoping this would push them on. Further applications will only weaken the turf and cause long term damage to the plant.
 Our maintenance programme of rolling, top-dressing and verti-cutting is helping the surfaces, but nothing can replace some natural growth. As previously stated, irrigation water further cools the soil so can never be the answer in these conditions.
Fingers crossed for some warmer weather, as everything else is in place.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Irrigation system

Over the last 3 days we have been working through our irrigation system, fixing bursts, changing and updating sprinklers and repairing the wiring and control system. All the greenstaff are now trained in this important aspect of our course maintenance. This saves the club £1,000's in bringing in outside contractors.
One of the reasons we leave this job till later in the spring is due to potential frost damage to the system and the fact that watering the greens too early reduces the soil temperatures which slows growth and recovery. The water in the system will be around 3-4 degrees, while the turf needs much higher temperatures to flourish.

The 12th green sprinklers following their update to new Rainbird eagle sprinklers.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Robert Laycock

Today, Robert Laycock made one of his visits to inspect the course. Robert has been the clubs Agronomist since July 2002 and has played a major part in the improvements and alterations to the course in the last 10 years. This visit we focused on the recent results from the soil tests in December and the condition of the greens especially the drainage work on the 6th & 10th.
We also discussed the effects the wet & cold weather has had on the winter work programme. He informed us that other clubs in the North had suffered course closures of up to 2 months (twice our lost days).
Robert announced he was very pleased with our progress and complimented us on how tidy the course was looking. His report will be put on the board when we receive it.

                        Greens Chairman, John Shaw pictured with Robert today.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Soil Biology

Last week, the Grenstaff had the chance to attend a Soil Biology course which was held at the club by Symbio (the makers of our compost tea brewer) and Dr Sue Hodgson. It was very informative and as a bonus the club now own their own microscope for analysing our soil biology.

Also in attendance was Steve Hemsley the course manager from Bolton Old Links GC.

Some of you may be wondering why we need to go to such lengths with our maintenance programme. But if the biology of the soil is out of balance, disease and pests can multiply. We also need to know that the Tea we apply to the greens has the correct amount of bacteria and fungi.


When I got to the 2nd green around 8.30 this morning, to my horror, I discovered a deep divot about 10 feet from the hole!
Unfortunately, the first competitors had gone through the hole in the comp so I couldn't change the hole.
I really don't need to add anymore comment to this.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Tom Wood

Welcome to Hopwood Tom Wood, the newest member of the greenstaff team.
Tom has joined us from Outlane GC were he has worked for the last 5 years. He was also part of the support team at Royal Lytham last year. He joins us with many greenkeeping qualifications, but we all hope, working at Hopwood can take his skills to an even higher level. Say hello when you meet him on the course.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Vibro rollers

This is a photo of us using our set of True surface vibro rollers on the greens. They perform a similar job to a greens iron, but use a greens triple as the power source. We will use them throughout the season when needed and following aeration.

Saturday, 20 April 2013


I was in work this morning at sunrise and with the sun being at a really low level, it really showed how badly the greens were being damaged by unrepaired pitchmarks. 
I know this is not a problem exclusive to Hopwood, but the greenstaff do not have the time to repair pitchmarks and by the time we come across them, it's too late anyway.
Ideally, the marks should be repaired immediately, as this speeds up recovery. If more than an hour passes, the turf is as good as dead.  
At this early stage of the season, we need all the help to preserve our surfaces.

This is a photo from a couple of years ago of the 8th green. Each ball is on an unrepaired mark or a scar form a pitchmark. I think it really shows the impact.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Andy Phillips.

Today, we said goodbye to Andy Phillips, one of our assistant greenkeepers.
Andy joined us from North Manchester Golf Club in July 2009 and has become a much valued member of the greenkeeping team at Hopwood. Andy and his family have decided to move back to his native Devon and he has managed to land the Head Greenkeepers job at High Bullen Golf & Country Club, Barnstaple.
I have no doubt that Andy will be successful in his new role and we all wish him luck.

New John Deere greens mower.

We have used our new John Deere 2500 E greens triple mower for the 1st time today.

This mower is a Diesel Hybrid which is now proven technology. The engine powers the drive unit, while the cutting units are powered by electric motors. This system reduces fuel consumption and noise and also greatly reduces the risk of damaging oil leaks form the hydraulics. We also still have our older Toro greens mower, which we use for rolling, scarifying and back up cutting.

Work to improve the Rough.

As part of our ongoing programme of improvements to the rough's, we have been cutting and scarifying large areas of the course.
The idea is to thin out the course grasses and reeds and promote the finer grasses which will give golfers a fairer hazard. Following the extreme wet weather last year, the rough had become thick and unplayable, with a tendency to lie flat. To create the desirable wispy, fine rough's it is vital to remove the debris which has been cut, as this would turn into nutrients as it rots down, promoting growth. The picture below shows the area between the 2nd & 17th following scarification.

We follow this with deep slitting, which helps drainage and relieves compaction. During the season we will monitor the length and thickness of these areas and thin them out if needed.

We have also been extending areas of 3 1/2 inch cut rough on the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 14th holes.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Top Dressing.

We managed to get the greens dressed today despite a hard frost. The greens were scarified and then we used our new spin type Dakota top dresser. This machine gives us the capability to use much less sand and also complete the work far quicker than before. Our old belt type dresser used to take over 4 hours to dress 18 greens, which had a major impact on play. The new machine can dress the greens in under 2 hours!

The dressing was then brushed in and a granular fertiliser was applied. The weather is due to change for the weekend, and this should further help the greens recovery. Fingers crossed for no more frosts!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The week ahead at Hopwood.

We have loads of work planned for the coming week. Our 1st priority is to smooth out the putting surfaces following the 2 weeks of frost. We are going to micro-tine the greens and then verti-cut them to prepare them for top-dressing and rolling. This will be the 1st opportunity we will have had to try out our new Dakota top-dresser. Dressing will now be much quicker with less disruption to play. The greens will also receive an application of compost tea and liquid seaweed to promote growth and turf health.
This work should be completed early on Wednesday in time for the 1st of the club comps.
We also plan to complete the scarifying work on the semi-rough and then start on the tees. The tees will then be over-seeded and top-dressed along with an application of granular fertiliser.
Hopefully, with the warmer weather which is forecast for the week, things should finally start to move forward.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Captains Drive-in.

Preparations are well underway for the Captains drive-in this weekend. Work has been hampered by the prolonged cold spell, with work on the greens being stopped due to frost in the ground.
We have finished scarifying and sweeping the fairways, approaches and semi-rough. The paths on the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th & 11th have been resurfaced and edged. We have more work planned for the 13th & 14th paths.
We plan to cut as much of the course as possible on Friday and put out new flags, cups and tee markers etc. Hopefully, all this will herald the start of a great season (admittedly, a week late).

For Sale

The club have 2 Tee's mowers for sale. They are Dennis 24" with a 7 bladed cylinder and a plastic grass box. They are ideal for cutting Tee's, Cricket squares or a large garden.
They have been renovated with new B/Blades, bearings, cables and belts.
The price is £750 + VAT (each). Contact the office for details.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

More path replacement

Despite the cold weather and frozen ground we continue to complete some of the jobs on our winter work programme.
The path between the putting green and 1st tee has needed replacement for a number of years. Much debate within the greens committee has taken place. The 1st choice material was a bonded rubber material, but due to a cost of over £5000 was dismissed.
It was decided to go with the red shale we have used throughout the course. But to install the plastic netpave on the slope down to the fairway. Hopefully, this should prevent washout and if successful will be rolled out onto the rest of the course.
We also took the opportunity to widen the path around the starters hut and extend the parking area around the putting green.
A new bench will be installed before the start of the season.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

What a differance 10 years makes!

10 years ago the course at Hopwood was a very different animal, but as we know, people have short memories. Here's a few reminders of what the members had to put up with on a daily basis.

 This is a picture of the putting green in March 2003. Nice disease scars.

This is the 5th green following the disastrous drainage work that was carried out by contractors in 2002.

This is the old greenside bunker on the R/H side of the 8th green in 2003

This is the front R/H side bunker on the 2nd hole in 2003.

This is the site of the pond in front of the 10th tees.

 And for those of you who criticise our tree removal policy, here's a picture of the putting green and 1st tee before we gave the area some light.

With our greens surfaces disease free and with 100% grass cover we are ideally placed to for the start of the season. Lets hope the bad weather forecast for the weekend is short lived and Spring is just around the corner.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Frustrating week,

The weather has held us back this week, with frost deep in the ground from Monday thru to Thursday. Even today when the rain came, the water sat on the surface unable to penetrate the frost.
We had planned to scarify all the fairways and semi rough, but that quickly went out of the window. Instead we spent 3 days getting on top of our machinery maintenance, 
Many of you may not know that we carry out all our machinery repairs and servicing in house, without the need for expensive outside dealers. This means we are able to save the club a huge amount of money and it gives the staff a real insight into how the machines work and what ongoing maintenance they need.

We did manage to carry out some work on the course, concentrating on repairs to the ditch crossing on the 10th hole.
As you can see, we have used the plastic Netpave material underneath the red shale. This, we hope, will stabilise the shale and prevent washouts in periods of heavy rain. If this is successful, we intend to repeat the process on some of our other damaged paths.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Busy week at Hopwood.

Its been another busy week on the course as we've been getting stuck in to many jobs before the cold rain returned.
Our aeration work to the greens went really well, with soil conditions perfect for cracking and heaving the soil under the greens. We followed on with the micro-tiner and also rolled them to restore the surfaces and close the holes over. We then ran the hand mowers over them as well. This has been the most successful aeration treatment we have completed in the last 2 years.

We also applied a slow release organic fertiliser to try and move any available growth forward. But judging by the forecast for the week ahead, the won't be much warmth about to help us.

We've also carried out some re-profiling work on the corner of the 14th hole. This is to help  with visibility for the 2nd shot. It became obvious after we removed the trees, that the view was still restricted by mounds of earth. Now the mounds have been removed, golfers should be able to see thru to the green. The area will be seeded and should fill in very quickly.

The majority of the turfing jobs are completed. But next week, we will restore some path ends and turf over some of the drainage lines we have exposed. 
We've slit the fairways in preparation for the scarifying and sweeping we will carry out this week. We will also finish the application of Iron to the fairways and semi-rough.
Full steam ahead to the start of the season.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Irrigation work.

Over the last few years we have had a number of leaks and bursts in the irrigation system, following damage caused by floating debris smashing into the pipework across Trub brook.
When the system was upgraded many moons ago, for some reason the 2" main pipes were installed above the normal water line of the brook. This is ok in periods of normal rainfall, but as you know, normal is not a term to describe the recent weather.
When the water level rises, debris from upstream smashes into the pipework, cracking it or even worse severing it.

To combat this, we install the 2' pipes in larger tubes filled with concrete (for re-enforcement and weight) and bury them in the bed of the stream. This is a photo of the pipework at the 16th prior to being covered. We have also replaced the pipes at the 4th & 13th.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Busy week at Hopwood

Another dry week has meant we've managed to get loads done and start catching up with our outstanding jobs.
We've rebuilt the large practice bunker on the front field, it's already been turfed and when the turf has rooted we'll do the final shaping and fill it with fresh sand.
All the stump holes have now been turfed, topdressed and tidied.
3 of the areas with drainage problems have been sorted (2nd, 5th & 15th), once these areas dry out we will soil and turf the trenches.
Our 2nd cycle of aeration is nearing completion on the fairways, semi and walkways. As soon as we finish, we can start scarifying the fairways and approaches ready for the start of the season.
We hope to deep tine the greens again next week as soil conditions are perfect. This will be followed by micro-tining and a light roll. This should provide the soil under the greens with many cracks & channels for drainage and root growth.
Fingers crossed for higher temperatures as well.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Drying out.

The course has really benefited from 8 days without rain (the longest dry spell since May last year). We've even managed to get buggies back on.
Despite the almost daily temperatures which have hovered around freezing, we have been able to start catching up with many outstanding jobs. We have turfed many of the holes created by tree removal as well as the area on the 3rd fairway slope. This area has suffered from settlement and the turf was removed to level this area up. It is hoped later this year to return the slope to a fairway height of cut.
Hopefully next week, we will finish the turfing and start on some small drainage repairs on the 5th, 7th, 15th & 16th holes. We are also in the middle of spraying the fairways with iron to green them up and kill any moss. We also plan to renovate the large bunker on the front practice green.
We are looking into replacing the path material around the putting green. Prices for various options are being obtained.
Lets hope the dry spell continues, hopefully with higher temperatures so we can get back on the main greens.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


One of the things that confuses golfers is the timing and use of winter greens.
When the weather is frosty damage can occur to the greens in a number of different ways.
The 1st way is if the surface is covered in frost and the actual grass plant is frozen. Foot traffic across the green snaps off the small delicate leaves destroying the capillary tubes inside the plant. This is visible when the frost lifts as brown or "burn" marks on the turf.
The 2nd form of damage is when the surface is frost free but the soil underneath is still frozen. The action of walking and turning on the turf, shears the root away due to the surface being soft and unstable and the roots being held in the ice.
Another issue with ice below the surface is trapped moisture, as the water has no way of passing through the rootzone.
All the above, increase the stress on the plant, making them disease and drought prone.

The removal of shade around the greens has always been a priority at MGC, one of the reasons we remove greenside trees. It is vital to get sunshine on to the putting surfaces to raise soil temperatures and minimse frozen soil.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Tree roots

We been hard at work despite the snow removing, root mass and moss covered turf from the R/H side of the 14th hole. We took 10 trailers of debris away and still had to chop back shallow roots with an axe.

As you can see, there are many shallow roots starving the turf of nutrients and moisture. They also break thru the surface and create dangerous lies for shots from the rough.
The areas will be re-turfed and we can work on the surrounding rough to bring definition and promote the desirable grass species.