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.