Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Anthracnose on the greens.

Following the recent outbreak of Anthracnose on some of the greens, I thought his may be of interest.

Copy and paste the link below.

Mark Hunt;s weather blog is widely read by many course managers.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

New members of the Greenstaff.

Following the departures of Aaron and Tom, the club have been looking for replacement staff to join the greens team at Hopwood.

Our first new team member is Gareth Callaghan. 
Gareth has worked at Didsbury, Chorlton and The Mere. He has been in the greenkeeping/turf industry for over 8 years.

Our next new member of staff is Arran Leach.
Arran has worked at Greenmount GC since he left school 7 years ago. He is a keen golfer with a 12 handicap.

It has been the clubs policy for a number of years to employ casual greenstaff on the course in the summer months. We have decided this year to employ a Greenkeeping Apprentice, to help introduce a newcomer to the turf industry.
Sam Greenhalgh applied and started with us after Easter. Some of you may recognize him as he is also a member of the club and a regular in club competitions.

We welcome all the new lads to Hopwood and hope they enjoy their time here. Please say hello when you see them out on the course.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Aaron Watkinson

After 5 years, Assistant Greenkeeper Aaron Watkinson has left the clubs employ. 
Aaron joined us from Rossendale GC and quickly became a key part of the greenkeeping team at Hopwood.  
He has had a long association with the club having been a member since he was a junior. His playing high point was being part of the victorious Dunham Forest team in 2012.
Aaron brought a single minded determination to all aspects of his work and was always professional in his day to day dealings with the membership. He will be difficult to replace.
We all wish him well in his new position as Deputy Head Greenkeeper at Bolton Old Links GC.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Greens drainage work.

To try and improve long term drainage on the greens, the club have purchased a power auger to drill vertical drainage channels on the greens.

First a bit of background info.
When the course was built in 1912, the priority for play was to provide good conditions during the summer months. The winter months were spent playing on links courses.
With this in mind, the greens were constructed to retain moisture.

The greens have a band of hard impermeable material at a depth of 500 -600mm. This traps moisture in the profile and increases the chance of water-logging during periods of wet weather. Below this (on many greens) is good quality sand.
To try and improve this situation, we drill holes (1200mm deep) across the putting surface. These holes are 90mm wide (same as a hole cup), so are easily repaired.

This pic shows the hole cut ready for drilling, with a board in place to prevent damage and aid cleaning.

     The above pic shows the dark, heavier soil below the turf roots.

This pic shows the sand below being removed (this is the back tier of the 10th green).

Once the sand and soil is removed and the hole cleaned out, we fill up to 250mm from the top with a 5mm gravel. This is then covered with 150mm of sand and then the plug is replaced.

On the 10th green we have drilled 150 holes, at 1.2m centres. We follow this with a Robin Dagger treatment, which fractures the soil underneath creating fissures for the water to reach the boreholes.
As you can imagine this is a slow, labour intensive job. The 10th green took 3 people, 3 days to complete. We have carried out this process on the 1st, 2nd, 9th, 10th, 11th & 16th greens so far, concentrating on the areas which flood or hold water.

   We will do as many areas as we can before the start of the season.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Recent course closures

The recent wet weather has now caused the soil to reach saturation levels. This is when all available space in the soil has been filled by water. Any additional rainfall just sits on the surface going nowhere. The above pic is the 5th hole on Tuesday 27th January. Only a sustained dry spell will reduce soil moisture levels, hence the restrictions in play on the course.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Tree work

It's that time again for us to continue with our tree and woodland management programme. I know this is unpopular with some of the members, so I have posted an article from Pitchcare magazine in November. This explains in great detail why we remove trees at Hopwood.
The auther of the article, John Nicolson is the person the club employed to oversea the planting schemes next to the car park and the 15th hole.