Thursday, 10 December 2015

Weekend Update.

Following the storms over the weekend, the course was drying out nicely. Todays rain has set things back a bit, but fingers crossed, we should get things tidied up for the weekend.

We have continued to aerate the greens with the Air2G2 as well as moving forward with the fairway and semi aeration. The fairway work will carry on right up to the Christmas break and then start again in the New Year. The winter greens have had a light top-dressing and next week will have some lawn sand applied to help control any moss.

The tree and shrub removal programme continues, with a Silver Birch on the R/H side of the 2nd removed and others pruned. The tree work along the 15th track is now complete and we have tidied things up. The area in front of the 1st tee has had brash & logs removed.

The track to the 15th has also been scraped to remove mud and level the surface. It is planned to carry out more work to the surface when time and money allows.

Work has started on clearing the ditch on the L/H side of the 15th hole. This drain carries a lot of the water from the fairway and has become clogged with branches and silt. This will continue into next week.

Its also been a week of essential machinery servicing. With much used items getting a tune up.

Lets hope the winter league can run smoothly this weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Weekend update

Well there was me thinking the weather couldn't get any worse. November left with a deluge, totalling 231.1mm, the 2nd wettest month in 13 years. FYI, August 2004 (Paul Rocca, Capt.) put down 254.2mm!

The course didn't really stand up to it, with rivers of debris being washed over many parts of the course. The greens were the driest areas of the course and were quickly back in play. I put this down to well timed aeration, The use of the Air2G2 machine and some magic potions we apply to the turf.

Our winter work programme has been finalised and we are currently working through the list of projects. This work will of course be weather dependant, but at the moment we are removing selected trees & shrubs, aerating the fairways and completing some small drainage jobs. When the conditions improve we intend to carry out renovation work on some bunkers, re-profile the 5th carry and complete some drainage improvements.

Our winter course protection measures came into force on the 1/12/15, with fairway mats now compulsory in selected areas. Some ropes have been placed in sensitive areas to control traffic, but it is hoped to minimise their use thru the winter. With this in mind, can I remind golfers to keep behind the white lines as this will reduce wear & tear around our short cut playing surfaces.

As mentioned last week, pitch marks are slow to recover at this time of year and do cause bumpy putting surfaces. Please be aware of this when playing the course.

Have a good weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A truly horrible week weather wise, but despite this, we've managed to complete a few outstanding tasks.

The track down to the 15th is now clear and the toilet truck made it there & back safely. There is still some work to do on the surface of the track, but this will be carried out when some suitable material is available.
We had to rest the Air2G2 this week as the ground conditions were either frozen or saturated. But we did manage to start deep timing the greens on Wednesday using 350mm x 12mm tines. We have kept the spacings close together to give an even lift to the surfaces. This will be followed by a hand cut & iron tomorrow (Friday).
I also applied a liquid micro nutrient spray prior to the tining. This also included some Roca-stem which we use to maintain firm surfaces.

The winter greens have received a cut and light top-dressing. They are starting to show some worm activity, so we will apply some iron and suppressant next week.

We have carried on with leaf collection, but are hoping that we are coming to the end of this laborious task following the sharp frosts.

The area between the 6th green and 7th tee has seen a manhole installed. This area has heavy soil and the drains work well, but puddles are still slow to disappear. The manhole should speed things up.

Next week, we hope to carry out some drainage work around the 5th green. The L/H side bunker has had washing issues for a number of years and it is hoped to intercept this ground water. 

Robert Laycock has been back to assess the species population of the greens. The feeling is that the finer grasses are increasing, but his report will hopefully confirm this.

Fingers crossed for settled weather for the weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Weekend update

Well where do I start?
The Autumn/Winter has really kicked in.  14 consecutive days rain is really starting to takes its toll on the course. Moving around is becoming an issue and we are now walking hand mowers round the course to get access to the greens. The greens triple, despite having 3 wheel drive is unable to move around the course safely.

Despite the conditions, we managed to get the greens micro-tined on Monday & Tuesday, followed by a cut. The Air2G2 was again out at the start of the week, completing 7 greens.
The greens really are looking good, with little sign of any disease. The preventative measures we have used this Autumn have worked well.
One thing that is evident on the greens are the large amount of unrepaired pitchmarks. At this time of year when the surfaces soften it is even more important to make sure you fix any mark made on the green. Recovery from these marks is slow at this time of year.
Robert Laycock (the clubs agronomist), visited on Monday as was very pleased with the surfaces and grass cover. He did suggest some adjustments to our aeration programme, which he will detail in his report.

We have continued to clear the track down to the 15th tee's. This has turned into a major task, but at least it keeps us busy during the difficult weather conditions.

Next week, we hope to carry out more aeration throughout the course. There is still some drainage work outstanding and some exploratory work around the 5th green. As usual, all these tasks are weather dependant.

Fingers crossed for a change in the weather.

Mark & the Greens team.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Weekend update.

Another busy week which was punctuated by quite a bit of rain.

We applied some granular fertiliser to the greens on Monday which should be the last major nutrient this year. We used an organic based low Nitrogen product with Calcium which is designed to help the break-up of thatch.
On Tuesday the greens were sprayed with trace elements inc a Copper solution. This will help hold back any outbreak of Fusarium. It has been a difficult Autumn for turf managers in this respect. The mild weather has encouraged many outbreaks and some clubs have suffered dramatic turf loss.

On Tuesday we also started installing additional pipe drainage on the 9th green. Around 60 metres of 80mm perforated pipe was placed in 225mm wide trenches. The work was completed on Thursday. The green will probably be out of play for a few weeks. The 12th green (which was drained in October) is now back in play.

An ongoing job for the last 2 weeks has been to widen access to the waterworks & 15th tee. This involves removing overhanging trees and scrub and tidying the verge. This work will continue over the coming weeks.

Leaf blowing and collection is now in full swing and will continue until the last of them have fallen.

Tasks planned for next week include micro-tining the greens,  installation of a new Tee mat on the 6th hole and some more minor drainage work near the 6th green.

Have a good weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Weekend update

Despite a wet Wednesday, its been another good week. The course stood up really well to over 10mm of rain. 

Lots of small but time consuming tasks completed this week.

The range tee is now closed and received a good cut and heavy divot to aid recovery thru the winter. Brian has bought some new mats, so play can continue.
The greens were micro-tined on Monday, the 1st time since early September. This was followed with a cut and iron to restore the surfaces. The Air2G2 was again in use as well to breath life into the greens, The drainage work on the 12th was treated to a top-dressing. The turf is already rooting, so the green will be rested this weekend to help the roots establish.
It was a busy week golf wise, which meant continued set up work to fit in as well.

We have a side-arm flail tractor on hire as well this week. United Utilities are paying for it, so we are tidying the verges and routes thru to the waterworks. This will also involve some treework next week on the track to the 15th tee.
The seed on the 8th tee has germinated well and was top-dressed with sand.
We also placed some stone on the newly formed winter tee on the 6th hole. This was compacted and levelled. more work will be carried out next week.

Fingers crossed for the weekend weather.

Mark & the Greens team.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The good weather continues and with it the list of completed jobs.

We started using the auger on Monday on the 7th green to aid surface water removal. Over 2 days we managed to bore over 70 holes, each one 4ft deep. The subsoil was very hard due to the dry conditions, which slowed down the process. Each hole was filled with washed 6mm grit and topped off with sand. Following a cut & iron the green was back in play. We also repeated the operation on the front of the 14th green.

Tuesday saw us starting the drainage work on the 12th green. This is a project that has been waiting to be completed for 2 years. Good weather and ground conditions are vital to avoid making a real mess during the digging out process. A total of 80 metres of 80mm perforated drainage pipes was installed in 225 x 800 mm trenches. These trenches were filled with the washed grit and topped off with a sand/soil mix and re-turfed. The turf was then sprayed with an iron/fungicide mix and top-dressed. All the work was completed on Friday morning. The turf will need a few days to settle, so a winter green will be in use into next week.

We have also formed a base for a new winter tee on the 6th hole. This should be ready for play in the next few weeks.

The course was set up for the weekend on friday, but there are signs that things are starting to slow down on the growth front.

Have a great weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Friday update

Well the Autumn arrived on Tuesday/Wednesday with over an inch of rain falling in a 24 hour period. Certainly tested the drainage.
The greens stood up to it very well with only a couple of puddles on the greens. The Air2G2 really is making a difference.
The mild conditions also led to a small but persistent outbreak of Fusarium patch disease. So I applied a systemic fungicide 1st thing on Thursday morning. The chemical will remain active for 4-5 weeks, so fingers crossed it will see us past the disease pressure period.
Its been a case of tidying areas throughout the course for the remainder of the week. The fairways and tees have also received a full divot. As in previous week, we have completed a full cut ready for the weekend.
We plan to start some deep auger work and drainage work on selected greens next week, but this will be weather dependant. It is a process which has produced good results in previous years.
Fingers crossed for a good weekend.
Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Friday Update.

Well what a fantastic week, weather and work wise.
If only July & August had been this good.

We started some drainage work across the 5th fairway on Monday which was left over from last years winter work programme. Its a diagonal drain which runs from the end of the buggy path to the large hollow on the R/H side of the fairway. It should dry out an area thats sits wet following heavy rain. We have also dug out an area of old path which is no longer used. The drain is finished and marked GUR, but the work on the path will need more work and some turf.

The spoil from the drainage work was moved to the front of the 8th tee to create a base for a winter turf tee. This tee has been finished as well and seeded. Please avoid walking on this area until the seed germinates.
The seed was given to the club to trial by DLF (a seed house). It is a coated seed which should speed up germination and growing in.

We have managed to thin out more areas of rough (R/H 1st, between 6th & 7th, R/H 11th). If the dry weather continues we will carry on with some other areas.

We are still completing a full cut during the week to maintain conditions for as long as possible. 

There have been signs of disease on the greens, but on Tuesday I sprayed a nutrient cocktail to harden the turf against any outbreaks. If this does not work, I'll have to apply a fungicide.

Have a great weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Friday Update.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Friday Update.

Hi All,

Another busy week on the course.

We have tried to carry out more thinning of the rough this week, but due to the wet conditions (dew & rain) it has not been possible. The turf has to be really dry for the Amazone to pick the debris up. You can cut it, but it just lies on the surface in clumps. We will try again next week.

The application of top-dressing was postponed on Monday and will now be applied next week. We will again be out with the Air2G2 aerator treating 6 or 7 greens. This has been a regular Monday task throughout this season.

At the moment we are trialling Fairway mowers as ours is coming to the end of its 6th season. We have tried the John Deere and this week the latest machine from Jacobsen. Cutting technology really does advance quickly. 

Due to the good weather, we are still cutting the course as if it was high summer as the grass is still growing strongly.
Tee banks have been cut this week and next week we have another round of bunker maintenance. 

Have a great weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Friday Update

A settled week weather wise has allowed us to get stuck into a few outstanding jobs this week.

The greens were sprayed with a nutrient cocktail on Tuesday to continue growth and help keep any disease at bay. The grass cover is excellent following the recent renovation work. The new bent grass seedlings are blending nicely into the putting surfaces.

The dry conditions have allowed us to stone pick in many of the bunkers. I know this is not a permanent solution, but still worthwhile. 
The thick mown rough throughout the course has been scarified heavily using our tractor mounted Amazone unit. This rips out the thick growth and collects it. This process should (over time and repeated operations) reduce the thickness of the grass. The removal of the grass reduces the available nitrogen in the soil from the clippings, following weekly cutting.

We have also managed to spray more areas of Himalayan Balsam throughout the course. This virulent weed will  quickly take over if left unchecked.

A light top-dressing is planned next week to help maintain smooth surfaces.

Have a great weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Weekly update.

Hi All. As you can imagine, it's been a busy week. Monday's task was to restore the bunkers following the weekends deluge. FYI it took 25 man hours to get them somewhere near playable. It usually takes 3 rounds of raking to get them fully sorted.  Paths are another huge labour issue. At present I am looking into more cost effective ways of maintaining some of the paths. The rest of the week has been cut, cut and tidy. The greens have continued to improve following the recent renovation work. The germination of the new bent grass seedlings are clearly visible on every green.  The greens have been ironed twice this week and will be smoothed further over the weekend.  The height of cut has been reduced gradually to 3.5mm to improve their pace. So fingers crossed weather wise, everything is ready for Captains weekend.  The Captain and I selected the pin positions on Tuesday, a beautiful morning, with all of Hopwood's wildlife in attendance. Sadly, some of the pin positions will have to be tweaked slightly over the weekend due to unrepaired pitch marks.  A sheet will be given to competitors before their round commences. Good luck to everyone who qualified.  Mark & the greens team.  Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android