Monthly Archives: April 2011

Course Up-Date

Hollow Coring Fairways

Following a hectic Maintenance week the golf course has returned to normality, all bunkers are now in play and the 11th and 12th holes playing to main greens. The planned work to greens and fairways was completed ahead of schedule as a result of the dry weather and the greens staff working 12 and 13 hour days. The greens have been scarified, top dressed and a granular 13-2-13 fertilizer applied. This will aid recovery and set the greens up for the coming months, complimented by folia liquid feeds. We will look to lower the height of cut towards the end of next week ensuring a decent playing surface, with the possibility of top-dressing greens with a further ‘dusting’. Growth has slowed down with the cooler temps and lack of rain. It is a balancing act to keep the greens firm and dry while not letting them wilt and become stressed. In order to do this we hand water ‘hot spots’ across the greens. This allows us to direct water exactly where it is needed and ultimately saves water usage.

Breaking up cores

In the coming week the main priority will be continuing to present the golf course for play while over seeding the fairways with fescue. The aim is to increase the amount of fescue which is a fine leafed grass native to heathland golf courses. Unlike rye grass, fescue is able to withstand droughts, although browning off in periods of dry weather it will survive and ‘green up’ following a shower of rain. Members are encouraged to use the divot bags provided on the first tee: filling divots across the golf course is something all golfers can all do to improve the course. Fingers crossed we have some rain which will help germinate the seed!


Maintenance Week

Hollow Coring

As the golfing season gets under way the golf course continues to progress. In what has been another busy week work has stepped up a gear. The fairways and approaches have responded well to the folia feed applied last week with definition starting to take shape around the fairways. The greens have been pencil tinned and received a folia feed today which will aid growth and help conditioning before maintenance week. With favourable conditions the seed on the tees has germinated and we will hopefully see the coverage thicken in the coming weeks.  Course architect Howard Swan has made a visit advising on the shaping, mowing and presentation of holes now the bunker work is complete. Fairway shapes have been tweaked in order to enhance the visualisation of holes and ultimately improve the way the course is played. Work continues to the new bunkers: mowing the new turfed areas, edging and tidying. The ropes will be removed from around each bunker as this work is completed, the turfed areas will be in play while the bunkers remain as G.U.R.

Over the last few weekends we have had incidents of tee markers being moved (primarily on a Saturday). The course is set up by the greenkeeping staff ahead of play each day. It is important that members respect the course and do not move markers as they wish. As mentioned before the teeing areas here at East Berkshire are relatively small, we set the tee markers in order to manage wear and in accordance with the daily schedule of play/competitions. In addition we would ask all golfers to repair their pitchmarks plus any others. A repaired pitchmark can recover within 3 days however, if left it can take between 18-21 days to recover. This is something we can all do to make a difference to the quality of playing surfaces.

Next week (11th-16th April) is Course Maintenance Week which will see a large amount of work undertaken across the golf course. The plan is to scarify the greens and apply a heavier top-dressing at the beginning of the week before our attention turns to hollow coring fairways. The scarifying removes material (thatch) from the green profile and is essential in ensuring the greens are in good shape as the summer progresses. In total 8 fairways will be cored: 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th.  These holes will be closed while the contractors work. This is in respect of Health and Safety and allows the work to be completed efficiently enabling the course to return to normal sooner. Notice boards will be placed on each of the tees informing golfers of the closure of individual holes. Once hollow cored, the fairways will be chain harrowed to break up the cores aided by the tractor mounted scarifier, the remaining debris will then be blown to the middle of each fairway and vaced up.

The forecast looks set to remain warm and dry with little if any rain expected which should ensure that maintenance week is successful!