Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ironing Greens

Ironing Greens

As golfers demand increased green speed the ability to ‘iron’ greens is vital in producing decent surfaces. It has the benefit of allowing speed and consistency to be maintained during times of stress negating the need to mow constantly. The Tru-Turf Iron is a self-propelled unit that is operated by pedals and a joy stick. Rolling is a quick and efficient operation that requires one operator and takes no longer to complete than mowing greens, while adding up to 1.5ft of pace. Ironing alone does not produce quick smooth surfaces, but is the final piece of the jig-saw in a good cultural programme that includes aeration, scarifying, verti cutting and top-dressing. An important skill in managing the golf course is understanding how and when to push the plant without adding increased amounts of stress for extended periods of time. Greens are at their quickest when they are firm, dry and starting to go ‘hungry’. Professional Tournament golf requires quick, smooth greens placing the grass under considerable stress through lower cutting heights and minimal aeration work. The biggest influencing factor in speed and conditioning across the golf course is the one thing we have no control over – the weather. Looking at our records the greens here at East Berkshire were running between 8.7ft – 10.2ft throughout the 2010 season, peaking at 11.6ft for the Stag. The turfing iron is a key piece of kit as we strive to produce and maintain decent surfaces, meeting expectation.

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Course Up Date

Edging Bunkers

As we approach the middle of May the golf course has responded to the rain which fell over the weekend – 14mm. This has freshened everything up and combined with the cooler temps has eased pressure and stress on the sward. Growth on the greens has continued to pick up aided by the folia feed applied last week. Surfaces remain good, with pace picking up as the season develops. With this in mind the height of cut has been lowered by 0.25mm which has tidied up the surface nicely and removed the Poa seed heads. We will look to enhance surfaces with further grooming, verti cutting and top-dressing aided by a programme of rolling. Despite the damp humid weather we have not seen an out break of disease. The tees have received a folia feed and application of primo maxx. Primo maxx helps thicken the sward and improves coverage. Work continues on a daily basis presenting the course for play, this week efforts have focused on bunkers: flymoing, edging and the adjusted sand levels as needed. This operation is carried out every other week depending on conditions and growth, with bunkers raked on a daily basis. The main objective in the coming weeks will be to pencil tine the greens, promoting root growth, drainage and relieving compaction. The forecast looks more unsettled in the coming weeks with temps and rainfall around seasonal averages.

Course Up Date

Mowing greens early morning

With the bank holidays behind us we are catching up on work to the golf course. The greens have been groomed, brushed and top dressed with a further ‘dusting’ of sand (today), which should ensure a decent surface once again. The greens and tees are due to receive a folia feed this week to keep things tickling along and help manage stress. We will continue to keep the course presented and may look to roll greens this week depending on conditions. Looking at our records we would normally expect an average of 53mm of rain in April  however, we received just 0.8mm. In real terms 8.5 inches of rain have evaporated from the soil profile since January 2011, with 4 inches of rain falling – leaving a loss of 4.5inches or rain/moisture. This has had an impact on the golf course challenging its management. With temps peaking in the high 20’s and wind speeds of 20-30 mph the course is drying out. The fairways have held up well especially compared to previous years, and despite being dry growth and coverage remain. We are undoubtedly seeing the benefits of the verti draining and hollow coring coupled with the over seeding of fescue. As we head into May, and with the current forest fires in and around Crowthorne fingers remain crossed for some much needed rain.