Monthly Archives: August 2011
Following a hectic Maintenance week the course has returned to normality. The graden process removed around 2 workman loads of material from each green followed by an initial 60 tonnes of top-dressing sand. The Drill and Fill operation cored down to a depth of 30-40cm while back filling each channel with kiln dried sand. The aim of this work is to improve drainage and provide decent playing surfaces especially through the winter months. We will monitor results with a view to continuing the Drill and Fill work on other greens. Surfaces were top dressed again during Maintenance Week with a further 30 tonnes of sand. This topped up the Graden lines and smoothed surfaces nicely. Heights of cut have been lowered back to 3mm with surfaces having recovered well, aided by the weather we have experienced. The greens are back to where they were in terms of playability. The timely and efficient manner in which all works were carried out owes much to the organisation, planning and dedication shown by the Greenkeeping team.
The greens have received a granular feed and are due to be sprayed this week with a soil and wetting agent application. The wetting agent helps to drive water down through the profile, thus keeping surfaces drier. We have experienced significant rainfall over the last couple of weeks (60mm) with the course holding up well. Tees and selected areas of fairways have been sprayed to control worm activity. As we approach the end of summer our focus turns to planning winter work schedules. The heather looks spectacular at this time of year, while the heather turves transplanted around the bunkers have established well. The success of the bunker work carried out over the last 3 years is a credit to the design and implementation by all concerned. The heather will be cut and the seed collected once flowering has finished as we continue to regenerate heather across the golf course as part of a wider landscape restoration.
Elsewhere work will commence on the building of the new shed now the base has been concreted and allowed to ‘cure’. August has been much cooler and wetter than expected with night temps dropping away sharply. The pond on the 8th has risen considerably with the banks having grown in well. In contrast to Spring which was warm and dry, the wetter conditions have seen the course green up with growth picking up and grass coverage returning to those areas burnt off earlier in the year. Fingers crossed the weather continues to improve and we can look forward to some decent golf!
Course Maintnenace begins this Monday (8th August) which will see a considerable amount of work focused on the greens. The plan will be to verti-drain the greens to a depth of 8 inches and then Graden the surfaces to remove thatch before top-dressing surfaces. The process of Gradening removes around 12% of thatch compared to hollow coring which typically removes between 4-6%. The verti-draining relieves compaction while improving drainage. The Graden has a set of rotating blades which work at depths below the surface of the greens removing thatch. The surfaces will then be top-dressed and a granular fertilizer applied.
Holes 7-15 will be closed on Monday to allow work to be completed efficiently and safely. Holes 16-6 will remain open for members to play, while on Tuesday the reverse will happen with holes 16-6 closed and holes 7-15 open. During Wednesday individual holes will be closed while work to complete top-dressing and brushing is completed as needed in order to restore surfaces.
As we strive to improve play through the winter months selected greens 10th, 15th, 18th will be ‘Drilled and Filled’. This process involves ‘drilling’ channels down into the profile (30cm) and back filling with kiln dried sand. This action is similar to hollow coring but works at a much greater depth. These 3 holes will be closed on Thursday while this work is carried out by contractors.
Although many members and golfers question the need to ‘rip’ the greens up it is worth noting that the surfaces have performed extremely well this year due to the renovation carried out last April and August. The positive benefits of the renovation work can clearly be seen not only from a playability point of view, but also an agronomic perspective: the sward is healthier, able to withstand heat stress, is deeper rooting and less susceptible to disease resulting in a saving of money and resources without the need to spray chemicals so often – and thus become more sustainable. This work also sets the greens up for the coming months as we head into winter. We would expect surfaces to be back to the same condition and playability within 2-3 weeks given favourable weather. The forecast looks set to remain dry which will hopefully see the work completed on schedule.