Friday, 2 September 2016

September course news

The dry spell that started in July continued into August (14mm August rainfall) and we’ve kept the greens relatively dry.  As always when our greens are dry the pace of the greens picks up and during August green speeds were generally between 10ft and 11ft, with an average of 10ft 9in and a high of 13ft 4in.  13ft is the upper limit (some would say beyond!) of playability for our greens, with very few workable pin positions and the likelihood that balls would blow off greens if any breeze picks up.  It’s worth noting, that the very high green speeds we’ve seen over the last few weeks are a side effect of drying out the greens to favour the finer grasses, we haven’t dried them out to get more speed.  Our routine target for green speed is between 8ft and 10ft but we aim to keep them above 9ft whenever possible.

Course maintenance highlights during August
·         The greens have been over-seeded this week
·         Irrigation was required on greens, tees and fairways. 
·         Topping up bunkers with sand
·         Mowing the denser areas of rough and removing the clippings, particularly where players are unable to reach the fairway off the tee.
·         Bracken spraying with Asulox

Work programme for September

Our main aim for the next week or two is to promote recovery from the over-seeding work and get the greens back to normal as soon as possible.  As soon as the top dressing that was applied this week has integrated into the sward, we’ll do another light top dressing to smooth out the putting surfaces.  The greens will be a little slower for a while as we increase irrigation to boost germination of the seed.

We have delayed the application of Rescue to the approaches as it is unwise to apply this product during a dry spell.  It selectively kills ryegrass and other coarse grasses in turf but will kill other grasses if they are under stress.  This work will be carried out over the next two weeks.  After treatment the areas will thin out for a while with some bare patches and a general yellowing of the turf but they should recover after a few weeks.  The approaches will be over-seeded with a mixture of fine fescue grasses with high wear and drought tolerance.  Bracken control will continue using Asulox and we’ll be spraying off encroaching scrub and brambles.  We’ve just started a programme of replacing worn out sprinklers as most of them are now 18 years old and are becoming unreliable.  Work has started on the 10th hole and we intend to replace the sprinklers on two or three holes per year.

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