Friday, 26 April 2013

Golf Buggy Emergency

Jerry Jones, our mechanic was called out to a broken down golf buggy on the 14th hole on Tuesday.
Many years of training and experience enabled him to identify the fault (the key was in the off position) and swiftly return the buggy to the players.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Top Dressing Greens

The greens were top dressed today. 
Top dressing is one of our most important tools for maintaining firm fast and true greens.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Greens update

The greens were reading 8ft 4inches on the stimpmeter this morning and the smoothness rating was 7.
The soil temperature is up to around 9.4 degrees so we should start to see some grass growth and improved definition over the next couple of weeks.  We're planning to top dress the greens early next week - weather permitting.

Monday, 15 April 2013


Nightingales have returned over the weekend with at least five singing males on the course this morning.  Although spring is very late this year, the nightingales have arrived at about the usual time, it seems a little odd to hear them singing with hardly a leaf to be seen on the trees.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Vertidraining greens

The greens are being Vertidrained this week; we carry out this work every four to six weeks through the Winter and two or three time during the growing season. 
Vertidraining and other aeration work is a key part of our maintenance programme, without it a deterioration in turf quality is inevitable.  Aeration reduces compaction of the soil, a process by which foot and vehicle traffic compresses the soil, reducing pore space. 

The main benefits of aeration are:
  • Improved drainage (firm fast greens)
  • Deeper rooting
  • Improved drought resistance and reduced water usage
  • Reduced thatch build up
  • The fine grasses are encouraged at the expense of shallow rooting annual meadow grass.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Bunker work

The recent spell of very windy and dry weather has played havoc with the bunkers.  The wind redistributes the sand within the bunkers, or blows it away, exposing the native sand and a lot of stone.  We've been working on putting the sand back where it should be, topping up where necessary and removing stone. 

Andrew and Arthur sorting out the fairway bunker left of the 18th

Friday, 5 April 2013

Heather Establishment

As part of our Higher Level Stewardship agreement we're working on the restoration of lowland heath on four areas of the course.  The main aim is to establish heather and prevent the encroachment of bracken, coarse grasses, scrub and trees.  Two of the areas (between the 10th green and 18th tee and behind the 12th tee) were previously covered in dense bracken.  The bracken has been controlled and the accumulated bracken litter has been removed to expose mineral soil, then heather brashings containing seed have been spread over the area.  The other two areas are the 4th carry where we hope to increase the amount of heather and the 13th carry where the existing heather area is to be extended.

Trevor and Neil spreading heather brashings between the 16th and 17th holes

Many thanks to Dave Thurlow the RSPB warden at North Warren for allowing us to collect heather brashings for this work from land at Aldringham Walks.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Weather summary for March

March was very cold (coldest for over 50 years) and dull.  We recorded a maximum temperature of 10.6 degrees C on the 5th and a minimum of -2.2 on the 11th.  The average temperature was 2.9 but with the relentless wind towards the end of the month it felt a lot colder.  The soil temperature remained low throughout the month with an average of around 3.5 degrees; much lower than the 9 degree average we recorded in 2012.  It is soil temperature that has the greatest impact on grass growth at this time of year so we're some way off having significant growth to work with.