Wednesday, 29 May 2013

12th hole Mountain Ash

The Mountain Ash right of the 12th hole that lost a large branch last week was felled today.
As can be seen from the photograph below the decay was serious.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sheep grazing

We have sheep grazing the four fields north of the woodland at present.  The fields are being managed under a stewardship agreement with the aim of restoring species-rich semi-natural grassland.  The sheep are a mixture of Swaledales and North Country Mules (A cross between Swaledale and Blue Faced Leicester.)  The Swaledales are the ones with the horns

Top dressing greens

The greens were top dressed this morning and for once the weather co-operated.  We had a light breeze and a bit of sunshine to dry out the dressing before drag matting in, followed by rain to wash the dressing in further.

Will using a steel mesh mat to brush in the dressing

Friday, 24 May 2013

Greens mowing

The temperature was 5 degrees and it was pouring with rain while we cut the greens this morning.
This is not what we hope for at the end of May!

We're cutting at 5mm at present and this is the height we normally maintain throughout the summer.

Trevor practising stoicism this morning

Thursday, 23 May 2013


The bluebells in the woodland are at their peak at the moment, the best area is at the far Western end of the woodland.

PGA Championship

Keep an eye out for two of our greenkeepers; Danny Perring and Will Law if you're watching the PGA Championship this weekend.  They're helping with bunker raking and will be with the final two groups playing on Saturday and the first two groups on Sunday

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wildlife walk

Around 20 members joined Mike Swindells, a local ornithologist and bird ringer and Dave Thurlow of the RSPB for a wildlife walk around the course and wider estate this morning.  Aldeburgh golf course is a haven for wildlife and over 30 species of bird were seen or heard during the walk.  Highlights were the singing nightingales (5 or more), turtle dove and a stoat.
Many thanks to Mike and Dave, and also to Tony for providing an excellent breakfast in the clubhouse afterwards.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Spraying the greens

Over the last two days the greens have been sprayed with wetting agent and a mixture of seaweed extract, iron and a small amount of nitrogen.  The wetting agent helps us to manage the water in the soil so that it is evenly distributed throughout the soil profile.  It helps the soil to dry evenly and reduces the amount of irrigation water required in drought conditions.  The seaweed, iron and nitrogen act more as a tonic than a fertiliser,  We apply between 1Kg and  2Kg/Ha of nitrogen to the greens, these rates are very low and encourage gentle growth rather than a strong flush.

We use a green dye to help us to spray accurately and efficiently - not to create that Augusta look!  The dye will fade in a few days.

Red Deer

Red Deer have been seen regularly on the course over the last few weeks; usually early in the morning.  This scruffy individual was spotted this morning left of the 7th hole.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Grass snakes

Grass snakes have been seen very frequently on the course over the last few Summers, (far more often than adders), the one pictured below was seen to the right of the 16th hole today.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Poa annua

The Poa annua (Annual Meadow Grass) in the greens is flowering at present and this is having a negative impact on the smoothness and trueness of the putting surfaces.  On most golf greens in the UK, Poa annua is the dominant grass species but at Aldeburgh we have a high percentage of fine Fescue and Bent grasses and aim to keep Poa annua out.  This spring we have more Poa than we would normally have, due the the wet weather in 2012.  Drying the greens out is one of main tools for stressing out Poa and favouring the fescue and in 2012 we didn't have any opportunities to do this.

This season we will be making the most of any rainless periods to dry out the greens, tipping the balance in favour of the finer grasses.  However, over the next few weeks we will retain some moisture in the greens to enable the recently over-seeded Fescue to get established.

Poa annua - arrowed

Weather Summary for April

The cold spell that started in February and broke records in March continued through April.  We've had a weather station since 2000 and this April was the coldest recorded, with an average temperature of 7.3 degrees.  We also recorded our lowest April temperature at -4.4 on the 11th; the previous coldest was -1.9 in 2011.  We only had 17.5mm of rainfall, less than half of the 37.6mm average for April.  This has been the coldest spring for many years and growth is weeks behind what we would normally expect.