Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Gorse coppicing

The photos below are of the same gorse plant, the first was taken on the 8th of May and the second on the 31st of July.  By the end of the season the growth will be 50cm high.  Not all of the stumps recover at this rate but the vast majority do.  Recovery is often slowest from stumps of gorse that hasn't been coppiced for many years.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wild flowers

It's worth looking out for some very nice wild flowers that are present in the rough and on bunker banks at the moment.  Typically they are quite small and inconspicuous but they're well worth a closer look.

Some examples are pictured below.

Biting stonecrop

A spectacular display left of the 6th tee

Sheeps-Bit (blue) and Lady's Bedstraw (yellow)
Various parts of the course but left of the 8th on the river course is a good spot

Green speed

The greens were running at around 13ft on the stimpmeter yesterday, these were the highest stimpmeter readings we've ever measured.  Whilst putting on greens this fast has some novelty value, it probably represents the limit of playability for contoured greens like ours.  The high green speeds we've had recently have happened as a result of drying out fescue dominated greens not because we're chasing speed.  We're taking opportunities to dry the greens out this year to put the Poa annua under stress and when our greens are dry they are fast.  The height of cut on greens is still 5mm and we reduce the cutting frequency when the greens are dry.

As a general rule we don't alter our day to day maintenance work to attain a particular green speed apart from when we have a major tournament.  We do have targets of 8 to 10ft for regular play and 10 to 11ft for tournaments but these are used to help us formulate long term maintenance plans rather than dictate daily work.  Well drained greens with a high percentage of fine fescue grasses enable us to meet our targets consistently throughout the year.

The greens were irrigated last night and this morning the stimpmeter reading is around 9ft in slightly drizzly conditions.  This demonstrates the significant influence that moisture levels have on green speed at Aldeburgh.

Danny measuring green speed
Down to a more manageable 9ft today

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Rough cutting

We're cutting a few sections of rough where the grass has grown particularly long and dense.  We use a flail mower that collects the cuttings, as over a few years removing the cuttings creates thinner, more wispy rough.  Later in the season we may cut larger areas with the machine but this depends on how the rough develops over the next few weeks.

Monday, 1 July 2013

7th green overseeding

We started hollow coring the 7th green this morning with the intention of top dressing and over seeding into the holes.  The machine broke down just after the photograph below was taken, so the work will be completed in a couple of days once the required parts have arrived and been fitted.

Weather summary for June

June was much drier than usual with 21.4mm of rain compared with the 45.7mm average, 8.4mm of the total for the month fell in one day on the 15th.  The temperature was lower than the average for June at 13.6 degrees compared with 14.9 degrees.  The highest temperature was 26.5 degrees on the 30th with a low of 6.1 degrees on the 3rd.