Golf Course Update - in order to keep members fully updated of developments on the golf course, we will be distributing a course update following every Committee Meeting.

Course Update - MAY 2024

Finally, a change in the weather.
The beginning of April carried on from the previous 7 months with 130mm of rain in the first 16 days of the month. Fortunately, from that point onwards we have had significant improvement in the weather, 41mm of rain since April 16th. Aprils eventual total was 148mm, on average April is our driest month of the year at 45mm!
 So far In May (up to 20th) we have only had 23mm although the weather forecast is showing a considerable amount of precipitation midweek.

Month Rainfall Monthly Average    
January 117mm 101mm    
February 96mm 99mm    
March 131mm 70mm    
April 148mm 45mm    
May 23mm (so far) 65mm    


Since the change in weather, we have had zero closure days and only a couple of delayed days due to frost or fog. The better weather has allowed us to catch up with some work, improve all playing surfaces and return the course to a good playing condition.

Winter Projects
Quickly to touch on some of the winter projects that were carried out, all areas except the 14th red/yellow tee were returned to play for the start of the season.  This needed slightly longer to knit as the work was carried out a little later than other areas and required some work to reduce the height of cut to a reasonable tee’s height. We had the lower tee to use so this caused no disruption. It has now been returned to play and the extra space on the playing surface will allow us to spread wear.

All the bunkers that had some reshaping/rebuilding work done had sand added and returned to play early April. So far, the bunkers at the first greenside which had a new drainage liner added have performed well and we will continue to monitor the benefits on wetter days.

The drainage work on the greens at #1 and #3 have continued to settle in well. We have a few low spots that require a little attention particularly on the rear of #3 as previously mentioned, where a considerable amount of large stone was removed. A number of hand topdressing applications to these low areas should allow us to smooth them out and this will be carried out regularly over the next few weeks. The hole location will continue to be kept away from the worst area on #3 just now.

We have carried out some maintenance on some of the benches and replaced the tops on the 2 at the flower bed at the first tee. The bench at 16 still has a new top to be added and this will be done imminently.

With the better weather we have been able to carry out a lot more work on the greens along with more regular mowing.
We have had several applications of topdressing sand on now and this has helped firm up and smooth out the surfaces. 3 heavier dressing were carried out (approx. 9-10 tonnes each time) initially followed by 2 lighter applications (approx. 5-6 tonnes each). We will continue to add light dustings regularly throughout the playing season.

Coring work took place on the problematic areas at the end of April, 10mm hollow core tines were used and dried sand brushed in to fill the holes. The whole of the 11th and 18Th greens were cored as these were the poorest performing drainage wise along with half of 17 and some small areas on 6, 7 and 9 greens. This was essential to improve these areas for the season although further action will be required long term particularly on 11 and 18.

All greens were spiked with small 8mm pencil tines to relieve some compaction and allow air flow into the profile. This was followed by a double roll with little to no disruption at all.

A spring starter 10-4-4 fertiliser was applied at the end of March and this gave us some strong growth and kickstarted things initially. We have also moved over to our summer spray program and applied nitrogen, seaweed, iron, magnesium and manganese over several spray applications. This has kept things ticking over until our next granular fertiliser application. Wetting agent and plant growth regulator has also been applied along with one application of fungicide to combat the risk of disease.

All greens were lightly verticut at -0.75mm, this will be done more frequently In the coming months and more aggressively at -2mm as the greens become stronger and the sward becomes thicker. This will help remove some seedheads, reduce thatch build up and thin out the sward to maintain green speed.

Height of cut has recently been reduced to 3.5mm and regular rolling has helped us a achieve consistently reasonable speed. Speeds have increased this week and should continue to be of good pace throughout the summer season. HOC will be reduced to 3mm as and when required.

Tees/Approaches Fairways
Both tees and approaches have had regular mowing with HOC recently reduced to 8mm.
Both areas also received an application of the same 10-4-4 fertiliser as the greens again to help strengthen and thicken the sward and gain some initial growth.
Tees had a spray of ammonium sulphate, ferrous sulphate, urea, seaweed, wetting agent and a PGR. Approaches had a similar spray at a slightly higher rate with no PGR added. Both will be assessed and a granular fertiliser applied when required.

Fairways have had some spiking work carried out with 19mm tines on wetter areas and recently a slitter ran through similar areas.
Mowing regularity has increased to twice a week and will continue right through the summer period at height of 11mm.
One spray application has taken place with ammonium sulphate, ferrous sulphate, urea and seaweed. Another application at a lower rate is due to go out this week with some plant growth regulator added to reduce growth slightly.

Some bunkers have had sand added in the last week and plans are in place to go through them all and add sand where required. All bunker banks also had a spray of ferrous sulphate to reduce the moss, selective weed killer to kill of the weeds and a PGR to reduce the growth.

Some of the paths require quite bit of attention to re-level. A lot of potholes appeared over the wet winter period and we have had very little time to address them. Work will be started shortly to level and add blaize along with some areas that need some weeding work done.

With the recent sunny and warm weather, the patio/beer garden area at the clubhouse has been tidied up and ready for use. We had a slight issue with the power washer but this is currently being addressed and the patio power washed in due course.

A divot squad has been out recently and are going out again this week to divot some fairways. This is essential and very time consuming for us to do ourselves, so a massive thankyou to everyone who has volunteered some of their time to help us out with this.

With both the ladies open and men’s open now passed we have had some very positive feedback from visitors. The whole team have produced exceptional work and we continue to keep pushing every day to achieve the best surfaces we can and improve all aspects of the course.

Some pictures included of the recent prep for the open.

Shaun McNaughton