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 - SEPTEMBER 2023
A slightly shorter course update to cover the last 6 weeks or so with what has mainly been general maintenance carried out. As usual we will start with some rainfall figures.Month Rainfall Monthly Average
After a very wet end to June and all of July, August continued on the same path with 14 rain days throughout the month. Some of these were 10mm+ days and 20mm on Friday 18th. This led to a total of 90mm which is very close to the average for August. A welcome dry start to September with no substantial rain for the first 9 days although the good start has ended with 33mm falling on Sunday 10th. September is generally a drier month so hopefully that continues to be the case this year.
I have added in May, June and July figures on the chart just for reference.
May 19mm 65mm
June 60mm 76mm
July 113mm 107mm
August 90mm 89mm
September 33mm (up to 10th) 66mm
The last greens report was written 9 days after the coring work had been carried out and we had already seen some strong recovery and over the next week or so the holes had almost completely filled in and the greens back to a good standard. A combination of the smaller tines used and the weather conditions allowed for a quicker recovery than we have had previously and over the period since, I think the benefits of carrying out the work when we do has been clear to see.
The quick recovery was also aided with the application of a 16-3-6 granular fertiliser at the start of August, the same product that was mentioned in the last update and again we had great results. We will continue to use this through the playing season next year.
We have also had on a couple of foliar feeds in this time frame and continued with our wetting agent and growth suppressant programs to great effect.
Disease pressure has been high with the wet and humid conditions, this has been managed with the application of some fungicides.
Height of cut has been 3.25mm for the majority of the time, regular rolling has continued and green speeds have been consistently good with daily readings averaging around 10 feet with the stimp meter.
2 weeks ago we scarified at a depth of -5mm to remove some of the thatch build up in the top of the profile. We then Verticut at -1mm to aid the process and refine the surface. This was followed up with a light top-dressing application of approximately 6-7 tonne of sand and matted in with little to no disruption. We will continue with light sand dressings over the next few weeks.
We will also be aerating the greens with 10mm pencil tines this week to relive some of the compaction built up and allow water to penetrate through more easily.
Tees Approaches & Fairways
Both the tees and approaches continued to be mowed 2/3 times per week at a height of 7.5mm. We will look to raise this slightly in the next few weeks as temperatures start to drop.
Both will also be aerated with larger solid tines, again, to relieve some compaction and aid with water flow through the profile.
The approaches have had a foliar feed applied this week the same as was applied to the greens to improve growth and appearance. The tees are also due a feed so that we have some strong growth and recovery as the busy golfing season continues to take its toll on them.
Fairways are still currently being mowed twice per week minimum at a height of 11mm. These were sprayed on the 10th August with ferrous sulphate, ammonium sulphate, urea, magnesium and a growth suppressant. This improved appearance and helped to regulate the growth. The fairways will probably require one more spray before the end of the season. We will add in some selective weedkiller to kill off some of the weeds in the worst affected areas.
We have continued mowing some areas of the thicker rough with the tractor deck and then ran the flail collector over to pick up the cuttings when time has allowed. This has made these areas a bit more player friendly and is something we will continue with.
The semi rough has been growing exceptionally fast with the wet and warm conditions. We have been mowing it most weeks rather than fortnightly to try and keep on top of it. Growth should slow down shortly as temperatures drop.
Although conditions have been generally wet of late the irrigation continues to be utilised and aids us with maintenance practices. We have been using it to wash in topdressing sand and then in the days after topdressing we run a cycle to damp down the sand in the morning prior to mowing. This stops the sand being picked up and blunting the mower allowing us to continue with our usual morning setup.
Since the start of September with the dry conditions and mini heatwave (until now) we have been running a full program nightly and also hand watering some dry spots with a wetting agent tablet.
Elliot Stewart has now finished off his seasonal position to return to university for the start of his 2nd year. Elliot has been a massive help over the summer period and will be missed. We wish Elliot every success as he continues with his university studies. He has agreed to help out whenever he is back home at weekends etc and hopefully we will see him return next summer for a 3rd seasonal stint.
In the meantime, this will leave us slightly short until the end of the summer season. Our weekend boys have agreed to come in on selected days to help with course prep before school which will be a massive help.
Our new greens mower finally arrived! After 22 months our new toro greens triple arrived 4 weeks ago and has been in use daily since. We are already seeing the benefits of this and long term there should be less chance of a hydraulic burst.
Whilst on that subject the hydraulic leak mentioned in the last report on the putting green, 1st and 3rd greens has had good recovery. The action taken at the time significantly reduced damage and the only burn marks were at the edges of the greens. There is still visible signs of the leak around the edges but this hasn’t impacted playability at all.
We have a dead tree that some may have noticed beside the red and yellow tee at 14. Tree surgeon has been contacted and we are awaiting a date for this to be removed.
Some work needs to be carried out on most paths throughout the course. With the amount of growth and time spent mowing it has limited the time that we have been able to spend on weeding and levelling etc.
A divoting squad will be required shortly to fill all holes on the fairways before growth and recovery time slows right down. We have had the weekend boys in a couple of times to cover the worst areas but a full sweep of the course is also required. Volunteers will be required for this and details will be sent out in due course.
A winter project plan will be finalised shortly and will be included in the next report. In short, the main things are some drainage work required on the 1st and 3rd greens, similar to the work carried out on the 15th and 17th this year. There are also a lot of bunker faces that need stripped and rebuilt due to damage and the high edges lowered.
To finish off, the course has consistently been of a good general standard. The greens have performed well and ran true with good speeds achieved. Feedback has been positive and hopefully this continues through the rest of the season.