Saturday, 24 May 2014

The first 3 months...

Just a quick note on the blog to say a big thank you to everyone at the golf club who has facilitated with my induction period.

The Board of Directors, Captain, Vice Captain, Greens Committee, Freddy, Ryan and, of course, the playing members, have all been a great assistance in helping me to learn the ropes!

Understandably, the greens are not yet peaking due to the hollow coring and top dressing over the last few weeks. 

However, they are getting there and will start to push on with an application of fertiliser. They have remained dry, firm and free draining though and that is massively encouraging to me as it is important for golfers to play on dry greens that stand up to inclement weather.

I hope that all the members agree that course conditioning is improving with time. Thankfully, next week will be the last 4 day week for some time. Myself & Ryan cannot wait for that so that we can have some continuity to our work schedule!!!

We continue to enjoy our work and strive to provide areas of improvement with each passing week of work. We welcome any feedback, through Freddy or via the Greens Committee. 

I hope to post updates on the 7th path completion within the next few weeks. Have a great bank holiday weekend and enjoy your golf!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Fairways....getting back to normality!!!

I believe that a number of members have raised concerns about the length of the fairways last week and over the weekend.

Please allow me to clarify how the fairways got so long.

We sent the cylinder units away 10 days ago to have the blades re-ground (sharpened). After 2 days, the technician called me to say that 1 of the 5 units had a broken part that needed replacing. I asked him to order it and replace it. However, the part took longer to arrive to him than anticipated. Therefore, there was a longer than expected delay.

Freddy has been asked as to why we do not get the cylinders sharpened in winter. My response to Freddy was twofold:

- Firstly, after a winter of twigs, leaves, divots and worm casts lying on the fairways, it would be foolish to run freshly sharpened blades over them and risk any  wear or damage

- Secondly, to justify spending £500 approx in winter time on re-grinding and to then have the fairway mower standing idle inside would, in the eyes of both myself and the board, be unnecessary expenditure particularly considering that club funds need to be protected in off peak periods

Hopefully, you will now find more consistent fairway surfaces for the season ahead. Below is a photo of the 1st fairway looking much more presentable!!!

Spring hollow coring

Last week, I posted a video link to the USGA that briefly talked about hollow core aeration and top dressing.

This week, we have managed to hollow core and top dress 8 of our 11 greens. Firstly, a huge thanks to all you guys that volunteered and helped out. It was fantastic to see and a great team effort.

If you talk to some of the guys that helped us, they will confirm the spongy nature of some of our greens. The hollow coring is a process that removes thatch (organic matter) and we top dress afterwards with sand. The sand is used to promote a drier, more free draining soil profile.

Let me re-iterate. Firm and dry. They are the keywords. Golf greens should be firm and dry. Always. This allows truer, faster greens to be produced that stand up better to wet weather. I do not like to see temporary greens ever. Therefore, I aim to get the greens as dry and as firm as possible. Again, the mantra is Firm and dry.

I realise that the greens will not be perfect for the next week or so. However, I am looking to the long term because that is in the best interests of our golf club. 

I'll leave you with that mantra one last time; Firm and dry!!!

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Aeration - An easy to understand guide

In preparation for our Spring hollow coring operation next week, I thought that this video, courtesy of the USGA, would help to explain our reasons for greens aeration:

Tees & surrounds - lower mowing to encourage lower scoring

Only a short post this week but one that, nonetheless, is very relevant to course presentation and playability. 

We have just started to lower the mowing heights of tees & surrounds to 10mm. I feel that this will provide a number of benefits:

- A tighter playing surface (particularly for the greens' surrounds) to give a broad range of golfers the opportunity to get up & down from off the green. It will allow a recovery shot to be played with a putter, wedge, 9, 8, 7, 6 or even 5 iron bump and run

- Tighter playing surfaces ultimately give golfers more shot control as there is less chance of longer grass getting between the club face and the ball. Chip shots are more likely to check and spin as a result

- Some of the gaps in these areas will start to fill in, particularly when we topdress them with sand

- For green keepers and golfers, the definition of these playing surfaces will improve too, helping to improve course aesthetics

Have a great May Day Weekend and enjoy your golf .