Friday, 29 August 2014

The end of a very wet month

After a fantastic July, the weather in August has been very disappointing. 

Traditionally, golf courses are expected to be dry and sunny places to be in August. Yet it has been the wettest month of 2014 with nearly 5 inches of rainfall to date. This will help to explain why the golf course has softened up, rough is a bit tanglier, drives aren't running as far down the fairway etc. 

In particular, our more problematic greens like 4 (above), 6 and 9 are showing true symptoms of thatch build up. It was evident on Thursday morning whilst mowing greens. I noticed that the footprints had still remained from Wednesday evening on these poorer greens.

To combat this, our autumn greens renovation will commence Monday 8 September. We will micro tine, scarify and topdress the greens with the worst thatch build up. Greens 3, 5 and 8 will be solid tined and topdressed to maintain firmness and alleviate surface drainage issues.

It is expected that this work will cause some disruption to golf but it is essential if the greens are to improve in the long term. 

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Friday, 15 August 2014

The rain arrives in abundance - in August!

After a stunningly warm July, we are now experiencing slightly wetter conditions, weather wise. However, the golf course has held up really well despite receiving over 2 inches of rainfall since the start of August.

This greens in particular have performed really well and we believe this is testament to our continued aeration and topdressing program.

Our greens are now being double cut daily at 3mm and remain looking really healthy with good colour. Considering they were last fertilised on 27 May, this is proof indeed that greens do not require lots of fertiliser to sustain good growth and recovery.

The greens committee recently finalised details of the golf course masterplan that James Edwards, Golf Course Architect, drafted for the golf club. James is currently overseeing the finishing touches to this. 

Thereafter, it is the intention of the Board & Greens Committee to present this to the members, perhaps in an evening at the clubhouse. As a Greens Committee, we feel extremely enthusiastic that the golf course masterplan has been produced because it will allow us to start executing some of the projects assigned to it.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Friday, 8 August 2014

New path work at 1st tee area

We have several people to thank for the excellent work to this area by the 1st tee/Putting Green area.

The Vice Captain managed to pull a favour to get the 2 grids made ( and at no cost to the club ). Secondly, Mike Hall, Phil Lockett & Nick Fletcher have resurfaced a large portion of this path area. We even had some of the junior section down to help too. So well done to all involved.

The work that has been done will give golfers a better impression as they arrive at the 1st tee or are finishing their round. Gone are the poor mats and now the area looks much fresher. It is by no means finished but it demonstrates positive progress.

Also this week, I have managed to get the course prepared for the rearranged Ladies Open weekend. With Ryan away on a well deserved holiday, I have done my utmost to get most tasks completed.

During my time changing holes today, I removed the plug for the new hole on the 8th green. The photos below demonstrate the effectiveness of verti draining and topdressing sand into the holes. Notice the sand in the bottom of the new hole and throughout the plug. 

This is what the hard work is all about and we need to continue this work to ensure that our greens remain as dry and free draining for as long as possible throughout the year.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

6 months in!

Wow! Has it really been 6 months since I started work at PPGC?!!

Well, it has passed very quickly and much has been achieved. As we reach the back end of summer, the golf course is playing well and feedback from members has been very positive. There have been a few mad scores in competition play but nothing to indicate that the course is playing overly easy!

The greens are now in a much healthier position than when I started in February. We have added the ExtraCut brush to the front of our ride on greens mower and the difference this makes to surface texture and mowing quality is immense.

The hollow coring in May and monthly sand top dressing applications have assisted in keeping the greens surfaces firm, dry and rolling quite nicely. They are not exactly where I would like them to be but they are getting close.

Rooting is very good and the soil profile is improving with top dressing, aeration plus minimal irrigation and fertility.

We will scarify and topdress the greens in September with the intention that they will be that bit drier and firmer heading into Autumn and Winter.

Our work with James Edwards, Golf Course Architect, demonstrates really proactive and forward thinking progress by the club with a real commitment to making improvements to the golf course in the coming years. It is essential that the golf club progresses in this way in order to continue attracting new members, guests and corporate business.

The impending Environment Agency work will dovetail nicely with our partnership with James Edwards and we are positive that the club will benefit nicely as a result.

As always, I am thankful to Ryan for his excellent efforts and also to many members for their assistance including Tom Frame, Len Dilnutt, Phil Lockett, Nick Fletcher, Mike Hall, Jeff Perkin and Graham Barber. Likewise, we have other members who contribute to the cause and I am grateful to them too .

May I wish you continued enjoyment of your golf for the remainder of the summer and let's hope the weather stays kind to us!