Friday, 27 March 2015

When is spring arriving?!!

We have had another very productive week. 

All fairways and rough have been cut this week as well as the practise range. We will now send our fairway units away for a re-grind. 

Luckily but, at the same time, unluckily, the spring weather has not truly kicked in. So whilst all the golf course has been cut and we have a few days for the units to be re-ground, we could also do with some consistently warmer temperatures to perk up growth on the golf course.

The recent frosts are not overly helpful as they keep the soil temperatures that bit colder which subsequently restricts growth.

You will start to see that we are now addressing numerous smaller jobs that just need tidying and finishing off from the winter course improvement work. 

I am pleased that the golf course is not far off how I'd like it to be as we approach April.

We have made steady progress with the new bunkering on holes 1 and 2. The new green side bunker on hole 2 has a turf base. Above, Ryan is spraying the grass with glyphosphate, a total non selective herbicide. Once the grass has died, we will add sand.

Both should have be completely sanded by next week and we will also have made good progress with the green side bunker on hole 4.

We also verti drained the greens this week to 9 inch depth. They are now firming up nicely and new root growth is excellent. We will give them another light topdressing soon and a light application of fertiliser to encourage growth.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

4th path finished

A fantastic week of progress again with a lot of work carried out on the course. Big thanks to Mike Hall, Phil Lockett and Len Dilnutt for the completion of the path left of the 4th green. Great job guys, it look superb.

You will also note that at the corner of the path as you reach the 5th tee, we have planted this area with some gorse. This should provide a nice backdrop to this area when it establishes.

We have also planted some gorse around the new 4th tee and the area near the pump station. The idea, like behind the 4th green, is to indroduce some spring colour to the golf course and to frame the pathways.

As the weather was fine this week, we took the opportunity to roll and mow the new turf at the 4th & 8th tees and also the flood defence bunding. These areas have also been fertilised to encourage more rooting and sward density.

We also topdressed all the greens this week to help smooth out the surfaces, the 7th green being more heavily topdressed after being hollow cored last week. 

All in all, the greens are looking really good for the time of year. We will verti drain them again next week, setting the depth to 9 inches. The club's acquisition of the verti drain has been an excellent investment and we can notice the difference in firmness of the greens. Again, thanks must go to the Board of Directors for sanctioning this purchase.

We managed to get the approaches and surrounds cut too with the fairways planned for a cut next week before all our cylinder units are then sent away for a re-grind. 

With some favourable weather, the course should start to pick up in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed for a warm spring.

Next week, we aim to get the new bunkers filled with sand and we have lots more topdressing to do. The new season is nearly upon us and the course should be looking really good for April.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Aeration, mowing, turfing, tree work....Phew!!!

After my 2 week break in South Africa, I returned to work Monday refreshed and raring to go.

We have accomplished quite a lot this week and we are pleased with how the course is progressing, although we would prefer the weather to be warmer for us.

We have brought the height of cut down to 5.5mm for greens to help tighten them up a bit as April approaches. Although some scars prevail from the winter Fusarium, they will soon fill in with drier, warmer weather, a light topdressing and a scheduled spring feed.

All greens and tees have been verti drained to 6" depth this week. The verti draining also assisted for spraying 4 greens that were being pecked by birds searching for leather jacket grubs. Spraying the insecticide followed by the rainfall ensured that the product was able to reach the grubs. 

Our regular 3-4 weekly verti draining of the greens has really paid off. Rooting is improving really well and the greens have stood up very well to winter play.

We also took the opportunity to hollow core the 7th green whilst it is still out of play. We will topdress this (as well as the other greens) next week. Thus in May when our Spring Maintenance week is scheduled, the 7th green will not need to be hollow cored.

Also this week, all tees have been cut to 10mm and we have brought several back into play. Some winter mats remain but we will phase then out gradually.

We managed to get a fair amount of rough cut too in order to stay on top of growth and to keep it looking tidy.

A big thanks this week to Jon Lyons who willingly volunteered to help Ryan and I. Jon speculatively sent in a letter enquiring about greenkeeping work. In the 3 days he was with us, he was hard working and conscientious and was a great help.

We managed to lay some remaining turf in a couple more areas and all the turf that was laid in house (following our winter project work) has been cut this week.

On order, we have 200 gorse plants that we will scatter around the golf course to bring some spring colour to various areas.

The bunkers that require sand will be completed very soon and we hope to get the path between the 4th green and 5th tee completed in the next 2 weeks.

Things are now nicely placed for the lead up to Captain's Drive In.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!