Friday, 28 August 2015

Masters weekend

It has been a busy week. We have worked well to get the course prepared for Masters weekend. James has done a great job getting all the bunkers edged. They look really sharp and well defined. 

We have really hit the mowing this week too. All fairways, approaches and  surrounds have been cut a number of times to make sure they look tight and well presented.

The greens were groomed on Monday and double cut. Wednesday & Thursday, they were rolled and have been double cut this Friday. They will also get double cut both days for the Masters competition. They look really good, are firm and should putt really well. 

Please keep on top of pitch marks. Some greens resemble dartboards at the moment. Whilst we can repair pitch marks on occasion, it would help us a lot if members could repair their own pitch mark plus one more. Thank you.

The walkways from tees to green are developing well. All have been mown out of the carries now but are in varying stages of finish. We hope to get them all ready and into our regular mowing pattern soon.

We took the opportunity to get the autumn renovation carried out to the putting green and chipping green this week. The putting green was hollow cored, top dressed, scarifier, brushed and over seeded. The chipping green was just hollow cored and top dressed. All remains greens will be renovated next week to varying degrees.

This essential work should keep them dry and firm going into autumn and winter. We appreciate your understanding in respect of this work. The greens will be better for it afterward.

We also continued to do more work to the 2nd greens surround to the rear of the green.

Considering what it started out like last winter when we started to alter it's contouring, it has developed well!

Good luck to all competing in Masters weekend. Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Sand, sand & more sand

This week, we topdressed all the greens as part of a monthly topdressing program. They were double cut, verti drained to a depth of 5 inches, topdressed and brushed in. 

Following this process, the greens were double rolled on Wednesday and Thursday to smooth them out, firm them up and to keep the pace up following this work.

If any doubts remain about the necessity of these operations, consider how the putting green (above & below) stood up to over 20mm rainfall on Friday - by 3:30pm, this green was firm, dry and free of any surface water - when I first started at Poulton Park some 18 months ago, this green would have been soft and holding water following a similar amount of rainfall.

This just demonstrates that if the greens are aerated consistently to varying depths and topdressed regularly, they are more likely to withstand inclement weather and to putt nice and true more often - surely a win/win for all concerned!

We also managed to topdressed several of the new tees too in order to restore surface levels and help them better withstand wear & tear.

This week has seen some excellent work by James at the 4th path area. He has really improved this area by weeding the path and improving the appearance of the area to the left of the path. Good lad!

Ryan had continued with weed spraying this week. Clover, plantain and dandelions have been particularly troublesome this year so we have persisted with spot spraying of weeds in the main playing areas. We are not finished with this work yet - we will do a bit each week until we are satisfied that we are on top of this year's crop!

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

More improvements

This week, we have turned our attention to making a few new improvements to the golf course. 

The area to the left of the 4th tee has been overgrown and colonised by docks, thistles and ragwort. It has obviously been mown in the past but not managed correctly. 

As an area of little priority, this bank could in the future look really impressive without being intensively maintained. What we are aiming to do is strim this entire area, collect the clippings to prevent nutrient returning to the soil and thus slow down growth here. 

Cut & collect is the only way to thin out this area and ensure it looks presentable, remains a low maintenance bank whilst ensuring stray tee shots can be recovered.

We also decided to extend the surround at the back of the 2nd green so that any balls that run through the green find a closely mown lie. After we had altered this green surround last winter, the re-laid turf never really kick started and growth here was very patchy. Admittedly, it has been a fairly poor year for general growth but this surround should look a lot better at surround height.

With the charity day on Friday, we had to get the whole golf course prepared by Thursday. Therefore, fairways were cut half and half to free up more time and to account for us not being able to mow any fairways on Friday. 

Having verti drained the greens this week to 7 inch depth with a pencil tine, we then rolled the greens Wednesday and Thursday to restore surface firmness. On Friday, we double cut all greens and they go into the weekend with good speed, trueness and firmness.

General feedback from golfers indicate that the greens are putting really well and we thank you for the kind comments.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Vibro-rollers on demo

This week, we received a set of true surface vibro rollers on demo from Cheshire Turf Machinery. 

Following the report from the agronomist's visit, the recommendation was that we need to roll the greens twice per week to improve green speeds and to firm up the surfaces.

The aeration work that is essential for good rooting, improved drainage, relief from compaction and the ongoing thatch management program is extremely beneficial. But when carried out, it softens the greens. 

Therefore, in conjunction with topdressing, rolling will help to increase surface firmness. We have cut & rolled the greens this week and we have also just rolled them. 

The stimp meter readings have shown an increase of 8-14 inches, depending upon whether we rolled the greens, double rolled the greens or cut & rolled the greens. 

One thing that is beyond doubt is that the speed increased as a result of rolling. In addition, golfer feedback has been extremely positive with members commenting on how true ball roll is and a positive reaction to an increase in speed. We hope the board of directors will consider this data when a decision is made on whether to purchase this equipment.

We have also worked hard this week to prepare the golf course for St Rocco's Charity weekend. 

The fairways are demonstrating continuous improvement as a result of mowing at 11mm and removing clippings. They look so much tighter and cleaner for this and the definition is excellent between fairway and rough. 

Both Ryan and James have delivered some outstanding work this week. Most trees have been strimmed around and all bunkers have been edged, weeded and mown around. Tees and surrounds look excellent as usual. 

We took the opportunity to verti drain all greens this week to a depth of 6 inches using an 8mm pencil tine. We shall repeat this next week to a depth of 7 inches.

Good luck to all competing in the St Rocco's Charity weekend. It is a great cause to be supporting and the prizes to be won are superb. 

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!