Friday, 30 October 2015

Winter work schedule

Monday 2 November will see the start of our winter course improvement program. Lakeland Construction, who completed last year's course improvement works, and who were also designated contractor for the EA flood defence scheme.

Our planned list of work is available to view in the Spike Bar. 

However, here is a brief explanation of the work we intend to complete: 

Hole 1/10:
- Reshape tee area to include new winter mat, renew path area and include a memorial garden area

- Reshape green side bunker to leave a smaller, more maintainable bunker. Replenish sand

Hole 2/11:
- Reshape 11th tee to provide a mowable tee bank. Renew path area.

- Reshape 2 remaining green side  bunkers

Hole 3/12:
- Reshape left fairway bunker to leave a smaller maintainable bunker
- Remove approach bunker and re turf area to become fairway
- Create new left hand approach bunker to encourage fairway shots to stay right away from houses on boundary
- Reshape both green side bunkers

Hole 4/13:
- Reshape 13th tee. Remove hazardous sleeper edge and provide a mowable tee bank. Renew path area and landscape surrounding tee complex
- Remove fairway bunker and re turf to become rough

Hole 8/17:
- Re orient 17th tee to right of existing tee, removing hazardous sleeper edge and provide a mowable tee bank. The tee shot will direct the golfer to the corner of the dog leg at 150 yards. Renew path area also.

Hole 9/18:
- Re orient 18th tee to right of existing tee and provide a mowable tee bank.
- Remove mound to left of fairway. Spoil to be used for tee reshaping at hole 1.

It is intended that the works shall be completed within 6-8 weeks, allowing contingency for poor weather and unforeseen circumstances. We hope to complete all this work as soon as possible and if everything runs smoothly, we may finish sooner than anticipated.

Please bear with us. The disruption is temporary and the golf course will be improved significantly as a result of this winter work.

Thank you.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Autumn is upon us - and so far, so dry

Autumn is a season I like and dislike in equal measure.

We all love the changing colours of the leaves on the trees but the leaves that fall present us greenkeepers with the unenviable task of collecting them. 

Not only that, for golfers, the task of finding a golf ball in and around endless leaves is not good!

It has not helped that our compact tractor has developed an intermittent electrical fault. It keeps blowing fuses with no clear sign of where the fault lies. So it has been sent away for repair. In the meantime, we are down to a backpack blower to clear leaves. This takes so much longer and impacts quite heavily upon our resources.

However, the upside at present is how dry the golf course is. This is affording us the opportunity to continue with mowing and thus present the course as best as we can. We have continued to do some topdressing. The putting green and 12th tee have been done this week, keeping these surfaces nice and firm.

We hope, should next week remain dry, to give all the greens a light topdressing so that they continue to provide smoother putting later into the season.

Last week, we managed to get our rough mower into the pond between holes 5 and 6. It looks a lot more presentable now and although it is currently marked as GUR, it should give golfers the opportunity to find golf balls and play a recovery shot. We hope, in time, to soften the sharp edges with a mini digger so that this whole area can be mown with one mower. Please bear with us on this.

The greens are recovering well from the verti draining last week and a firming up nicely. We are also walk mowing them at this time of year for better presentation and to give the ride on mower a break after a long summer!

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Friday, 2 October 2015

An Indian Summer??

What a great week of weather! It has been fantastic for us this week and despite being down to 2 staff this week, we have done some great work. More about that later.

Over the last few weeks, we have had some heavy early morning dews. This has led to regular switching and brushing on the greens to remove the dew in order to help keep surfaces dry. 

Although we have already applied a preventative fungicide to protect against fusarium, it is still good practice to remove dew even though the late mornings and early afternoons have been utilised for greens mowing/rolling.

Last week, we passed the slitter through the greens in order to encourage root growth as we head into mid-autumn. Slitting is great because it causes no disruption to the surfaces and after mowing or rolling, the gaps close up nicely. 

The autumn fertiliser application is slowly releasing small amounts of nitrogen. The surfaces now have a lovely pale green colour with excellent grass coverage and good grass density. The light topdressing application from last week has settled in nicely and after some rolling and walk mowing, the greens are lovely and firm.

This week, we took the opportunity to verti drain the problematic areas on the 8th green. Following this, we topdressed the holes and brushed in the sand. We feel that if we keep up with regular aeration on this green then it should stand up better to heavy rain.

You will also notice that we verti drained the putting green with a 3/4 inch tine. After this operation, the putting green was rolled. Now it is lovely and firm! The improvement to this green over the past 18 months is considerable - perhaps regular aeration and topdressing is not that bad after all!!

This week we managed to get all the fairways cut - several were double cut. They look tremendous given that we are now in October.

James has been well exercised this week. He has had plenty more practice walk mowing greens. Although they aren't as quick nor mown as short as during the summer, the main aim for us is that the greens are firm, dry and have good grass coverage as we head into autumn and winter. 

There is still some anthracnose disease evident on the poa (annual meadow grass). This is a stress related disease and often occurs at the back end of summer. The poa is usually the first grass type to suffer and the main ways to combat this are to raise the height of cut, add some nitrogen based fertiliser for recovery and aerate to relieve compaction. Hence we will verti drain the greens next week.

Otherwise, we are looking pretty good for the next week. The leaves are now beginning to fall and that is our next challenge!

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!