Friday, 22 April 2016

Captain's Drive-In course prep

It has been a great week for mowing and getting the golf course looking a bit sharper. We started the week with the aim of making sure it looks as good as possible for Captains Drive-In.

All greens were groomed earlier this week and then double cut Monday, Tuesday  and Wednesday. This really tightened them up and they started to look really good. 

It is now obvious to all that 2 years of thatch removal, aeration and topdressing has improved the greens considerably. Now we have the statistical data to back this up. Some recent soil samples have shown that all this work is now paying huge dividends.

The surface firmness is now perfect and the greens are rolling so much better than when I first started at PPGC 2 years ago. Next week is hollow coring and topdressing - soon, the greens will be really firm and getting pretty quick too!!

All tees, fairways, approaches and surrounds have been cut this week as well as continued bunker work - the 3rd fairway bunker was completed on Thursday and is now in play. It looks fantastic.

As the dry week progressed, we managed to continually cut the new tees turf and now, all the tees are in play with the new tee markers in their respective positions. They are looking good for the future!

The 1st tee area continues to improve and some nice rope & stakes really does finish off this area. It is nearly there!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish David McIntyre a great year as Captain. Enjoy your day tomorrow Mr C! A final thanks to Ryan & James for a good week of work! Well done guys!

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Friday, 15 April 2016

April = Showers

Another month, another glut of rain. If I hear about water restrictions in summer, I will lose the plot. 

We opened the new tees this week and put out the new tee markers. Thanks to Phil Lockett for the wood work and Jeff Perkin for the paint work! They look fresh and really visible.

The new tees have been topdressed to fill in any low spots and to help the tees to dry out and firm up. The winter and spring rainfall helped them to root in quickly but it has not helped with their firmness. Hence some tees are being eased in slowly with all sets of markers in the same place.

The greens have picked up in density and colour after a light application of lawn sand. We have started to get the groomer unit through most of them to help thin out the surfaces and discourage any disease that might be lurking around in wet, mild weather. Grooming is a form of surface aeration and it is very useful at this time of year.

We pressed on with more bunker work this week. The right hand greenside bunker on hole 3 was finished with sand and is now in play. It looks magnificent - really modern, aesthetically good on the eye and it sits really well into the green complex.

We also managed to drain and install drainage into the first fairway bunker on hole 3. It had a good 18 inches of clay in the base sat on top of very fine sand. Hence why it did not drain well this winter   following all the rain. 

The second delivery of bunker sand was delayed unfortunately but we are assured that it will arrive mid week next week and then we will get this bunker completed.

Generally we are pleased with the golf course. Ideally, it would be perfectly dry and have recovered fully from the winter by now. However, we have to face the fact that the weather really doesn't care much for golf or anything - and it will get nicer and warmer when it decides. Such is life!

In the meantime, have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!

Friday, 8 April 2016

A step forward and three back

As we approach mid April, the weather is trying its hardest to keep us frustrated. We thought that the recent dry spell was a sign of things to come but Mama N had other ideas!

We managed to get an early spring fertiliser into the greens to give them a shot of colour and help with a little growth. They look a little more like it now and they have remained resolutely firm and dry despite the wet weather.

This week has been one of tying up some loose ends and getting some bunker sand out. 2 out of 5 bunkers have been given fresh sand. The remaining 3 will be sorted out in the next 10 days. More bunker sand has been ordered to help us complete the restoration of our winter bunker renovations.

All fairways have been cut this week alongside the tees, approaches and surrounds. Although growth is not yet consistent, definition of closely mown turf areas is better. 

The new tees now need topdressing and regular mowing to bring them on. We have started this process this week. The new 13th tee has been heavily topdressed to dry it out, level out surface imperfections and help firm up the surface. 

In time, these new tees will look excellent. It is just a nuisance that the wet weather has prevented this essential maintenance from being carried out in March. That said, the turf has rooted in really well.

Jeff Perkin has finished off the herb garden this week with some decorative gravel and weed membrane. It looks superb. Thanks also to Dave Clark for planting these shrubs. 

We hope to get the new tees in play gradually over the next 2 weeks. It is important that they do not get batteries too much before Captain's Drive-In and that they remain looking good throughout the season.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your golf!