September 2022 (Click to Expand)
September has been another extremely busy month. We have continued to try and keep on top of cutting and to keep the course as well presented as possible.
We have continued to keep up with our monthly feed, pencil tining and wetting agent programme on the greens in-line with our annual maintenance plan. I plan for 5 applications which started in May with the first application and ending in September.
While some areas of the course have been burnt off due to the months of drought conditions, this has saved us some time on cutting and more so saved us diesel. We have taken this opportunity to catch up on some pruning and tidying up jobs. On the left side of 7th fairway there was a hawthorn choked up with ivy and leaning at a dangerous angle, for safety reason we removed it as well as some low limbs up 10th avenue that were damaging the machines.
Our Kubota RTV is on its last legs. Although it’s been a work horse, it is now past due replacement! We have had a demo machine and are looking to test others before making a final decision on the best way forward.
Hollow coring and our annual Maintenance Aeration programme was scheduled for the week beginning 5th Sept. Without being picky this was really a week that we could have done with being “bone” dry…….. it wasnt, but we had some much needed rain, 84mm actually over 3 days !!! All 19 greens were hollow cored at 5-1/2 inches deep with ¾ inch tines and cleared off by 2.00pm. This was a great achievement by the green staff. We got the attachments swapped over and top dressed the 5th to make sure everything was in place to continue first thing Tuesday morning. We were pleased to be able to have use of some equipment from Turfcare to assist the work, which saved a huge amount of time.
Good time was being made before then the rain hit. The sand was laid and after a few weeks the greens are showing great signs of recovery. In total we have approximately applied 42 tonnes of top dressing and over seeded with approximately 100kg of fescue seed.
The winter work programme has been agreed with the Greens Director, which the team will begin following the end of the competitive playing season.
As the season comes to a close, grass is starting to slow down, hopefully the weather will be kind over the autumn to assist us with some of the jobs we have left remaining and allow some germination of seed as the days get shorter and cooler.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the members that help out as volunteers, especially the divot fillers, as well as to Paul Charlton of Turfcare, but mainly to “ the lads “ for what has been a really physically demanding 7 to 10 days. Finally thank you to the Directors for their continued support.
August 2022 (Click to Expand)
The end of July leading into August has had its challenges, mainly the lack of rain! This prolonged dry period has all over the country had or is having an effect on most. To try and save or reduce the stress to the grass mowing of fairways, semi rough and tees has been monitored and kept to a minimum. The greens have still been continued to be cut daily, but are monitored every day and are assessed accordingly.
Leading up to Tully cup we eventually got some well needed natural rain which perked the course up outstandingly well. During this damp period we sarrel rolled the greens and applied our monthly programme of seaweed, wetting agent and foliar feed, the timing was perfect and also were the results.
While grass cutting has been slow, it has allowed us to drop onto some jobs that normally we would struggle to do in the playing months. We have divotted all the fairways ( along with the help of the volunteers ), we have also been tidying low branches in the copses and the main impact area of the beech trees to the rear of the 6th green have been pruned and tidied. The whole surrounding area of the 5th medal tee has been brashed back and pruned along with the lane along to the cottages to allow deliveries.
It also allowed us time to spend some much needed time on maintenance of machines, from mid season oil changes, power washing down and re-greasing them all.
The irrigation system on the greens have been working overtime and has proved that investing money into the system has paid huge dividends to us as a club.
Some adjustments have been required on the greens side of the system where old heads have been replaced and some of the older heads had the wrong nozzles in, so after a day of investigation the heads were removed, stripped down and larger nozzles were fitted, this came at no cost other than time as I did the repairs in-house. The results have been promising.
I have just ordered the top dressing in preparation for our “maintenance week” at the start of September and I have also just ordered some new hollow tines, let’s keep our fingers crossed for some decent weather to allow a quick recovery.
Finally we have had a few incidents recently on the course from the local children, one such ongoing area of vandalism was the 7th green and 8th tee area but after catching them and having a chat with them it seems to have done the trick.
The other problem area was the 15th tee 14th green where the kids from the farm complex have caused damage and theft of markers etc and stabbing the pin into the greens. After a call last week from several members I chanced my luck and went door knocking and found the culprits, whose parents were only happy to help and have been brilliant in their approach to help stop such incidents. The father was happy enough to give me his number and if ever we have bother to phone him, this was greatly appreciated.
One more thing, I would like to thank “ the lads “ for all there help over such a tough time to be working outside, in such heat, they do it without complaint and I feel that they need a mention on my behalf as I’m only as good as the workers that support me….. and its cost me a fortune in ice lollies !!!
July 2022 (Click to Expand)
The month is mainly focussed on course maintenance as we are in the height of the season, preparing for monthly medals, mid-week medals, weekend competitions and club team games and of course general day to day play.
We are now into our 3rd application of our annual 4-6 wk liquid fertiliser and seaweed programme which has been in place for the last 4 years. The programme is providing fantastic results. We have a rooting system which has never been healthier, and in addition we are re-introducing a hollow coring programme.
We in the past have suffered massively from localised dry patch, compounded by the poor state of our irrigation system resulting us not being able to irrigate the greens when needed. Over the past few years our intention has been to increase the sward on the greens. Unfortunately, as the greens were so weak, moss started to invade these areas. Applications usually used worked against us due to the stress within the greens, therefore the addition of iron has been postponed temporarily. Further to the addition of iron, we would generally verti-cut ( remove lateral growth and unwanted top surface organic matter ). After issues with the machinery used to do this were resolved, verti-cutting began in the early part of the month, the first time in four months, with fantastic results. We aim to verti-cut several times each season. Watering routines are now in place regularly towards the end of the day and are producing superb results.
With the greens health and sward improving greatly, a working irrigation system and now these units functioning correctly I’m hopeful the moss will reduce and the finer grasses will flourish.
Jack Shotton who was with us throughout the winter months has been employed over the summer job and is currently taking courses in pesticide and fungicide spraying funded through the Government Kickstart scheme. Our cutting cylinders are in the process of being sharpened over the next few weeks, allowing a better quality of cut and stronger, healthier grass.
We have also taken delivery of our new Green-keeping Welfare units to replace the old Green-keeping Accommodation damaged by the winter storms. These are absolutely fantastic and will last the club for many years to come.
We would also like to thank John Davidson and Matty Searle for helping out with the divotting and also to Gary Kennedy for his work on the decking at the 10th tee where the halfway house once stood.