Course Update July 5th 2012
I must start by promising I won’t even mention the new irrigation system!
With the rainfall amounts for June breaking the UK record it is already looking like the same may happen for July. We’ve already recorded well over 45mm this month and with still no let up in the grass growing, trying to keep up with all the cutting when conditions allow us to is proving to be quite a task.
During June we were able to pencil tine the greens with solid spikes and this has just been completed again. This job is so important and even more so with the current wet conditions as it provides a vital method in allowing much needed air into the ground, this allows toxins to be released and replaced with fresh oxygen which in turn allows soil bacteria and organisms to carry on their good work in tackling thatch build up. It also helps to relieve compaction and promote good drainage. We normally use both tractors for this task, the small compact one and the full size tractor. This has the benefits of being able to get the job done in about half a day, also with much longer tines on the verti-drain of the big tractor each time we solid tine the greens we are able to alternate between the greens to achieve tining at different depths.
Hopefully due to the fact that the tines we are using are very thin any noticeable difference whilst putting on the greens should only be experienced for a very short time.
The heavy rough has now been cut down in places that were of concern and we are continuing to tackle areas of real heavy growth (when weather permits!). We have tried to be as careful as possible in doing this so as not to interfere with the look and presentation of the course at the moment, with different heights of grass it is giving so much definition. Because of this we have really only concentrated on the thick clumps of grass that are situated in between the thin and wispy long seed head stalks where hopefully the ball can still be found!
As we neared the end of last month things became frantic with the scheduled visit of Steve Gingell from the STRI, Steve seemed to be very happy with the way things are progressing on the course, results of which will be sent to the club shortly in his report.
Two days after the STRI visit a round of golf was played by one of the Golf Monthly Top 100 assessors, with the rain clearing away just before he started play hopefully he went away with a good impression of the course. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will improve before the 2nd and final visit from the Top 100 later this month.
Now that we are into July along with the obvious grass cutting, concentration again will be put into keeping the greens as true and consistent as hopefully they have been recently. We will try and achieve this with further applications of topdressing, small feeds and primo-maxx (the growth regulator previously talked about in last month’s write up that is doing a fantastic job!).
General presentation work will still be ongoing and with the delivery of a lorry load of railway sleepers we will be replacing the damaged and worn ones around the course.
For anyone interested in greens speed etc before I finish this month’s round up, you may like to know that we are daily “stimping” (recording the speed) the greens so that we can continually monitor and make any needed changes to ensure that we keep the greens as consistent as possible. At the moment regular speeds of between 9 – 9 ½ feet are being achieved with the turf roller being used on occasion to help achieve this. We did become a little concerned though during the club championship when we had to refrain from using the roller on the 11th and 16th as green speeds reached 10ft before rolling! This also caused a slight headache on the 16th hole on the Saturday morning, when with the help of a putter and after a 20 minute debate with the General Manager, we managed to find what we felt was the safest and fairest place to put the pin!.
Head Green keeper