Friday, 25 November 2016

Weekend Update

Well the course is drying out nicely following Mondays deluge. FYI we actually had more rainfall in 24 hours ( 46mm ) than we did last Boxing day. The course stood up to it so well, and was open for play the next day on main greens with just buggies restricted.

The greens are continuing their recovery from the Fusarium outbreak and the surfaces are dry and firm. Lets hope the scars fill in some more before the end of the year.
Work has carried on around the 1st tee, with 3 large Sycamore's being removed. I know there is always controversy when we remove trees, but Sycamore's are not a good tree to have close to playing areas on a golf course. The large leaves kill grass in the Autumn, change the nature of soil and grass species and they encourage the development of moss. The roots also cause heave and restrict drainage. 
With the path alterations we intend to complete around the 1st tee, they really did need to be felled.

The Path on the 16th hole has been turfed, but we are awaiting delivery of some more on Monday to complete the work on the 12th. When this has settled we will place the ground stabilisation matting and apply some fertiliser to encourage growth and rooting. Please keep off these areas till recovery is complete.

The course has received some mowing to tidy areas up for the weekend and the bunkers have been raked and sand pushed back up the faces. 

Next week we intend to slit the greens, approaches and start the fairways. Work will also continue on the 1st tee and some bunker renovation.

Enjoy the weekend.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Weekend Update

Well, just like last year, the Winter has arrived in the middle of November. As i sit writing this, the course is closed following heavy rain & sleet. The temperature is 4 degrees and more rain/sleet is forecast.


Despite this, we have been busy on the course this week. 
The greens were slit on Monday with little surface disruption. They were also cut & ironed on Wednesday to further restore the surfaces. The Fusarium scars are recovering and the greens certainly look much improved from 2 weeks ago. Lets hope the seedlings continue to develop and fill in the gaps.
We have continued our work on the 12th & 16th paths, with drainage gullies installed, surface preparation work done and turf laid. The plan is to introduce some ground stabilisation material onto these areas the same as we have used on the 4th hole. This should spread the wear and combined with the hard wearing turf should provide sustainable grass walkways. The teeing area on the 12th has been moved to the start of the fairway to ease traffic issues.
The bunkers renovation work has started on the 3rd hole. These bunkers suffer badly from stone contaminated sand and overhanging faces. They will be lined to prevent this and filled with fresh sand. We plan to rebuild 9 more across the course.
More work has been carried out on the 1st tee, but conditions are difficult due to the weather. When conditions improve, the drainage carpet for the new tee will be installed and more work on the paths will be carried out.


Have a great weekend.


Mark & the Greens team.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Weekend Update

A difficult week weather wise, with heavy frost and persistent rain. The course was closed for 3 hours on Wednesday and all day Thursday. The water is just not moving through the soil profile following a drier than average September & October. When we slit the fairways last week, the blades were not going all the way in due to the compaction in the soil. Hopefully, conditions will improve following more aeration.
The 1st tee is now roughly shaped and the new Tee to fairway path has been shaped. Work will continue when the weather allows. 
We have started digging out some of our stone paths, with the 12th & 16th being the first. We plan to remove all the stone in these areas, creating a wider turf path which will feature ground stabilisation material and hardy Rye grass. We hope that these paths will provide a long lasting, relatively maintenance free alternative to stone paths. If successful, we will convert more paths to turf.

Fingers crossed for the weekends weather.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Course Update.

As you will no doubt be aware, the greens have suffered an attack of Fusarium Patch disease.
Fusarium is a constant threat throughout the Autumn and only needs the right conditions to take hold.
Unfortunately, the late timing of the renovation work has provided the perfect conditions for an outbreak.

The sand applied to the greens to fill the tine holes has smothered the grass plant and because of the damp, dewie conditions the base of the turf has been infected and the disease has spread throughout the plant. The damp conditions at this time of year make it difficult to work the sand into the putting surfaces, reducing the chance of an attack. This has been exaggerated by weather fronts coming from the east, which have reduced soil temperatures leading to slow growth and little recovery from the renovation work. 
We regularly spray Fungicide to prevent these attacks, but turf covered in sand offers little leaf for the chemicals to attach to and prevent the disease.
There are 2 types of Fungicide:-  Contact, which lands on the active disease and kill it instantly, but offers no further prevention and Systemic, which is absorbed into the plant and inoculates it against further attack.
We have sprayed Systemic Fungicide 3 times this Autumn (last on 28/10/16)  and a Contact this Tuesday.  Each application costs between £750 & £600.
Members regularly ask me why we renovate greens in the playing season and sadly the reason is now plain to see.
On a positive note, the grass which has been killed is the weaker Annual Meadow grass (Poa Annua) and the seedlings from the renovation work are now coming through to take their place. A granular fertiliser has been applied as well as Iron and a penetrant wetting agent. These should help speed up recovery as long as Mother Nature does her bit.

The 1st tee renovation project is now under way. The plans will be posted onto the notice boards as soon as we receive an updated version from the Club's architect. 

Mark & the Greens team.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Weekend Update and Legislation news.

A difficult week, with weather conditions limiting the preparation of the greens. Its not easy dealing with wet sand.

We have managed to iron and brush the surfaces as well as putting small amounts of sand on to try and fill any remaining tine holes. The heavy rain at the start of the week certainly softened the surfaces as well as washing sand down the tine holes. We have also put on some liquid nutrient which included some elements to help ward off disease, but covering the surfaces with sand does provide the perfect breeding ground for Fusarium Patch. I think now the soil temperatures have dropped, recovery from the renovation work will be slow. This is a major problem when carrying out the work so late in the season.
I will be applying a granular feed next week to try and push the recovery forward, so fingers crossed for no frost.
The area next to the 1st Ladies tee has seen some deep drainage work carried out. This is to cure the persistent wet area and make may for some planned alterations to the Teeing grounds and paths.
We have also started some re-profiling work at the back of the 1st green, this will allow safer access for buggies in the winter months.

Good luck in the Winter League.

Mark & the Greens team.

FYI.
Last year the Environmental Agency withdrew the license for all chemicals used in the control of Leather-jackets (Crane fly larvae). No other chemicals are currently available for the eradication of these troublesome pests. Luckily, we have not had an outbreak this year, but how this will impact on the course in the future we do not know.
To add to our worries, they have announced that in August 2017 they will remove the license for Carbendazim (earth worm suppressant). Currently, they're are no alternative treatments available. These restrictions will have massive implications for Sports Turf in the future. Any new chemicals which become available will no doubt be prohibitively expensive.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is something golfers must be made aware off.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Friday, 14 October 2016

Weekend Update





A really busy week for all the team carrying out the essential renovation on the greens. 
We started on Sunday night, deep tining (400mm x 20mm) to relieve the deep compaction. We followed this with 75mm x 12mm hollow tines to remove any thatch and fibrous material. We then over-seeded the greens with a mixture of bent grasses to improve the quality of the sward. The greens then received repeated pure sand dressings which were worked into the holes with a brush & dragmat. Weather conditions have to be perfect to achieve this and luckily the afternoons have been dry and bright.
We have cut new holes and ironed and brushed the surfaces prior to the weekend. All we now need is some rain to help wash the sand in.
The greens will be sprayed with a nutrient cocktail early next week and will continue to be ironed and brushed to improve the surfaces.
Thanks for your patience while this work is completed, hopefully, this work will provide drier and firmer surfaces thru the winter months.

Mark & the Greens team.