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.