This Week On the Course
Monday 22nd May.
After some heavy rain over the weekend the bunkers were in need of much work and in many cases rotivating in order to get them ready for members and the Ladies Team Match in the afternoon. Early morning the greens were cut / dressed with sand / Brushed in using a drag mat/ cut again and ironed.
Half of the bunkers were strimmed in order to tidy up while retaining some length defining the bunkers. We are hoping that the warmth in the ground will help some of the formerly scalped bunker edges to recover and give a healthy look to the bunkers.
John spent most of the day cutting the rough aswell as tee banks with the rough cutting machine. A bit of length around the tees is really helping the definition, some one will follow this up tommorow with tidying up the edges of tee banks etc. The tees themselves were also cut on all 18 holes with repairs to follow.
Tuesday 23rd May.
Aswell as Greens cut as they are every morning we prepared for the Ladies Open today. Tees were all repaired and markers moved, new markers were delivered and they were put out where many had faded.
Greens ironed again - holes changed - bunkers raked and Fairways Cut.
7th and 8th Greens also Saro-Rolled with emphasis on the new drainage channels.
Wednesday 24th May
Today, in preparation for the Pro Sweep, greens were cut, as were the tees and semi rough and the holes were trimmed. Also the bunkers were raked again; since rotivating them thoroughly on Monday, we are trying to maintain a consistent depth in order to improve bunker play. The irrigation system was used on all greens this morning to help the playing surface and also to water in the dressing from Monday.
Bunkers are still in the process of being strimmed, this involves strimming the vertical inside edge and bunker surrounds to around 2-2.5 inches. This can be a time consuming job made slower this week due to the ladies open and pro sweep, hopefully this should be completed by the end of Thursday.
The areas marked GUR on the 7th and 8th fairway that were used as temporary greens during the winter, have recently been tined, sarel rolled and today have been dressed using a soil and seed mix. These areas will continue to be ground under repair until they have fully recovered. The aeration process should assist to make a faster recovery.
Thursday 25th May
Spraying of the greens occurred first thing this morning. A preventative chemical was sprayed on all greens to counteract fusarium as weather conditions are now conducive to its growth. This was done after the greens had been double cut and ironed. Holes were then later changed in readiness for a team match against Blyth later in the evening.
Green surrounds and the intermediate cut between fairway and semi-rough were also cut later in the day. New 'bib aprons' have also started to be cut out, but they will require a tinning, top dressing and over seeding to be at their best.
The task of strimming the bunkers was also completed. It has been noted by the greenkeepers that due to the very hot and dry weather, the sand in the bunkers has begun to dry out and go crusty, thus giving the appearance that their is a lack of sand in them. Hopefully some moisture, or light rain will bring them to standard.
Friday 26th May
After the greens were cut today, another chemical spray was applied to them- this time a fertiliser to encourage growth that not only assists in making them looking greener, but also actively encourages lateral growth rather than just vertical growth. As a direct result of, as this fertiliser takes near immediate affect, it was decided today at the greenkeepers meeting with the club manager that the greens will be double cut tomorrow morning. Generally, the greens are single cut at weekends.
In addition, today's work included tees and aprons being cut, fairways cut, bunkers raked and tees repaired.
It has been noticed today, that residual fertiliser in the tees, on top of regular tinning in the last few months and the almost tropical weather has meant the grass on the tees has been growing at an unbelievable rate! Today, ALL tees have been double cut, if not triple cut, to keep the playing surface as 'tight' as possible.
The greens are desperate for a bit of warmth as is the whole course, the greens are being watered every night but we need some heat! Today (Friday) was better but we need the temps to rise.
On Monday we will be tining the greens and on Tuesday applying a light dressing, the plan was to Verti Cut on Monday but due to the slow recovery this will be put off until we see further growth so as not to cause any damage.
A good meeting with the greens staff today with all contributing with ideas to improve the course and in-depth discussion and analysis of the cutting heights and specific areas that need attention. The lads are working hard and I was delighted to pass on all the compliments that have been shared over this last week or so.
Green Works Update
Over the last two days, we have carried out intensive work on our greens to bring them up to the required standard. We have used a process called sand injection using a Graden Contour machine.
This hand operated machine is a scarifier/ aerator with the ability to tear into the organic matter content. The blades cut a 3mm groove to any depth from 1mm to 40mm, whilst simultaneously backfilling the grooves with kiln dried sand to improve rooting and drainage. This is the best way of removing as much of the thatch and organic matter in one go, whilst keeping the surface firm.
By the end of Thursday, we expect all greens to be back in play after the dressing on them has been fully brushed in, the greens have been cut and then ironed to improve playability. Full recovery of the playing surface should take 7-10 days. Please view the pictures and video footage of this work being carried out.
Let's take a look how to properly repair a pitch mark.
Repairing those little depressions is very important. Equally important is doing it the right way. While unfortunately many golfers fail to repair ballmarks, there are also many well-meaning golfers who do repair the pitch marks, only to do so incorrectly.
A ball mark can cause the grass in the depression to die, leaving not just a scar but also a pit in the putting surface that can knock well-struck putts offline. Repairing a ball mark restores a smooth surface and helps keep the grass healthy. But "repairing" a ball mark incorrectly can actually cause more damage than good. The biggest mistake it lifting up on the soil and grass which tears the roots and kills more of the grass around the mark. Incorrectly "repaired" ball marks take up to twice as long to heal as those that are properly repaired.
So lets all start fixing our ball marks, and doing it the right way. And if you have a moment - while you are waiting for others in your group to putt - fix one or two other ball marks too.
Repairing pitch marks isn't just important for the health of the greens, and for smooth-rolling putts; it isn't just a matter of golf etiquette, it is our obligation to help take care of the golf courses we play. And repairing ball marks is a big part of that obligation to the game.
Please take care
Golfers are requested to please take notice of repaired areas on the course, in order for recovery of damaged areas we need you to stay clear even if it is the direct route!!
The Greenkeepers are fizzing!!! Beware.