Course update February 2020
Well what can is say, its been yet another wet month on the course, thankfully we managed to get the bunkers on the 6th hole and the 3rd tee box turfed before the start of the first of 3 storms to hit in February. The turf is rooting in well and the sand has arrived for the new bunkers which will be filled once the ground conditions allow.
As some may already be aware the committee have decided to change the existing bunker sand on the course to Mansfield bunker sand, the idea behind this is for better playability from the bunkers, also it will be the same type of sand that we use to top dress the greens allowing for less damage which is caused on bunker faces and approaches from the older sand. This process will be carried out over the coming years by doing certain holes each year, we will start with the new bunkers on the 6 and also the left hand green side bunker on the same hole this year.
The greens were verti-drained this month to a depth of 10 inches with 1/2 inch tines and 2 inch spacing with no heave, this meaning that the tines were going straight into the surface to allow for less disruption to the soil structure and the playing surface leading towards the start of the playing season. This work has to be carried out on a regular basis to maintain good airflow into the roots of the turf, however as we enter the playing season we will use a smaller tine ‘1/4 inch’ to minimise disruption to play, this work will be carried out every 4-6 weeks. The edging work on the paths has continued with some of the completed paths being topped up with red track.
Verti-drain working on a green 6th path edged and dressed out
As I said earlier we’ve had a few stormy weekends this month leading to a few trees falling and branches snapping, these have had to be tidying up and disposed of. We’ve also carried on with pruning around the golf course, firstly down the left hand side of the 6th fairway some low hanging branches on the pine trees have been in need of pruning for some time so we’ve spent time on them leaving them looking very tidy, easier to play out of and more accessible for our machinery. Secondly we’ve started work down the right hand side of the 17th hole pruning in the copses and clearing trees and branches back to the fence to leave the area looking tidy and more golf friendly.
Pine copse’s on 6th. Pruning on right of 17th
Now that we’re looking forward to the start of the new season, its good to news for the greenkeeping team that the golf club have invested in some new cutting machines for use on the tee boxes, approaches and surrounds of the greens and a new utility vehicle for use on the golf course. Here’s a picture of a proud Ian with the new machinery
Finally moving forward over the few weeks we’ll be continuing our work on the paths, the pruning down the right of 17, topping the new bunkers with the new sand and generally getting ready for the start of the new season which is almost upon us.
After a very wet period from August – November with over 9 inches more rainfall than the monthly averages, this really hit the winter work programme hard limiting the use of the heavy machinery on the course during this time. Members who have been playing the course will have seen some of the work that’s been carried out, for those who have not been playing regularly this is just a short report of what we’ve been doing and what we’re looking to do in the near future.
Pruning of low hanging branches in the copse areas on the left hand side of the 1st hole and and right hand side of the 17th fairway has been carried out to allow for better air flow to aid the growth of the grass areas, also if your unlucky enough to land in these areas you should have a better shot back into play. We started work on the large group of trees to the end of the hedge at the first tee. This had become unmanageable for the green staff and it was also recommended by the agronomist in his last visit, to allow better air flow and sunlight to the 9th green for longer periods over the winter months.
There’s still more work to be done in this area as most of this work was done while we were in the middle of the bad weather, since we’ve had a period of drier ground conditions we have been getting on with jobs where we have the need to use the heavy machines. Firstly the levelling of the 11th tee box was completed.
We then moved on to the renovation of the right hand green side bunker. This had became a priority as the mound that was behind the bunker had became severely damaged by rabbits burrowing through it leading to it becoming dangerous. Some of the spoil from this area has been used to level out some of the deeper rigs on the approach to the 12th fairway. Following a consultation with the golf course architect Andrew Mair it was decided that we would create two new bunkers in that area, with the larger bunker to the front and a smaller pot bunker to the rear. Bringing to front bunker in closer to the green and more into play.
The area is now ready for turf and the bunkers to be filled with sand, this work will be carried out in the coming weeks.
Whilst the work on the bunkers was going on we were also working on the 3rd medal tee box. The turf was stripped of with the area being levelled and ready for turf, again this will be turfed over the coming weeks.
Other work that has been going on is the edging of paths around the course, the greens have been treat with an application of fertiliser also the aeration programme has been continued on the greens and the surrounds to help airflow through the surface throughout the winter.
Going forward we will be looking to completed the bunkers on the 6th and the 3rd tee box and to continue with the paths and the aeration of the greens. We look forward to seeing you all on the golf course as the start of the season approaches.
This week on the course
Monday 22nd July
The green and aprons were cut, bunkers and tee markers were checked. the 1st cut of the semi rough was cut and the cutting of the fairways began.
Tuesday 23rd July
The greens were cut, bunkers were checked and tee markers were moved. The greens were also sprayed with the monthly application of Primo max, Revolution, Attain and Liquid iron. The morning was spent divoting the fairways with the help of a member and a couple of junior members. In the afternoon the cutting of the semi rough and the path sides began and the practice area was mown.
Wednesday 24th July
The course was set up for the competition by cutting the greens fully raking the bunkers and moving the pin positions. The cutting of the tees was completed, tee sides were cut and the semi rough was continued. The drain lines to the left hand side of the fairway bunker of 8 were dressed with rootzone and seed.
Thursday 25th July
The greens were cut. Following overnight rain the sand in the bunkers become wet and compact so they were opened up using the mantis machine which helps to dry them sand out a soften the sand up, following this they were fully raked. The cutting of the semi rough continued and the cutting of the tees and the fairways began.
Friday 26th July
The greens and aprons were cut, bunkers and tee markers were checked. Following the cutting of the greens they were rolled using the turf iron machine. The cutting of the tees and the fairways were completed. The bins were emptied and the ball washers were topped up.
Green Speed Article
Attached is an interesting arcticle from February’s Greenkeeping publication explaining the key factors affecting green speeds
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