Golf Course Blog February 2021
Posted on Sunday 28th February, 2021
Spray, Aeration, Agronomy
We have continued with a mix of Turf Hardening products containing Iron and Calcium. There has been a small outbreak of disease that came under the snow but we have been able to combat this with the above application.
The aeration program on the greens has continued with pencil tines after the frozen conditions of the last couple of weeks. The same action has been performed on the tees and approaches. This year we are planning to treat the tees and approaches in the same way as the greens in order to bring them inline with each other and give better surfaces across all 3 areas.
We will soon start spring maintenance with hollow coring.
This process removes thatch and organic matter which encourages disease and black layer in the soil.
Thatch retains surface moisture and stops nutrients getting to the roots. It suffocates the crown of the plant, stunting growth and encouraging mycelium to form which causes disease such as fusarium. The black layer is a layer of stagnation in the soil where nothing lives. This is caused by a lack of deep aeration to break up the soil and allow moisture to penetrate deeper and away from the roots.
During the maintenance period we aid this process by adding a topdressing of pure sand to fill the aeration holes and create a deep clean layer for new root growth to filter down giving a healthier plant. It is planned that this process will produce the desired good putting surface for when members return to golf on 29th March.
We have also enlisted the expertise and research capabilities of an extremely knowledgeable agronomist who will be working closely with the team.
A nutrient plan will be designed that will help us with disease resistance by utilising the basic 3 components of grass health: air, water, and nutrition.
This will create healthier grass that is more resistant to drought and disease and will work along side our improved air and sunlight program.
Noticeable Results & Ongoing Work
We have pushed on with the improvement surrounding our sun starved greens. The holly at the back of the 4th green has been removed. This has been making the green very weak and susceptible to disease. It has been that way year on year so much so that the back of the green was only really useable for 2 months in the summer. This work will not only make the hole more playable for shots going over the back of the green to speed up play but in turn it will make the entire green more healthy with increased sunlight and air movement.
The sunlight and air movement to the greens has greatly improved and will lead to increased playability.
The same actions have been carried out on the 9th Green with the removal of all the dead dangerous branches in the Cedars by the practice net and the thinning out of the Yew hedge. This has contributed to a startling increase in much needed sunlight and air reaching the green.
This has made a difference to the green already in drying it out. The grass on the green is responding nicely but these actions have also made the 1st tee and practice nets a safer place to be.
Some hedges around the course have been trimmed or cut back. This will lead to speedier play and hopefully less lost balls.
Part removal of the hedges at either side of the 5th green will improve the flow of air to the green.
Judging from the, more than, 50 balls taken out of these hedges it will also enable less time to be allocated in searching for sliced approach shots.
Other works, it got wet, and cold!
Bunker edging and floods!
We have been getting busy with reclaiming the bunker edges to keep them defined and sharp for the season.
This happens every 2 years as edges get worn away through golf, animal scratching, and machine works.
I cant stress enough its not making them bigger but just tidying them up.
However, with ongoing drainage works the course has recovered a lot quicker than in previous years.
When dealing with weather like this it’s not a case of how immediately the drainage works but how quickly it moves the water when it finally stops being over whelmed.
Within 3 days of dry weather the course has been playable again and within a week it was restriction free (except for the small matter of the national lockdown).
This is due to the digging out of the ditches and discovering and re- instating of old drains.
There are plans in place for more drains in the future.