Golf Course Blog November 2020

Posted on Thursday 19th November, 2020

Greens, Tees and Trees

Greens

Spray, Shockwave and Overseed

It's been a busy first week of lockdown on the greens, we have sprayed the greens with low Nitrogen fertiliser to give them strength, enhance root growth and taken advantage of the mild weather to aid recovery from the maintenance carried out 3 weeks ago.

Part of this process is the addition of a disease prevention combination of calcium to help clean the soil and copper to help boost the natural defences of the plant. 

Due to the unusually high disease pressure this month caused by our old friend the weather, we have also sprayed a fungicide. The mild air temperatures during both day and night, plus the constant damp in the air with mist and fog, is causing a very humid microclimate round the plant encouraging the Mycelium (fungal spores commonly attributed to Fusarium) to spread and attack the plant.

We are also carrying out a continued plan throughout winter to break up the pan in the greens found at around the 8in depth.  This problem means the greens cannot drain well and moisture is held in the critical root development area.

This in turn causes a build up of unwanted organic material and a stagnant layer of soil called black layer (see picture of black layer between 3-6in depth) where nothing can live.

The recent hollow tining has shown how this black layer, although decreasing, is still present.

So part one of the treatment is to core and top dress thus removing the organic material and affected soil, and replacing it with clean root friendly sand. 

Part 2 is deep aeration to assist drainage, air movement round the roots allowing them to breath and develop, and release locked up harmful gasses out of the soil. 

Part 2 is achieved by the break up of the subsoil. This will be done in 3 ways:

  • Shockwave - Blades 9in long cut through the soil and spread apart the compacted layer as can be seen in the photos below. 
  • Injection - high pressure air is pumped into the subsoil at 9-12in causing a rupture through the compacted ground.
  • Verti-draining - 9in long 1cm diameter tines are punched through the hard under soil areas

By following this varied work programme throughout the winter we will achieve healthier, smoother, faster greens year on year.

Finally, we have been overseeding the bald areas of the green with low temperature germination creeping rye grass in the weakest areas of our greens. This will give stronger grass in historically weak areas. This has also been carried out on the summer tees ready for next season.

Trees

6th Green, 14th Tee, 12th Tee, 1st Fairway, 2nd Fairway, 3rd Hole

We have continued with the winter plan of getting our trees back to a healthy order and bringing areas that were in shade back to the sun.


Trees cut away between the 14th Tee and 6th Green

This has started with the area between the 6th green and the 14th tee. We have removed some of  the conifers to the left of 6th green and behind the 14th tee as they were completely blocking the sun and air movement to 6th green making it very weak and highly susceptible to disease by laying wet all winter. The removal of these trees will ensure maximum amounts of much needed sun and air flow get to a green that has, historically, proved challenging to dry out in the winter. The green will be on a healthier footing, year on year, as a result.


Removal of all Ash trees from right hand side of 12th Tee

The right hand side of the 12th tee has seen the removal of all the Ash trees in order to give less shade and leaf drop on the tee. It will give a feel of more space and enable the Rowans behind the chance to grow to their full potential without impacting the tee.

The right of the 1st fairway has seen the trees being pruned with a couple removed in order to give line of sight to the green and make the rough easier to maintain.


Before - Trees on the 2nd


After - Fallen trees cleared

The wooded area to the left of the 2nd fairway has had the fallen trees removed, and a couple of bushes removed to again give a line of sight to the green. The trees between the 2nd & 3rd holes have been pruned to enable easier maintenance. This may even speed up play as a result.

Other Tasks

Path Edging, Weed Clearing and Winter Mats

We have started to reclaim some of the paths around the course that have become a little overgrown. This will hopefully encourage people to use them during periods of bad weather.  They look inviting.


Paths are being cleared and reclaimed

We have also installed new, high quality, winter mats on 9 holes.  These are on holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 14 and 17.


High quality winter mats are being installed

These tees will allow for tee pegs to be used & will, hopefully, be of great benefit to members throughout this winter once the course is reopened. 


New tee mats allow for tee pegs

As well as all of the above, normal maintenance has been taking place with leaf clearance being a daily priority while the course rests.

I'd like to thank the team for their hard work and dedication, and we will continue to push forwards. Stay safe and well.


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