Monday, 14 August 2017

After a long difficult week weather and work wise Hollowtining is all complete.  The storm on Wednesday meant we had to continue into Thursday and fertilising of putting surfaces was not completed until Monday the 14th.  The overall process has gone well and we wait now to achieve full recovery within a few weeks.  We estimate over 350,000 cores were picked up by hand and we applied a very impressive 75 tons of sand across both courses.

This means we have applied over 100 tons across each course since March.  This will be a recurrent theme in the next few years whilst we reduce thatch within the sward to more manageable levels.

This week and next, daily course set up will take centre stage with all areas being cut back to our standard now tining is finished.

Next work on the agenda once September arrives is Hollowtining of Aprons and Tees together with a heavy dressing.  Once this is done it will be Autumn and we will then begin deep tining of all areas including greens, Tees and weak areas around green complexes, fairway slitting and Autumn renovations.   

Very good level of fill

Endless brushing and matting

Lots of cores to pick up

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Aeration going well but not fast enough.

Endless amount of cores to be picked by hand.

Over 2 ton of sand added to each green.

And still we can't fill all the holes.

Greens to be feed and then rolled through the week.  Wednesday will see rubbish weather so may create problems in finishing our final 12 greens on the lower but we can but hope.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The course is responding well after the last week of rain.  Greens although slow are smoother than at any point in the season.  Tees and aprons are beginning to fill in after months of poor patchy areas. At this time of year our attention switches to creating the healthiest sward going into the winter, which in turn will see a better surface in early spring and this is how we can produce year on year improvements.

With this in mind Hollow-tining will take place in August in order to achieve maximum fast recovery so greens come into Autumn in a strong position.

August 7th Hollow-tining with 10mm inner tines to a depth of 60mm will begin on the Upper.
August 8th finish Upper and start Lower.
August 9th finish Lower.

Process will work as follows:  Pull cores to 25mm centres across all greens, followed by core removal by hand.  2 ton of sand per green, dragmatted in followed by a mower or blow to clean up surface.  Organic fertilizer with a very fast release to push greens on quickly and water will be turned on throughout the week to speed up recovery. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

A light dress followed by solid-tine down to 2".  That brings the grand total over 100 ton of sand applied in the last 3 months.  Hollow tining is planned for early August and it is hoped by the end of the season we may get to 200 ton across the whole site.
Our obvious weakness is wet, soft, diseased winter greens so the more sand we can incorporate into the surface the better winter quality will be.

Irrigation is now fixed and greens are responding well, getting back to better, smoother surfaces.
Dry areas
Adam, our apprentice is now filling in the holes in his machinery knowledge and not only topdressed this week but also had a first go at tining.  By the end of the year he will have passed NVQ level 2 and be on the way in his career.

Trying to improve the definition in places ready for the autumn rains, when the whole course will take a big step forward.
18th Lower

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The course is now incredibly dry.  Greens have had no water since rainfall last Monday 26th June. Irrigation fault was eventually diagnosed to failing pump.  This has been ordered and we should see delivery and installation by Thursday 6th July.  In the meantime we are cutting less and suspending all work on greens to keep stress levels down whilst moving holes regularly to green areas to move wear.

Very Dry

Very very dry

Sunday, 25 June 2017

  A very hot last few weeks.  Irrigation weakness within the system always gets found out when the temperature goes above 25.  Our system is poor and will always struggle in extremes of temperature.  We will concentrate water on greens and tees will have limited amounts when we can.  As the week came to an end half the course irrigation failed.  This is evident with half the greens on each course being very dry.  In itself it's not a major problem if we could find the leak. So the bowser is watering some greens to keep them alive until we can find the problem. 


1st Tee Lower
New tee back in play on the 16th Lower.  All feedback welcome.

16th Tee Lower

16th Tee Lower

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Well it's wet now.  As always in this job the weather is never just right.   Seedheads on greens have now exploded creating horrible grainy surfaces that refuse to run well.  Overall the greens have now filled in and are moving in the right direction we need to move past this phase which should be just a few weeks.  Once the growth slows a little greens will again receive some form of aeration, dressing and maybe a v-cut if the weather behaves.
 The 14th Upper Tee will be in play by the end of the week but will be kept slightly longer to protect sward from wear.  The mat will be moved forward off the back Tee and the back Tee will be renovated this winter.  The winter Tee position will be moved back down the slope and the whole area will be protected so we can play on grass in the main season and not on a mat.

Looking better
 The entrance is slowly improving.  Next, more bark, paint the metal fencing and moving the large sign around the base of the large trees.

16th Lower
View from the back 16th Tee Lower.  We are now maintaining this as a proper Tee.  The fairway has been moved nearer the Tee, rough widened to the left of the hole and the tree on the right of the photo will be trimmed and shaped before the Tee is in play.  The rough to the right of the 3rd is now long to stop the ball rolling through and I anticipate this hole will be in play by the end of June.

6th Lower
Although we don't have many ponds they do create a great feature when visible so this winter will see a concerted effort to clear and keep clear trees around the pond perimeter.  At the moment we are clearing small areas of willow tree and chipping for material at the entrance.

Not so green now

A close up of the 12th Green Upper.  You can see how even though the green appears one colour it is both dying, growing and living in a small 50 pence area.  The tips of each blade are cut with a sharp 11 bladed cylinder but you can see how ragged they are close up.  This rough surface is a good entry for disease and highlights why blade sharpness is so important.