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.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Rain, rain and more rain😊 and Irrigation problems!

Major breaks

Tidy to the entrance started.  This will be an ongoing project beginning with a general tidy and re bark to start.  Signs cleaned and trees around the car park trimmed.  Next fence painting, more bark and all edges cleaned.  During the winter the cesspit area remodelled to improve the first impressions of the course and car park.

Edging car park

New edge

Ready for bark

We are brushing regularly now.  Trying to stand the sward up and help the green fill in.  With the seedheads in the greens at the moment light brushing will help improve the surfaces and reduce seedheads without being overly aggressive and damaging the soft, damp surfaces.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

What can you say when the course is this dry in early May.  Greens are filling in and starting to smooth out.  The rest of the course is incredibly dry.  Some jobs whilst the weather is in it's current stasis include:  New bins/signs on the 1st and 8th Lower.  Re-positioned bin on the 4th lower with a view to replace all the horrible golf bag bins eventually.  Irrigation repairs on 7th lower with the unsightly hole filled in and the 18th upper fixed and filled.  New additional sprinkler fitted to the middle of the 16th T upper to try and improve this rubbish area.  Work beginning around the entrance to improve the experience    

New sign/bin position

Great view

The fairways have been narrowed and are now cut in a light/dark fashion to create a different feel. This pattern allows the eye to focus on the shot rather than the stripes all the time.  You can see in this picture an Augusta thing going on with tandem mowing don't think well make a habit of it but it makes a good photo.

As always with greenstaff, jack of all trades comes to mind.  Here the Deputy is getting a haircut from our Mechanic.  The things we do on our lunch break!!

Tees height please

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A poor few weeks weather with no rain for nearly 5 weeks.  Greens have been feed, dressed, tined, dressed, feed, heavily watered and still refuse to significantly improve.  

This week we have verti-cut both courses followed by a light dress, 18 ton across both courses, rolled and finally cut.  We are now at a turning point and the warm weather next week will finally see some growth but only on watered areas of the course.  For the rest, spring is slowly slipping by which is a real worry.  

Broken irrigation boxes are being replaced and lots of sprinklers are being straightened, reset or even replaced ready for the upcoming summer.

The picture below is a core pulled from the 14th green lower.  You can clearly see the seam of fresh sand from spring tining which is very encouraging but also the browner, dryer, thatchy area below, so much is still to be done to firm up surfaces ready for the wetter months. 
14th Lower Core

One of the old buggies has been fixed, painted and reconditioned. This gives us an extra machine to run around on during busy times.

Tee plinths around the course and fairway markers have been cleaned.  Sprinklers are all being trimmed.
Tee Plinths
A poor spring for Bluebells with the cold dry weather spoiling the colour and bloom

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

More sand and tining this week on the Lower.  Half a ton of sand per green followed by 10mm solid tines at 1/2 inch centres.  The greens are slowly filling in and we are irrigating on a regular basis to force growth.  Off the green the weather has made the course look more like August than April with tees particularly suffering with the dry weather.
More Sand Honeyman

More Holes
 As the irrigation gets woken up breaks, faults and general problems begin to show themselves.  As we move through the season these jobs are prioritised and will be fixed in order of importance.

13th Green Lower

 Our facility is slowly being organised and by the winter we will have a tidier barn with a place for everything.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

As always after a great weekend of golf, the reality of the game in the UK is our weather.  All the money in the world, all the staff and a great course but Augusta would not be possible without the climate to create good playing surfaces.  The weather has been warm during the day here but 3 of the last 6 mornings has seen a light frost in the mornings.  Together with the fact there has been no rain for 3 weeks.  Of the green all areas are filling in and the course is looking ok.  On the green with sandier surfaces growth is minimal.  Disease scars are slowly filling in and we are getting there, just not as fast as we want.

Image result for augusta photos
Its all about the weather
Some old tee steps are being taken away and filled although the remainder will be left till autumn.

Old steps
Improved definition