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Course Matters #41

With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, yet another year seems to have flown by.

The usual topic of conversation to start my report is the weather and currently Storm Diana is battering at the window. The past month seems to have had it all – Wind, Sun, Frost and Rain, plenty of it in fact with 110mm have been recorded this month. Temperatures are still in double figures and even the soil temperature is around the 10oC mark. Growth is still at good levels. We have raised the height of cut on greens to 5mm, this leaves a bit more surface area on the plant to aid with Photosynthesis during the shorter daylight hours at this time of year. The frequency of cut has also decreased from daily to 3 times per week.

The greens were sprayed on Monday with a turf hardener mixed with Phosphite and Magnesium. Phosphite triggers the plants own immune system, providing benefits of stress resistance and improved overall plant health, particularly during periods of high disease pressure. Magnesium is the central element of the Chlorophyll pigment and is important within the process of Photosynthesis and Enzyme production.

Earlier in the month the greens had an application of Activate R granules, this is a Bio-stimulant that increases rooting and plant health resulting in a vigorous sward.

Last week we carried out extensive aeration across the course. The fairways were verti-drained to a depth of 10” – 11” using 19mm tines, this was also carried out on areas of high traffic and pinch points. In conjunction with this we verti- drained greens and tees using 12mm tines to a depth of 9”. This was followed up on the greens with the procore at 3” spacings to a depth of 3” – 4” using 6mm tines.

The 4th green-side bunker re-build has been completed and I feel looks much better for it. The turf used from the 5th out of bounds area held together reasonably well, however it is quite thatchy which makes it feel a bit spongy. As a result of this I have made the decision not to carry out the other two bunker re-builds as planned. The turf nursery really needs another year of preparation to ensure that it is 100% suitable. We will still be able to use the turf for other areas of patching as outlined on the Winter work programme and we will also top- dress these areas to firm them up.