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Course Matters #44

Following what was the wettest December in my 4 years here, we are now coming to the end (barring apocalyptic rainfall) of what will be the driest January in my time.

Well the past month has certainly thrown us a mixed bag of weather, starting off with the heavy snowfall. Thankfully it thawed almost as quickly as it came without causing too many problems. Following on from that, we’ve been sitting nicely in a period of dry and warm weather, certainly out of the ordinary for this time of year. However, I do wonder if there is to be a sting in the tail!!

All the tees on the course have been verti-cut to remove some lateral growth and organic matter. They were then tined with the Procore to create seed pots. This was followed by over- seeding, using the Variseeder with a Fescue/Dwarf Rye mix. Today they have received an application of a 24-5-8 slow release granular fertilizer, which with the rainfall forecast over the next few days should wash in nicely.

Over-seeding of the fairways is to take place over the next few weeks as time allows. On the 1st and 8th fairways I intend to utilise the same technique as on the tees of creating seed pots with the Procore before passing over with the Sari-seeder They will be over-seeded with Fescue. As soon as consistent growth starts we will be spraying them with a selective herbicide to tackle the, ever present, daisy problem.

At the beginning of February the greens and collars received an application of seaweed, bio-stimulant and chelated iron. Yesterday they received a further application of seaweed and bio-stimulant to see them through until maintenance week. The greens had a light top dressing a few weeks ago – being brushed in below:

Maintenance week is at the end of March and the plan is as follows. The greens will receive a light verticut, followed by a cut. We have the Air 2G2 and operator on hire for the Monday and Tuesday, he will work his way round the course aerating the greens at depth with compressed air. We will follow behind with the Procore using blunt 1/2″ tines to create seed pots. The greens will then be over-seeded with Fescue using the dyna- seeders before being top-dressed, brushed and ironed. We will then pass the Procore over again using 8mm pencil tines at 4″ depth, which will also help to close up the seed potholes. A 6- 2-4 organic fertiliser will then be applied. I also hope to carry out some over-seeding on the collars and aprons

At present the H.O.C on greens has been brought down to 4.5mm, this will fluctuate a bit over the next few weeks, particularly for a couple of weeks after maintenance to minimise stress to the seedlings.

During February we held two working party days with volunteers concentrating on weeding bunkers and paths. Both were very well attended and a big shout out goes to Charlie Phillips, Eric Thomas, Ron Thom, Ray Pipe, Martin Chapman, Keith Barker, Adrian Toms, Bert Harper, Frank Cox, Pete Middlehurst, Ron Foulds, Daryl Rowe and John Watson. An extra mention should go to Charlie who has spent a lot of time strimming and clearing around the top overflow car park. I apologise if I’ve missed anybody off the list, thank you to you all, your help is very much appreciated.

On top of the weeding carried out by the working parties we have now been able to add in excess of 60 tonnes of sand to some of the bunkers across the course. There are still plenty that require attention so I ask for your patience on this.

Unfortunately I’ve got to mention again the amount of pitchmarks on the greens that aren’t being repaired. I can’t stress enough how much difference it makes and it only takes a matter of seconds to do. Also I would be grateful if buggy users could take care where they are driving. The ropes that have been put up in various areas of the course are there to stop unnecessary traffic wear close to greens and surrounds, please don’t ignore them.

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