Greens- It has been an eventful month on the greens with a lot of pre-winter work being carried out. Firstly, nutrition levels were raised with a granular fertiliser being applied to ensure the the greens were in good, disease free condition, this was to reduce the risk of any further disease occurring as maintenance does stress the greens, it also promotes recovery. Then, as per STRI’s recommendations, a second application of Air2G2 was carried out in the early part of the month at a depth on 8 inches. This was aimed at de-compacting the soil below our usual target area of 2.5 inches hence helping to create more channels for water movement through the profile.
Finally, on the week beginning Mon the 8th Oct, we carried out our first greens maintenance this year in the shape of a hollow core using 10mm tines to a depth of 2.5 inches then back filled using straight sand, brushed and then rolled. This maintenance was far from straight forward, due to very wet weather on Mon/Tues we had to delay coring, then a breakdown to the coring machine lost us several hours on the best day of the week.
By the end of Wednesday everything was complete with 20T of sand added to the greens. The greens have recovered very well from this maintenance.
The flooding issues on the 4th green has been giving us some problems lately but has now been resolved, this required us to dig a trench in the green to repair blocked drains.
Tees- Have had the planned feed applied with good results.. Tees have also been cored using 13mm tines and top dressed with straight sand. Winter tees have now been prepared prior to play on Monday 3rd November.
Fairways- Cutting of the fairways was sporadic in the early weeks of the month due to wet weather and other priority tasks. We have and will continue to cut on an as needed basis.The seeding carried out on the fairways is slowly improving but may require another over seed in the spring of next year to thicken up the sward.With the trees still fairly heavy, leaves are an issue and will be for a while, clearing is part of our normal tasks at this time of year.
Bunkers- Nothing major to report for the bunkers at this time, other than regular raking and leaf removal, works have been minimal.
Machinery- The Pro Core breakdown during the maintenance was caused by the failure of a hydraulic hose. This was promptly repaired with the support of Fairways. The top dressing is likely to blunt our cutting units on the greens mower so once the sand has been worked in sufficiently I will arrange for the machine to get its winter overhaul as quickly as possible. In the meantime cut quality may be slightly poorer than normal meaning greens speed may suffer slightly. The changes to the greens maintenance due to closing day moving, bad weather & machinery breakdown further highlight the need to have our own equipment for routine greens maintenance tasks.
Staff- Staff are now on winter working hours, 7:30am – 3:00pm meaning 50 less man hours per week being carried out on the course.
The course was battered early in the month with two fairly big storms the first of which resulted in several large trees falling down and some widespread flooding. The trees where cut up in house and disposed of and water levels returned back to normal very quickly. The second resulted in some flooding at the time but the course drained very quickly and reopened the next day.
The winter greens have now been lined and cut ready for play when required, some have been moved slightly from their regular spots in an attempt to manage traffic is areas we see damage every winter.
Thanks to all for their input on the Winter Programme these items are now being actioned along with the regular course maintenance duties. Greentech are expected in around the first week of November to start the ditch clearing.
NOTE : WINTER MATS COME INTO PLAY ON NOVEMBER 3RD
The 13th Survey Results
Again, thanks for the input regarding potential changes to the 13th. The intent was to assess members sentiment and if a low cost solution could be found. The results are below, there were quite a lot of votes for both moving the tee and reshaping the green, obviously very expensive. The summary is that we know how best to improve the hole but the costing is prohibitive in the current financial environment.
Activity Votes Cost
Reshape the Dip & Green 23 £8,033
Do Nothing, its Fine as is 18 £0
Move tee forward & right 14 £9,756
Other 4 £?