As always a very unsettled weather pattern to the start of autumn. We have had some brilliant dry, sunny days mixed with more than our fair share of wet and wind. This all adds up to a greenkeeper’s nightmare. Strong but inconsistent growth is perfect for any disease to try and creep in, and the continued growth means we are still having to cut the whole course once or twice a week, on sometimes inconsistent ground conditions. On top of that we are trying to carry out important maintenance to the playing surfaces and make changes/improvements to the course. All in all it becomes quite a difficult balancing act…keeping the course presented and playing well now, but also making major improvements for the future.
Despite some bad weather we have made a good start to the autumn and winter programme. The ditch between the 14th and 17th greens has now been piped and filled, the bunds at the back of both greens have been removed and reshaped to create a big run off area behind both greens. One final rake and smooth and it’ll be ready for turf and seed.
Next on the list is the 1st and 5th tee complexes. The old tee on the 1st will be removed, enabling us to create more room for planting, signage and buggy parking. The men’s tee on the 5th will be extended back to the hedge, not only extending the length of the hole but giving us a lot more teeing area. With the increase in footfall, larger teeing areas are vital (especially on the short holes) to give the surface more time to recover. We also plan to re-route the buggy path to reduce the wear between the tees.
While we are in the area, we will also be thinning out and clearing the trees/hazard next to the 4th green, trees to the left of the 4th green and trees between the 5th tee and the range.
As most will have noticed the greens had some quite serious attention at the beginning of November. The greens were verti drained to relieve compaction, improve water/air movement through the soil profile and encourage root development. They were then seeded using a Vredo disc seeder hired in from Trevose. The Vredo puts the seed right into the surface which improves germination and reduces waste. The greens were then rolled and a heavy sand topdressing was applied. I appreciate this has caused some disruption but I promise you will see a steady improvement over the coming weeks. We shall continue applying light sand topdressings as the greens recover (weather permitting) but this should cause no further disruption.