Monday, 24 August 2009

Maintenance Week

Members should note that from Tuesday 1st September until Friday 4th September we will be carrying out intensive maintenance on the course. The main tasks scheduled to take place include- hollow coring, pencil tining, overseeding and top dressing to greens. This work is being carried out to help control thatch build up in the greens and to improve the movement of air and moisture through the soil profile.
To ensure the work is completed in a timely manner one tee starts will be used each day and holes may be closed for short periods. Any disruptions to the normal flow of golfing traffic will be clearly signposted.
I would like to apologise for any inconvineince this may cause players during this busy time.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Well Done Ollie!

We are very proud to announce that Ollie Pennington has reached the national final of the 2009 Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year contest. Ollie is almost finished his Amenity Horticulture NVQ level 3 course that he has been working on for the past 18 months. Due to the consistently high standard of Ollie's work, Nick Lush his tutor at Myerscough College, nominated him for student of the year. Out of over 1000 students studying turfgrass related subjects 45 were selected to attend regional finals. Following the completion of a questionnaire and an interview with industry experts Ollie was recently informed that he has been selected as one of eight national finalists. This is a tremendous achievement for Ollie and in fact a great boost for all the course staff here at La Moye.
The final itself will take place over two days in September. The finalists will be asked to carry out an in depth and detailed appraisal of a golf course which is to be submitted in report form. They will then be questioned on the contents of their report by a panel of top industry figures. From this process a winner will be selected and will receive the grand prize of an eight week trip to the USA which includes a six week residential scholarship to the University of Massachusettes, to attend the winter turf school. The winner will also be given the chance to tour Toro headquarters and join the BIGGA visit to the GCSAA Golf Industry Show in San Diego in February 2010.
We all wish Ollie the best of luck in the final and well done again for getting there, a major achievement of which he should be really proud.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

It's The Greens That Count

If you were to ask anyone what they thought of course condition on completion of their round they are likely to talk mostly about the greens. The greens are commonly said to be either good, bad, too fast, too slow, too firm, too soft, too bumpy or have too many holes, slits or grooves! It would be fair to say that it's that greens that count most.

Work on greens this season has been focused on increasing the amount and density of fine fescue and bent grasses in the sward through carefully scheduled fertiliser and water applications coupled with overseeding. Also, to impart cultural and mechanical stress on the Rye and Yorkshire fog grasses to refine the texture and grain of the sward. We have also tried to improve the quality and consistency of the rootzone immediately beneath the turf to equalise the bounce and roll characteristic from one green to the next. Eventually this type of work will give consistent, true putting surfaces that remain of a good standard for the majority of the year.
While this work takes place we are challenged to present the greens to the highest possible standard for each days play. Inevitably on occasion, particularly after periods of stress, the greens in their current state will fail to live up to expectation.
We plan our aeration, top dressing and brushing programmes around the major competitions of the year. This means that between those competition dates we must carry out these procedures that disturb the quality of the putting surface for a short period. Due to the constraints and pressures of the diary we are inevitably compromised when trying to find a balance between short-term performance and long-term improvement. If we do not carry out these necessary operations then nothing will improve. If we only focus on short-term putting green performance then nothing will improve. A balanced approach is being sought which allows the greens to perform to a high standard when absolutely necessary but also allows our fundamental and long standing problems to be addressed in the appropriate way.