Monday, 26 April 2010

Chipping Area Update

We plan to open the chipping area on Saturday 1st May following the redesign work carried out over the winter. The turf has taken well and surfaces have been worked on as much as possible given the recent weather conditions. From now on the main green will be maintained in exactly the same way as the greens on the course so in time it will be of the same standard. Only short chip shots should be played to the main green.

 Mowing The New Green

A teeing area has been built to allow longer shots to be played to a landing area about 65m away. All shots from this area should be played from  the area defined by ropes.

 The New Teeing Area

The new bunker practice area has a dedicated landing area. Players should ensure they play towards the dedicated area only.

 New Bunkering With Landing Area Beyond

No Rain + Easterly Winds = Poor Growth

Jersey is officially in a period of drought. It is now 19 days since any rain has fallen on the golf course and our monthly running total currently stands at a shockingly low 9mm. The near constant easterly winds that we are experiencing have meant that the turf is extremely dry and grass growth is almost non existent. Although our irrigation system is fully operational, the persistent cool air and soil temperatures are preventing us from apply much water. A soil temperature of around 10C is required to enable good growing turf. Cold water landing on already cool soils only serves to further lower soil temperatures lessening the chance of any growth taking place. Irrigation is taking place during the warmest days but it is impossible to apply enough water without cooling the soil too much.
Evapotranspiration (ET) is a term used to describe the sum of evaporation of moisture and plant transpiration from the ground to the atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water from the ground to the air while transpiration accounts for the loss of water from within the plant itself. We are currently seeing an ET rate of around 3mm per day, just over 70mm for the month so far. The 9mm of rainfall that has fallen and 26mm of irrigation that has been applied in the same period has left a large deficit.
We use wetting agents on the greens which help the soil particles hold onto available moisture for an extended period, because of this the moisture level in our greens is being maintained at an acceptable level despite the difficult conditions. We do not have enough moisture to promote strong growth but there is enough to at least ensure survival in this testing time. Of course ideally, at this time of year, we would like a more typical spring weather pattern with sunshine and regular showers. A cycle of sunshine and showers is ideal to promote grass growth and allow recovery from the harsh winter months we have experienced. Current conditions means that any fertilizer applications are compromised and frequent top dressing is impossible. Mechanical operations carried out to refine the turf texture and smooth the surface have been postponed until stronger grass growth comes. All this leaves playing surfaces in a less than perfect state for golf and makes the job of a greenkeeper a very difficult one. We can't fight mother nature, we must simply wait until conditions improve enough to allow us to work effectively on the surfaces once again.