Friday, 23 March 2012

Terrain Aeration - Demonstration

Last weekend we had a visit from the team at Terrain Aeration who have machines capable of aerating to a depth of 1.2 meters. The demo took place on one of our clay fairways and was successful in penetrating through to the sand. We hope to utilise this machine extensively next winter to improve drainage on the fairways of holes 10, 11, 13 and 18.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Spring Maintenance Week

We have almost completed the scheduled works for the maintenance week. Scarification, micro hollow tining, brushing and seeding operations have been undertaken on greens. Top dressing work will hopefully be completed before the weekend.

With the holes made in the greens we took the opportunity to apply our first application of wetting agent. This is a product that helps the soil hold onto moisture making our irrigation applications more efficient. We apply wetting agent once each month throughout the playing season.

Friday, 16 March 2012

New Holes - Update

I am pleased to report that the turf on the new holes has settled in well. Mowing operations have been carried out on the greens at a height of 7mm. This will be gradually lowered in the coming days and weeks until it reaches the same height of cut as the rest of the greens on the course. The imported turf on the surrounds and approaches has, as expected, taken longer to become accustomed to its new surroundings. Although the root development of the new turf is generally good, there are one or two very localised areas that need to improve. Mowing operations on the imported turf are somewhat behind those on the greens turf but the next 2 weeks will see an increase in surface preparations works on these areas in readiness for play by May 1st.
The new bunkers will be filled with sand from early next week.

There are still a two particularly weak areas; the left side of the 10th hole beyond the fairway bunkers was heavily trafficked during the construction phase. The soil in this area has a very high proportion of clay and became very compacted under the heavy machinery. Deep verti-draining has been carried out on two occassions to relieve the compaction and seeding work has been done to begin to improve grass cover. The carry on the 13th hole was used to mix rootzone for the 11th and 12th greens and significant turf degradation has taken place here also. Again, aeration and seeding work has been undertaken to reinstate a playable surface but more time is required before we see proper recovery.

Planting of Marram grass sprigs has been on-going since early February. Individual plants are taken from the dunes near the reservoir and are being re-planted on the left side of the 11th hole. It is hoped that some rain will fall to help in the establishment of these sensitive areas.

We aim to ensure that all new bunkers have easy access and egress for players of all ages.Sand will be shaped to encourage the ball to come to rest in the centre of the bunker; there will of course be occasions when this does not happen but surely that is a fundamental part of the game and part of the appeal of the sport? Much work has been done on the paths next to the tees on holes 11, 12 and 13. A new route is being created for buggies to follow that ensures wear is kept to a minimum. When the holes re-open it is imperative that players adhere to the directional signs that will be positioned on the new holes. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Growing In New Turf

Much work is being carried out on the new greens to ensure the surfaces are ready for play when the time comes. We have recently completed solid tine aeration on the turf. This was carried out to encourage the roots of the plants to move deeper into the soil beneath.

A light scarification of the turf was followed by top dressing with the aim of improving surface firmness. The greens turf has become excessively soft over the winter. This is mostly due to the fact that there has been no play and very few mechanical operations undertaken. The emphasis over the nest few weeks will be on improving firmness with repeated applications of dressing.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

13th Tee Path Construction

Work is progressing well on the refurbishment and extension of the 13th tee path. New wooden edging is being put in to improve the look of the path and to properly define the edges.