Monday, 24 September 2012

Autumn Update

Autumn Maintenance Week

Our second and final course maintenance week of 2012 commences on Monday 24th of September. Hollow coring, scarification, seeding and top dressing work will be carried out on all greens. To enable the course staff to carry out the work in a timely manner, one tee starts will take place on Monday and Tuesday until 0930 each day. Beyond this time, a temporary green will be used on the hole being worked on to further minimise delay.

We have seen steady improvement in the putting surfaces over the past four years. This is because of the regular and thorough remedial works that have been carried out on the greens during previous maintenance weeks. Undoubtedly, there will be a period of recovery beyond the maintenance week itself. Whilst it is appreciated that this will cause inconvenience to members, please be assured that this work is entirely necessary to ensure continued, long-term improvement in our putting surfaces.

On this occasion we will be hollow coring with a 12mm tine at 50mm spacing to a depth of 75mm. This operation will remove around 5% of the total surface area of the green enabling a reduction in the organic matter (thatch) at the base of the turf. Scarification involves using thin, vertically positioned blades to remove further organic material. Seed will then be applied using a dedicated seeding unit to improve the species composition of the greens. Finer leaved grasses enable the ball to roll more smoothly over the surface of the green, ultimately making it easier to hole putts. Finally we will apply around 2.5 tonnes of top dressing sand to each green in order to fill up the holes and grooves that have been made.

Fair weather is required to carry out most of the planned work but with Mother Nature on our side we should comfortably complete each task within the scheduled five days.

Broadleaved Grasses In Greens

Another application of the selective graminicide Rescue has been made to all greens to control the spread of Ryegrass and Yorkshire Fog grasses. These are wholly inappropriate putting green grass types that have we have been treating now for three years. Thankfully, we have far less of these grass species now so the effects of the spray application will be less noticeable than in previous years. We may for a period have some thin areas of turf on but the areas will be seeded and top-dressed until good grass cover is restored. This has been timed to maximise the benefits from all the operations planned in the maintenance week.

Managing Wear

Somewhere in the region of 35000 rounds of golf are played each year here at La Moye. To help protect the course and minimise wear and tear it is vital that we restrict golfing traffic in certain areas at certain times of the year. With grass growth slowing down in the coming weeks we will begin to rope off various areas around the course and divert traffic away from many of the most heavily used walkways. This gives the turf in these areas a much needed rest and also allows the course team the chance to carry out much needed refurbishments. In some instances we will ask players to walk slightly further than normal to avoid particularly worn areas. It is hoped that members show understanding of this important issue and follow the directional signs and markings that will be used to indicate the routes to be used around the course. Some areas of the new turf laid last winter on holes 10, 11 and 12 is in particular need of respite and these areas will be prioritised.