Thursday, 12 November 2015

Brief Update

It has now been a month since maintenance week and we are seeing recovery from the greens along with good germination after our overseeding work. With the weather remaining unseasonably warm we are still seeing a fair amount of growth so our cutting regimes are still in full operation. This adds some pressure as we move into winter and begin our construction projects for 2016. Members will notice that we have already completed some path end repairs, with these areas being roped off for the time being to protect them as they root. The turf for these areas has been stripped from the 16th tees. Members I'm sure have also noticed that work is now well underway on this construction project. The original tee was constructed with a railway sleeper wall on the left side which had become unsafe and led to the tee subsiding. To remedy this the white and yellow tees have been lowered slightly and re-positioned so that a retaining wall is no longer necessary along with the unsightly railings. We hope that members will see the benefits in 2016 with improved views, a level teeing surface and a better line of sight to the fairway. The 9th ladies tee has also been stripped and re-leveled. I hope to bring you more news of our winter work as it progresses along with some photos to show the differences.

Yesterday was a nice, dry day so the decision was made to hand cut greens for the lady captains drive in. I shot this time lapse video of the 8th green being cut to give an idea of the process, I hope you enjoy it.

In the next update I hope to include some more photos and news of our progress.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Autumn Maintenance Week 2015

Having just completed this years Autumn maintenance work we would like to provide you with an update on the works completed and what we hope to achieve from these essential tasks. Given that it is becoming quite late in the year we have been very lucky with weather conditions this week. Soil temperatures have remained high enough to encourage germination and light winds have enabled the greens to dry quickly so that we could complete the tasks effectively. We hope that temperatures will remain stable in the next few weeks to give the seed its best chance to survive and germinate.

Pre Maintenance Work

Two weeks prior to maintenance week a graminicide was applied to the greens which targets the undesirable, coarse species of Ryegrass and Yorkshire Fog in the sward. This was completed using a pedestrian sprayer which was more time consuming but gave us greater accuracy of application. After ten days the greens were showing clear signs of the chemical taking effect. This may have caused some concern to members as the greens had turned a shade of brown! However this is normal as the chemical kills the coarse species but also causes temporary stress to the finer Bentgrasses in the sward. We were pleased to see that the Fescues remained healthy and noted the high percentage of this fine grass that was present in all the greens.

Maintenance Week


We began early on Monday morning by brushing the greens to disintegrate as much of the dead Ryegrass as possible before we began our main tasks. We then scarified the greens to a depth of 5mm to get into the thatch layer and remove organic material, making sure we carried the work on into the surrounds as much as possible.

Scarifying the 17th green.

A light top dressing was then applied and dragged into the slices cut by the scarifier. This is a major part of our on-going thatch dilution program which aims to improve water infiltration, surface firmness and ultimately greens performance.

Drag matting 17th green.
We next began overseeding the greens with fine fescue seed using the Vredo disc seeder. We did two passes on all greens and followed with a heavy top dressing to provide the seeds with soil contact which will protect the seed and aid germination rates. A total of 200kg of seed has been applied to the greens this week and we hope to see germination in the coming weeks. This increase in Fescue will improve our species composition leading to smoother, firmer and more sustainable greens. We hope the golfers will see the benefits in 2016.

The greens were top dressed again later in the week to fill in any remaining slots from the seeder and improve surface levels. A total of 40 tonnes of sand has been applied to the greens in just a week which brings us closer to achieving our target of 150 tonnes applied for the year.

8th green after renovations completed.


After the work to the greens was completed we began some maintenance on the approaches. This included a double pass with the scarifier which removed a massive amount of thatch! (see picture) Followed by a single pass with the overseeder and a double pass with the top dresser. 40kg of seed and 9 tonnes of sand was applied.

Thatch removed from approaches.
Another pass with the overseeder and top dresser will be performed in the following week in another direction to improve species composition and firmness.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post below. We also now have a Facebook page which contains small updates and pictures of our work and can be used to ask any questions, so please 'like' the page if you are interested, see link below.
 La Moye GC Greens

Friday, 12 June 2015

Course Update

This update must of course start with an apology for the lack of posts since November! The greenkeeping team has undergone some major changes of personnel and roles in the past few months. First of all congratulations must go to both Richard Cutler on his new role on the Club's Management team and to Andrew Ricketts, our newly promoted Head Greenkeeper. Richard Le Moignan has also recieved a promotion along with myself to the position of Deputy Head Greenkeeper. With Richards' departure from the main greenkeeping team, he has passed on the updating of this blog to myself, (Matthew Amy) and Andrew. We hope to keep you informed about the ongoing maintenance and improvements at La Moye as diligently as Richard did. Now, I have a lot to cover since the last update so lets get started!

Winter Projects

As shown in the last post our major project this winter was the reconstruction of the 1st tee complex. This was completed in preparation for the captains drive in and we hope that the members are happy with the result. The old tee complex had been due for re-leveling for some time and so the opportunity was perfect to also increase teeing space on this short par 3. Members will notice that we have increased the surface area of the men's yellow tee by 50% which allows us to better spread the wear on the surface. 
Aesthetically the tee has been much improved by removing the old Elaeagnus hedge which had become aged and bare in places. The banking to the tee has been recreated using pure sand and replanted with Marram Grass (Ammophila). This native dune grass has been collected from other areas of the course and St Ouens sand pit, with the greenkeepers planting an estimated 2-3000 individual sprigs! The Marram Grass has been selected to give golfers an instant impact of the links character of La Moye on the first hole.

Newly turfed yellow tee on the 1st

Other winter work has included the rebuilding of some of the bunkers. Holes 10, 11, 12 and 18 have all seen renovation to their front left bunkers. The work completed on 11 and 12 saw a more extensive remodeling of the ground around the bunkers, which we believe has created a fairer obstacle for the golfers and made the bunkers look more natural in their positions.

Reconstructed bunker on 12th hole

Reconstructed bunker on 11th hole

Acorn Jersey Open 2015

After the completion of our winter program and the beginning of the main golfing season our preparations began for the arrival of the European Seniors Tour for the first time in five years. A program of regular verticutting and 'grooming' of the putting surfaces was put in place to refine the surface and remove the seeds of the Poa annua in the sward. This program is used every year for the benefit of the members and we saw especially good results this season with a prolonged period of dry weather. Two applications of top dressing were applied in the lead up to the tournament to improve surface levels and as part of our ongoing thatch dilution program. 
Greens were double cut and ironed every day of the tournament along with cutting the surround, approaches and tees. The greens performed brilliantly during the tournament with speeds beginning at 9.5 on day one and peaking at over 11 on the final round as the sun dried up the surfaces.
Perhaps the most marked improvement this year on the course has been the presentation of the fairways. The golf club invested in two John Deere 8000A Hybrid mowers and they began to pay dividends almost immediately. The fairways were cut regularly in different directions and the improvement in quality of cut from the new units has provided better ball roll and lies. For the tournament itself the fairways were cut every evening and we reverted to a 'block' pattern, which is more in keeping with the traditional links character of the course.
All of the greenstaff worked feverishly for the week before and during the tournament, putting in plenty of overtime to present the course to the highest standards. The comments we gratefully received from the professionals, spectators and members were fantastic and the whole team is very proud of their hard work. 

15th Green

Head Greenkeeper Andrew Ricketts changing holes on day 2

17th Green on final day

12th Green on final day
Next on our busy program for 2015 is the Natwest Island Games. Preparations for this tournament have already begun along with our day to day work maintaining the course for our members.