Monday, May 2, 2016

Greens are Back !

As of last Friday the greens are back to pre reno heights. 
Only 4 weeks after major core aeration and the greens have recovered phenomenally, greens will remain at this height with increased cutting.  Thanks again to the staff and volunteers for helping us achieve the success from renovations that we have.

Some sanding of perimeters will be completed this week, no disruption to play will result, the sanded areas will not effect ball roll.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Thank you to all the volunteers who turned our for the coring, it was very appreciated. 

The greens are making a very strong recovery, we commenced morning cuts late this week at 4mm, and with all things going well will be reducing the heights early this week and possibly again by the weekend t be very close to normal cutting heights. Some areas where we controlled Saltene and Couch grass will be a great deal slower to recover, these areas, mainly encroaching from the perimeter will require seeding and a further sanding in the coming weeks, Generally though the greens are ahead of normal recovery times and members will benefit from that. 

Looking ahead, along with the final touches for the greens we will be seeding and sanding high wear areas on some green surrounds for winter cover over the next week or so. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

The course tolerated the extreme heat last week very well with only a few minor issues with the greens, most problems were on the back 9 fairways and roughs mainly from cart tracks and wilted areas due to the inadequate manual irrigation system on the back 9. Most of the Back 9 Fairways could not be irrigated since the Friday before and then when they were in the heat, taking 14 hours to complete one cycle, despite all our efforts most of the irrigation applied was ineffective with the result easy to see.
The areas affected will recover in time.
This week is also set to be a difficult one with the heat, although temperatures are expected to be slightly lower wind is expected to be strong and gusty, this will have more of an adverse impact than last week with the wind contributing to drying out the surface areas but more importantly also impacting on Irrigation Uniformity. Some dry patch areas are to be expected under these conditions, though we will endeavor to limit any issues within the available resources at our disposal.    

The 2nd Men's black tee is growing in nicely and is looking fantastic at this early stage. With the majority of the work complete we are commencing focus on Bunker Bases, at this stage we are only aiming for 1, possibly 2 bunkers per week to be complete until we are well outside our peak maintenance period  and irrigation season at which point more bunkers will be attended.

With fresh sand being used the bunkers completed will be soft and loose, there is a risk of plugged lies till the sand is consolidated. For this reason any bunker that has work carried out will be G.U.R for a few days. A reminder the G.U.R is optional unless otherwise stated. 

Thank you and look forward to seeing you on the course. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

A very busy week this one was, Starting with the preparations and set up for a full field in the  SW Vets on Monday, Bunker Edging to all green side bunkers on top of the Daily and weekly course Maintenance  including the manual irrigation of the back 9 along with edging paths and tidying up tee box walls and edges then rounding it off with laying the turf for the 2nd Black tee box today.

I am relieved to finally have this project drawing to completion as it has been a thorn in my side for the past few months with limited time to attend the construction work, doing it in bits and pieces where we could fit it in. 
We still have a few minor works on the tee and surrounds to do, including relocating the tee box sign and trimming a few branches for line of sight just to name a few. We will be using portable hoses to irrigate the area till Winter when we will extend the pipe lines and add permanent sprinkler coverage for the area.  
But the turf is down and can start growing in, while I sigh and finally have few beers watching it do just that !!!!!!
All things going to plan we hope to have it play Mid March, with what will be a fantastic upgrade to the existing tee Box with a much better alignment to the hole. For those lefties who like the draw, or even the righties who (shock horror like to fade or worse...slice) the old tee will still get some use!!!!! 

After yet another welcomed slight break in weather last weekend with cool temperatures and a shower or two (5mm) the next week is set to be a scorcher, some adjustments may be made to normal course set up with extra precautions taken with the greens to manage heat and moisture stress which may result in a slight decrease in pace. Depending on conditions, postponing our grooming (light verti cutting) practices, reducing our Cut frequency with  possibly a slight increase in height for a few days and  increasing hand watering are just some measures we may take. 
While the greens can tolerate very high maximum temperatures with careful management, when overnight lows are above 20 degrees as is forecast, it significantly reduces the plants ability to recover hence why extra intervention measures may be implemented.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It was nice to have some rain last week, in all 45mm fell in 24hrs,  it freshened the course up nicely allowing us to turn the irrigation pumps off for the rest of the week giving the staff a break from constant manual water shifts including having to return in the afternoon and evenings  for irrigation on the back 9. Without the need for manual water shifts we were able to spend  a little time progressing the 2nd Men's Black Tee construction work which is now very close to having turf laid once some more consolidation of the banks are complete.

It seems like this project is taking forever, we constantly have to remind ourselves we only have 4 staff and with the manual irrigation sucking up huge chunks of time along with the extra mowing requirements of the course through summer with all essential course maintenance taking priority does not leave a great deal left for extra projects such as this one.

The recovery of the rough areas from herbicide treatments over the Xmas period are complete with the Fairway definitions returning, the herbicide treatment for various weeds was successful.

 Historically the course has always had issues with Fairy Rings more precisely the Basidiomycetes family of fungi, with some years being worse than others, this summer has been a particularly active one,  which increases the risks of indirect damage to the greens, from  severe Hydrophobic soil conditions through to infection of secondary diseases, increasing the risk of wear and significant damage during periods of stress for the plants such as hot weather etc, intervention measures to date have so far been successful. We still have a long way to go till the end of the plant stress period of Summer and with other stresses placed on the greens from low cutting heights etc, particularly with the desire to push the greens further for pace there remains a real risk of injury. The staff remain vigilant with intervention measures continuing. 

Looking ahead and with the ladies Summer Cup just 3 weeks away we will be focusing on all the 5% jobs, Bunker edging, tidying up around tee boxes , paths and the like, bringing all the various areas of the course together for this event. We have started to bring the greens up to speed for the event as well with some tweaking to the green speeds required for the Summer Cup.

That's all from the desk this month Happy Hooking. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fairways, Saltine and Merry...Xmas

The front 9  fairway renovation went well with strong growth occurring, alleviating some compaction and more importantly allowing the gases exchange from the root-zone,  this should hold them in good position for summer.

You would have noticed the yellowing saltine in the greens I have taken advantage of the mild weather conditions being more aggressive with measures for Saltine and Crab grass in the greens than previous years.The Saltine will stand out more so than normal as it discolours with the herbicide effect, as a result it may appear there is more than usual in the greens, there isn't it just seems that way with the discolouration making it stand out more.

Unfortunately due to the vigorous nature of the grass, control measures are more for  suppression and long term control than immediate eradication. Further due to the high risks of photo-toxicity to the bent grass in warmer weather, product applications are ceased during summer. The initial treatment at this stage are focused on weakening the Saltine growth leading into its peak growth cycle with follow up treatment prior to our Autumn Greens renovations.    

We will be using the Xmas period, a time we are not manually irrigating, to spray out weeds in the roughs where we do not use the more expensive pre emergent herbicides. All areas blanket sprayed will turn a white / tan colour, the effect on the couch grass will only be temporary.
Selected Tees will also be sprayed for Saltine with similar temporary discolouration.
Finally on behalf of the staff I wish all our Members, Management and Directors and Very Merry, Joyous Xmas and Peace and Happiness in the New Year This fella Looks awfully like Mal Mcauley.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fairway renovations were completed successfully today in time for the competition, my thanks to the contractors Sussex Turf Control and our own staff for for the long hours put in yesterday to ensure we were completed by hit off today. Only some product application is left to complete tomorrow.

 Renovations went as smooth as they could go, I am expecting a very good result which will be almost immediate but will take a few weeks for the full benefits to kick in and stand the fairways in good shape for summer.

As part of the renovation process  we did apply some post emergent herbicide to the short roughs on the front 9  for various weed control, this will cause the turf to discolour (brown off), this is only a temporary side effect and will soon be back to normal conditions.
Further spraying to the back 9 short roughs will take place in December with more or less the same effects.