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Greens News - February 2020
25 February 2020

Well, can anybody tell me when is it going to stop raining? We haven’t had as much rain as some parts of the country but we have had plenty to deal with. The high winds and break in the wet weather did enable the course to dry out quite considerably. However it feels as though we are back to square one with another Monday morning deluge. The final week of the month and we are approaching 100mm (4”) of rain, so for the winter of 2019/2020 we will realise around 600mm. Far from ideal for a clay based parkland golf course. Ironically, I will no doubt be praying for rain during this summer heat wave. This leads me to some interesting comments I have read on social media recently from Course Managers/Head Greenkeepers about the changing seasons and the impact that it will have on the need for investment in the golf course. Particularly with improving existing drainage for mild wet winters but also with updating aging irrigation systems that struggle to combat summer heat stress. Tough times ahead for what are already limited budgets.

During the breaks in the wet weather we have taken the opportunity to catch up with some aeration. The tees have all been solid tined at the start of the month which we followed up with the approaches. A new set of tines for the Wiedenmann aerator (12mm x 300mm) and we set about the greens once more. The verti drain has been busy on the fairways, again with a new set of tines (24mm x 400mm) to penetrate deeper and fracture the subsoil to improve water percolation. When the weather improves we shall finish the remaining fairways. Areas of high wear have also been targeted for aeration particularly around green and tee banks. This is ongoing.

We have also been experimenting with the rubber mats on other high wear areas. The access and egress from the boarded paths are severely worn and the red shale does travel. The idea being to remove the worn turf and rotovate the exposed soil, ameliorate with sandier material and seed before placing the mats. If successful we shall continue around the course installing more mats in these areas.

Other tasks completed this month have included inspecting the greens drainage on the 11th to reduce surface flooding. Tee banks have been cut by hand as it has been too wet for the ride on mower to be out on the course.

The briers and buttery bushes growing within the gorsed area between the 6th and the 10th holes have been removed. It may however require a little more attention to tidy up the area with some cutting back of the gorse.

 

Gareth Williams

Course Director

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