Greenkeeper’s Monthly Report
Autumn is well underway and as you can see, the leaves are starting to fall quick and fast. The weather was atrocious for the first couple weeks of October, leaving the course very muddy and greens saturated. Luckily the weather has improved drastically towards the end of the month and the course is looking better than it should be for this time of year. We had the Devon Pro’s here on Thursday (2nd) and the feedback was amazing, which as Head Greenkeeper is always brilliant to hear and we’re glad all our effort was noticed.
The damp, mild conditions at the start of the month meant that our greens became infected with a disease called Fusarium Patch. This type of disease is most common in the UK and is caused by wet, warm weather and there is nothing we could have done to prevent it. Speaking to a number of other Head Greenkeepers, it sounds as if every golf club has had it. The greens have been sprayed with fungicide and the disease is no longer active but will need time to grow out. The growth on the greens has finally slowed down meaning we have highered the height of cut to 4mm and are only cutting the greens 3-4 times a week. When the grass completely stops growing we plan to cut the greens with hand mowers twice a week. This type of cutting makes for better presentation and ensures less weight on the green however, it takes 4 of us to do it so this can only be done when the grass growth has slowed down significantly. Again, we would like to remind all golfers about repairing pitchmarks. Being out there in the mornings, we have noticed that the amount of pitchmarks not being repaired is worse than ever. So please when you enter a green make sure you repair your pitchmark and at least one other if you see any.
Well you would think it was early spring judging on the amount of grass we are cutting off the fairways and tees. We’re still cutting these twice a week because of the growth, but as it gets colder this will reduce to once a week/fortnight depending on growth. We would also remind members to replace their divots on the fairways.
Bunkers are being raked everyday and we’re still getting good feedback about how much they have improved the last couple of months or so due to the way they are being raked (back to front). The grass growth on the edges of the bunkers has slowed down now and will only need to be edged once or twice during the winter months. As you would have noticed, the two bunkers that have been filled in on the 1st, have grown back really well and the seed has really taken off. There are a few more bunkers that are going to be filled in, in the next couple of weeks. These were advised by the course architect during his visit.
The winter programme has been done and approved by the board and greens committee. This will be available to view from the middle of November. There have been a number of tasks already completed on the programme. The 3rd winter teeing area has been replaced with hard wearing rubber mats. We’ve done this early, to enable the seed to grow through the mats in time for the Winter Course. We’ll be doing the same to the 8th winter tee and this will start next week. If you have any queries about the winter programme, feel free to contact me or your greens chairman Lee James and we will be more than willing to help.
As you would have noticed in an email sent out, we are installing a new drainage system on our wet greens. However, the previous email about the drainage was incorrect and we’re not getting the ‘SubAir’ system installed. This is a top of the range system only installed at a number of clubs in the world, Augusta National being one of them, and we would only dream about being able to afford. What we are getting is called PC Drainage and is becoming more and more popular in the UK. I am meeting the owner of the company on Monday 6th to speak more about it and to do the markings and measurements. I will know more about it from Monday so will send an email out with more information very soon. This work is planned to start on Monday 20th November and should be complete by the Friday with minimum damage to the playing surfaces. We are excited about this new system as it should enable us to have 12, 13, 14 playable all year round.
The temporary green on 13 is now ready for play. The long grass has been cut back and the flag has been put back in. We hope this helps the people that do not wish to walk up the hill to the 14th tee.
The wet start to the month has meant that we have had to put ropes/white lines out to direct trolley/buggy traffic. As the weather gets worse, you will start to notice more and more ropes being put out, and we would advise anyone that can carry, to carry, even if you only carry half a set of clubs. When the ropes are out, we would kindly remind everybody to adhere to them and not just go under/around as seen many times before. THEY ARE THERE FOR A REASON.
From all your green staff, we wish you a great month of golfing ahead.