On Saturday the 1st June the team finally got an application of a Farmura product into the greens as they were crying out for a feed. We have been behind schedule with this application as the plan was to carry out some aeration on the putting surfaces first in the form of pencil tines. We planned to carry out the pencil tining prior to applying the application as, the surface being opened would hopefully encourage the product into the turf surface better with more positive results. Unfortunately the reason for the delay being a spell of erratic weather which has passed over the north east in the last two weeks, resulting in our course being closed a number of times to protect the course and for the safety of the members and visitors.
On Saturday there was a break in the weather so two of the team took advantage of this, Head Green keeper Gerry Cramer and one of his assistants John Scurfield started work early. John went out first with the sorrel rollers, the sorrels are designed to open the top of the turf surface up and allow air and nutrients to work their way down to the root system below, we had them set to a depth of 8mm. This kind of aeration is key in our battle to reduce the thatch problem within our greens.
Gerry then followed on our John Deere 2500B greens machine, Gerry has decided to raise the height of cut from 3.9mm to 4.5mm during this spell of poor weather to hopefully protect them from any further out break of disease, some of the greens have been showing some signs of stress due to the delay in the application of feed.
Hugh our professional spraying contractor then followed behind applying the long overdue application.
We look to apply another application in 3-4 weeks which will take the greens up to full strength, hopefully into the best condition the members have seen in recent years.
Monday 3rd of July the team arrived in at 06:00am to a course in need of a good hair cut. The guys stayed at work until 17:30pm, taking advantage of the break in the poor weather and produced a lot of good work.
Tuesday 4th of July, with a bleak forecast predicted the team commenced work at 04:00am in hope of pulling the course back in to shape, we had 15 minutes of dry weather. The guys managed to cut all 18 fairways, all greens, all tee boxes, a large section of the semi rough we covered and most of the surrounds were cut, quite an achievement in a short space of time for four staff. The rain came at 04:15am and stopped at 03:30am the following morning, we recorded 49mm of rain fall during this time which resulted in the course being closed.
Wednesday 4th of July, we arrived to a very wet course all drains were working well. The team were pleasantly surprised at how well the greens held up despite 49mm of rain in the previous 24hours, The rig bottoms were holding a little water around 06:30am but by 10:00am they were clear and quite firm beneath foot. The firmness beneath foot was a positive result from our early season maintenance week, the injection of sand during the maintenance week has been vital in order for us to produce good surfaces. However the course remained closed all day in order to protect the greens.
The team took advantage of the empty course and carried out some maintenance on the tee boxes which were relatively dry. We verticut the tees cutting the lateral growth also removing some undesirables from the turf surface along the way. The results were fantastic, I’m sure the members will find them very pleasing on the eye over the next few days.
The bunkers all around the course were full to capacity at one point but after a lot of work pumping water out and turning over the washed out compact sand with our small rotavator, Gerry Cramer has got 90% of them ready for a full rake in the morning.
Throughout the season so far a section of volunteer members organised by Greens Chairman Keith Brown, have regularly maintained the front of house area to a very high standard, despite the poor weather they have still attended and produced some brilliant work which has helped the greens team massively in their drive for improvements out on the course. Martin Calder, Jim Allison and Ronnie Sanderson doing a great job of cutting the hedge behind the first tee.
Thanks again guys from the greens team.
Please can all members make an extra effort in the next few weeks as we reach the peak of the golfing season. The greens team would like the members to repair as many pitch marks as they can and ensure the bunkers are raked properly after their shot has been taken. We are trying our very best to produce the best surfaces possible whilst concentrating on attention to detail throughout.
Thanks from all the staff, we are sick of seeing John crawling around the greens fixing pitch marks.