Welcome to our monthly greens report direct from the Greens Team, with the work increasing and becoming fast and furious we will be putting out one detailed blog post out per month. As normal we would like to ask members who are reading our blog regularly to tell their fellow members about the green keepers blog, also we encourage members to ask questions too as we would love to hear members thoughts/ideas on the course.
10 kg of Soluble iron, provides rapid green-up and hardens the plant ready for the season.
120 litres of Micro flow, this liquid feed increases nitrogen levels improving plant growth, health and colour.
20 litres of Magnet velocity, this has iron in and again improves colour and health of the turf.
10 litres of Hydro pro is a wetting agent ensures the even distribution of moisture through the soil and maintains plant usable reserves of water applied either by rainfall or irrigation.
John Scurfield below out on the spraying machine, happy playing in his new toy.
Shaping + Heights:
The greens have been cut down to a height of 4mm as of the 08/05/2018, the current shaping of the greens will remain very similar to last season. In the coming weeks we look to apply very light and regular dressings of sand, the members won’t even notice these applications. Green speeds look to increase by 1 foot in the coming month, we are looking to achieve between 10 and 11 foot on the stimp this season with a nice true roll.
Stimp readings :
Data collection is a big deal within the sheds this season, we look to present performance related data to the membership annually moving forward. Stimp readings are one of data readings we will be taking twice weekly through the playing season of 2018, a stimp reading is a measurement of the speed of a putting surface in feet. The Greens Team will look to educate the membership on this and in the coming years will understand the meaning of a green running at 12ft.
As of the 08/05/2018 Stu Speirs took some stimp readings from around the course and the average speed the greens was 9ft, we are pleased with the results considering but look to achieve 10.5ft in the coming weeks.
The team had to cancel maintenance week in May due to the extreme bad weather and the fact the members had not really played golf in 2018, they decided to cancel it. The team still needed to do some aeration work so they decided to do some light pencil tinning followed by topdressing. The team managed to work 18 tons into the greens and are very happy with the outcome, in the coming months they will be applying topdressing little and often.
08/05/2018 the team brushed, double verti-cut and double cut the greens, the results were very positive and the playability of the greens improved considerably. The Rye grass in Gerrys hand below is what we will be aiming to rip out during the season to improve the playability of the greens.
Stu Speirs has spent many hours in the John Deere tractor this year so far aerating the greens, the verti-drain has been key in opening up our greens allowing air in and relieving any unwanted compaction. Currently the greens which had signs of black layer are now free of black layer and looking better than ever, Head greenkeeper Gerry Cramer is very happy with the progress.
Stu Speirs has spent time in the early part of the year planning out the shaping and assessing factors affecting playability in the fairways. Stu has worked extra hours on many days making great progress and I’m sure all will agree they are looking stunning. We look to run some trials on the middle of the 5th fairway using primo max, this is a growth regulator which slows the growth of the grass. When the 5th hole was built it was over-seeded by a farmer who used an agricultural grass seed, this area grows very quickly and is incredibly coarse grass. With the use of the primo we hope to see improvements in playability and presentation can be achieved.
Shaping + Heights:
Stu is currently cutting the fairways at 15mm, he will be looking to lower the heights in the coming weeks but we are restricted at Morpeth as the rig bottoms become scalped when being cut at lower heights. Last year Stu managed to get the length of the fairways down to 13mm, we will look to achieve this again in 2018.
The fairways will be given an application of Ferrous Sulphate in the next suitable spell of weather.
Shaping + Heights:
John Scurfield has taken lead with the surrounds again this year, most of the surrounds remain the same as last year with only a few small tweaks. The current height of cut is 10.5mm, this will be worked down to 9mm in the coming weeks.
The surround have been treated with a soluble iron and an application of wetting agent in selected areas, we look to keep them nice and strong this season and free of any disease.
Shaping + Heights:
Guy Anderson has started setting out the areas of semi again this season, Guy and the team have discussed some areas of rough they would like to grow in to bring more definition and a playability factor to some areas. The areas which have been left to grow in like the left of the 11th fairway level to the 8th green, will always be counterbalanced with another area of extended semi/fairway on the same hole. The 11th fairway has been extended to the right as you play about 120 yards short of the green, this is the natural finishing position of a long tee shot or the second shot for players with less distance from the tee. Guy will be continuing to present the semis in a block cut style at a height of one and three-quarter inches.
Guy has done some great work fixing the old semis machine as it was out of order last season due to costly repairs needing to be done, Guy has done there repairs himself at a fraction of the price. This repair also means the volunteers have free use of the old semis to maintain the practice facility twice per week.
Head greenskeeper Gerry Cramer has been putting his fitness to the test lately, in recent weeks Gerry has edged all the bunkers and levelled all sand out equally in each bunker. The team along with the assistance of the volunteers are no longer raking the bunkers with a two foot flattened perimeter, in 2018 the bunkers will be fully raked keeping the sand pushed up the faces.
The photo below is Gerry doing a little celebration on completion of his final bunker, “Great work Gerry”.
New bunkers on 11th/18th:
The new bunkers should be open for play in the first week of June, the 18th may be open a little sooner. The bunker on the practice facility is now open for use.
The tees have been sprayed with soluble iron.
The team look to trial Primo max on the tees this year to help slow the growth, this will hopefully mean the tees will only need cut once per week.
Shaping + Heights:
The tees are going to be cut again this year in a block cutting style, they are currently cut to a height of 10.5mm which will be dropped to 9mm in the coming weeks. We are trailing a different style of presentation on the 14th tee box, once the tee box is full established the team will make a descion to either scrap the idea or introduce it to the rest of the course. Many tee boxes have been reduced in size in an attempt to improve presentation.
The irrigation system has been re-commissioned and is ready for use, the team have been out ensuring there is no air in the system.
John Scurfield has been been out around the course testing and replacing heads, some of the heads were sitting low which have also been amended.
In recent weeks Morpeth golf club had a new irrigation control panel fitted, the team have had full training on the use of the system and have created various programmes to select from during periods of varied weather patterens.
The practice facility has a new look with nice new white dividers creating bays to hit from, the bays have been cut out to a height of 10.5mm, thanks to David Clark for supplying the wood for these areas. The chipping greens to the right of the practice ground are going to be maintained at greens height, this will enable members to practice chip shots and better preparing themselves for play out on the course. The small putting green is receiving all the same applications and cultural practices as the rest of the course, this will enable members to practice their putting better as the one outside the pro shop is very uneven and maybe not suitable for members looking to take putting lessons form club professionals David Clark, Martin Jobling and Kieran Graham.
The volunteers now have a rota to work to, the volunteers section have two bunker raking days a Tuesday and a Friday for competition days. Two of the guys are cutting the practice facility twice per week on a Tuesday and a Thursday, a divoting team is working around the course making great progress, and a the from of house teams are again doing great work in presenting the entrance to the club in a fine manner.
150 yard posts:
As requested by the ladies section the 150 yard markers have been reinstated to the course and look really nice, they are a very tidy addition back on to the course, they were put back out on to the course by the volunteers section.
The devoting team has made great progress around the course, they have also been collecting litter on their way, amazing work guys.
Fairway distance stones:
Car park and buggy paths:
The pot holes around the course and clubhouse areas have been filled up nicely and are now safer and more friendly towards suspension systems and wheels.
Martin Jackson memorial seat:
Bill one of the volunteer section members did an amazing job on the Martin Jackson memorial seat, he has brought it back to its former glory and will look amazing in front of the club house.
Dan Lloyd memorial seat:
The Dan Lloyd memorial seat has been given a fresh coating of paint and looks lovely at the top of the practice facility.
Other work from around the course.
Bernhards grinder demo:
The team have a demo day on the 22nd of May from Bernhards, they will be spending the day with the team educating them and board/committee members. The addition of the grinders into the sheds will be presented to the board in a proposal against an existing cost from a 3rd party.
New buggies arrive
Spraying machine delivery induction:
The team have taken delivery of their new John Deere spraying machine, John Scurfield will be operating the machine and is now fully educated on how to use it. The free use through ownership of the sprayer will help the team transform the course going forward, the health of the playing areas will also be greatly improved.
Computer in sheds:
The Greens Team have been Kindly donated a good quality computer courtesy of Edd Scurfield. This will now enable the team to keep all their records electronically moving forward. Below is one example of a service record but every machine has its own individual log, we have decided to use 2018 as a fresh start for the machinery as previous record keeping was unclear and inaccurate.
New tee box steps:
The new steps to the 3rd and 7th mens medal tees have been finished, we are just awaiting the seed growing in now.
9th fairway drains:
Gerry cramer has exposed a blocked drain on the 9th fairway and has rectified the problem, the area of repair will remain GUR until further notice.
Bunker rake stands:
A massive thanks to Morpeth Golf Club member Steve Welsh, Steve has supplied the club with rake stands for every bunker on the course. The stainless steel stands look great and help ensure presentation of the course throughout the season can be even more impressive.
Areas of work in progress.
New pins and flags:
The new flags and cups are in the process of being ordered, General Manager Steven Johnson hopes to place the order this coming week.
The old 14th green:
The old 14th green was left and almost knee-high last year, John Scurfield has been doing little bits of work when time has allowed and this area is nearly down to greens height. The team will look after this green in the same manner as the other 18 greens, this could be used asa temporary hole during winter construction disruption. The team also have the option to use this green for plugging disease scars or possible damage, there is many advantages for the rest of the course by having this green available to use.
5th/10th turf removal:
The areas on the 5th and 10th where turf was removed are still going to be repaired, the team had intended to use the removed cores from May maintenance to fill these areas but unfortunately the weather forced us to cancel it and concentrate on producing a course for the membership. These areas will hopefully be addressed with cores we look to remove from the tee boxes.
11th bunker fill:
The 11th bunker short left will be filled it and turned into a green, the team look to create a green suitable for winter play with a drainage system installed. This area will remain GUR until further notice and won’t be a priority as the playing areas of the course need to be presented to a higher standard this year than ever before.
Paint cups for comp days:
The cups will be painted every Tuesday and Friday for the competition days.
The team look to core a selected number of tee boxes in order to improve the standard of the turf surface, we will be using the natural sand pit from behind the 4th green for material.
Tees v cut:
All the tees were covered in moss at the start of the year, we have treated them with applications of iron which has killed the moss, we will be verti-cutting them to rip out all of the moss then overseeing the tees again in an attempt to raise standards of play and presentation.
Water fountain at 8th tee:
The water fountain not he 8th/12th tee will be out of order until further notice as the pip has severely burst, we look to address this in the next two weeks if time allows.
4th tee info board need moved:
The hole information board and three distance discs will be moved in the coming weeks at the 4th tee, the team decided to reduce the size of the tee by half as the surface was so uneven it was unacceptable to be used as a tee box.