Course Managers blog June 2023
As we enter the tournament-filled month of June, we want to provide you with our latest course blog, update you on the recent happenings and upcoming plans for the course.
Spring 2022 and Spring 2023 presented starkly different weather conditions and could not have been any different. With the Spring of 2022 being cold and very dry making it extremely challenging to obtain growth and recovery, especially on greens, tees and fairways.
2023 however being the complete opposite, very wet, and much milder, these temperatures meant we had remarkable results from both our March greens maintenance and preseason overseeding.
If I had to choose between Spring of 2022 or 2023, I would choose 2023…….
“………we’d rather be chasing the grass down than up”.
The wet conditions brought its challenges when we would normally be aiming to transform the course in to summer spec, the rainfall led to certain course restrictions and provided difficulties in maintaining course presentation, especially the semi-rough (first cut) areas.
It’s always nice to compare previous year to the current, to give you an idea from January 2023 to April 2023 we received 345mm (13.5 inches) of rainfall, in the same period a year earlier (2022) we received 175mm (6.8 inches) of rainfall – double the rainfall!
Fortunately, the weather took a turn for the better in early May, allowing us to focus on refining the playing surfaces.
We completed various tasks, including pathway enhancements, weed control, tree canopy raising, and completed clubhouse border improvements – our new course information sign looks fantastic outside the main clubhouse door.
Additionally, greens have been in excellent condition following our early season maintenance, thanks to the mild and wet conditions. We have reached our summer height of cut with greens speeds maintaining a good pace, which will increase as we approach the championships.
All teeing areas and fairways begun the season in fantastic condition, this is due to a combination of overseeding, fertilising and good cultural practices such as aeration, divoting and brushing.
The image below is of the 11th tee.
Our divot evenings this year proved difficult to complete following the heavy rainfall – we managed to complete one evening (images below) on the back 9 – once again we were very fortunate as nearly 40 members and staff divoted all back 9 tees and fairways.
Unfortunately, the weather broke too late for the front 9 to be completed. The greenkeeping team will spend time divoting the front 9 fairways throughout the summer months.
Profusion have completed this year’s phase of projects – Seven bunkers on holes 3 and 18 have been rebuilt, and three Lifetime tees have been installed on holes 4, 5, and 6.
These improvements, aligned with the new 5-year vision and with input from David Jones, golf course architect, and Matt Short, General Manager, have significantly enhanced the playability and visual appeal of these holes.
We would like to thank you for your patience whilst these works were being carried out.
Images of the 3rd and 18th holes following completion of their remodelling.
The month ahead…
With June being tournament month things are getting remarkably busy on our job board.
We have completed essential base feeds on tees, approaches, and traffic/weak areas. The base feed is a controlled release fertiliser which will keep the surfaces healthy during the summer months. Alongside this a foliar fertiliser will be applied monthly to these surfaces, these applications will include iron a growth regulator to maintain colour and health.
Greens will be fed via a foliar spray fortnightly, consisting of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium with some Iron and growth regulator.
Growth regulators encourage lateral growth rather than vertical growth resulting in a thicker sward, helping provide a more consistent green speed.
A monthly moisture management application of a surfactant with seaweed will help with the absorption of irrigation water and any rainfall we receive. A surfactant reduces surface tension within the soil profile allowing moisture to be used more readily by the plant.
We have now filled all vacant Greenkeeping roles within the team, our new recruits, Cameron, and Samuel, have settled in nicely.
- Cameron, a trainee greenkeeper, has excelled in machine operation and various maintenance tasks.
- Samuel, a trainee mechanic/greenkeeper, has shown great promise and will contribute to day-to-day operations on the course during the summer months and will focus on machinery maintenance in the winter.
Both Cameron and Samuel will commence college in the autumn. Attached are their pictures.
We received two-state-of-the-art all-electric Toro greens mowers and a brand-new Toro 4000 wide area rough mower this spring.
We expect our new Toro pedestrian aeration machine to arrive soon, just in time for cultural operations following club championship preparations.
These investments reflect the commitment of the Club’s owners to provide the best equipment for our course.
As we progress through the summer months, we will continue striving for high course condition standards. Soon, we will conduct soil analysis of the greens to determine our summer greens maintenance plan. We will keep you updated on our plans and the cultural practices we will be implementing in August.
Lastly, we kindly request your assistance in maintaining the playing surfaces. Please repair pitch marks on greens and please consider taking a divot bag with you during your rounds. Your efforts go a long way in preserving the quality of the course.
We wish all participants the best of luck in the upcoming club championships this month. See you on the course very soon.
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