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Course Manager Blog 2021

1st September 2021

Course Manager Blog

As we step into September I can’t help but feel like this year’s playing season has flown by – let’s hope for a good end to the summer.

I am very pleased with how our maintenance week went in early August, with the weather on our side (natural rainfall) we saw a speedy recovery and I am happy with the results. Many thanks for your patience during the week whilst we used temporary greens to maximise productivity.

During our maintenance week we double aerated all the greens with solid tines and over 60 tonnes of sand was applied and brushed into the holes left by the procore (picture below) and verti drain. Once the greens were in reasonable condition following the work previously mentioned we over-seeded all the greens with a creeping bent grass called Crystal Blue Links.

I have mentioned before but we are systematically incorporating creeping bent into our greens because it is a strong greens grass plant that is more disease and drought resistant compared to poa annua (our greens are 95% poa annua), the strategy behind this is built around less availability of products and lower AI’s (active ingredients) in products that help maintain poa annua all year round.

The week following course maintenance we applied a granular fertiliser to aid recovery from the intense brushing and rolling. We saw fantastic results and begun to see germination after just 10 days and we saw full germination of the creeping bent seed across all greens after 14 days. This process is the first step in ‘future proofing’ our greens as fine turf management becomes a little more challenging.

August began by being very wet with nearly 2 inches of rain in the first 9 days (this slowed our course maintenance procedure a little). Worm casts and disease are very much at the forefront of our minds as we move into September. With turf coverage being so good (due to the rain) we are in a good position going into the Autumn, this will help to dilute worm casts via brushing and raking – I predict this being an issue once again, rest assured we will do everything that we can with the tools we have to maintain all playing surfaces.

We began our moisture management program on greens towards the end of August, this will continue for the next 6 months and we will apply a soil surfactant monthly to drive water through the profile keeping the greens surfaces as dry as possible.

Arborfield Tree Care visited the club to clear the area in front of the 9th tee of self-seeded trees. A vast improvement visually, I think you’ll agree. We plan to remove all self-seeded trees on the remainder (1,2 & 9) of the pond in the coming weeks & months.

We made a start to cutting and collecting selected areas of our ‘fescue’ rough that were highlighted as high traffic points, which slowed play, unfortunately, due to a fault with the machine (broken belt) our progress has been halted. As soon as the new part arrives we will continue with this process. We plan to cut and collected all remaining long rough towards the end of September.

Plans for September

We will begin our larger scale turf maintenance later in the month, we will verti-drain all fairways, approaches, semi rough and traffic routes between tees and fairways. This needs to be timed before the ground is too wet and will help aid drainage in these areas. Once complete we will sand dress fairways and brush sand into the vert-drain holes, this aids drainage and maintains as much firmness as possible.

We will once again replenish pathways with our path topping (red pave) in the lead up to the cooler months, and will complete the process again next spring. Prior to dressing the paths we will edge all sleepers, fill any pot holes so that we are left with a smooth finish.

We will complete an application of selective herbicide to combat weeds. Front 9 fairways, selected areas of rough, all tees and surrounds will receive treatment. We have treated all the paths with a total weedkiller.

Let’s hope that the weather stays dry and warm, I think we deserve it following the damp summer.

Enjoy your golf.

Stuart Job
Course Manager

 

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