First I would like to start with the great news that the greens renovations are complete with little effect to the playing surface, we started the renovation by scarifying this is done to remove thatch from below the playing surface to allow air, water and nutrients to reach the turf roots. We then solid tined the greens to improve drainage and get air into the soil profile. Lastly we topdressed using 40 tons (two heavy applications and one light) of a new coarser sand then previous years, we made the decision to change the sand that we use because the larger sand granules will dilute the thatch layer and increase the pore space also improving the percolation rate. We then brushed the greens using our new “sweep n fill” brush which is a huge improvement on the old method of brushing in top dress. Lastly the greens were rolled to iron out any undulations left by the machinery and we fed the greens with a biostimulant that will increase root development and improve the health and color of our greens. The green are currently being cut at 6mm but we will be bringing them down by 0.2mm each time in the next two weeks to 5mm as soon as soil temperatures continue to rise we will drop the heights accordingly. This will increase the roll speed of the greens and improve overall playability. The week after this we sprayed a stress relief package to relieve any stress caused by the renovations and help oxygenate the soil.
One project that we are very excited about is the cutting out of some roll off areas around the greens, we believe this will make a huge difference visually and to the play of the course making it a much more all round enjoyable experience. This new layout along with the new course furniture that will be put on the course late next week will give the club a new uniform, clean look.
The 15th tee was finished last week, after the turf was stripped the soil was rotavated, then more topsoil was added, raked level, over seed with creeping ryegrass and fed with a rooting agent. We have put a grow sheet over the tee so that the seed will germinate quicker and the tee will be back in play faster. On the subject of tees we are currently undergoing tees renovations, this is more or less the same process as the greens only we are introducing a new grass to our tees which is creeping ryegrass. This has been chosen because of its high wear tolerance, strong roots and more importantly fast establishment, with this new seed we will see less wear and thicker sward on the tees through the playing season.
As far as maintaining the rest of the course, now that the weather is finally being kind we have been able to start with normal cutting duties such as fairways, tees, semi-rough ect. These will all be cut regularly to maintain the best playing surfaces possible. We have also started to repair the bare areas around the course by spiking, top dressing and over seeding, this will ensure that there is increased grass coverage around the greens to stop frustrating ball lies and help with winter wear for the future.
In the next few weeks we will be spraying the fairways with a growth retardant, this will slow the vertical growth resulting in the plant producing more lateral growth and greater root development. We will also be spraying iron and a 46-0-0 fertilizer to kill any moss on the fairways and improve the plant color and health. This along with scarifying will give the fairways a healthy, clean and uniformed look for the foreseeable months.