We have currently had 120mm of rain in the first 10 days of this year and this has fallen on an already saturated golf course. This has meant that all of the cutting has had to stop even though the grass has not stopped growing and all jobs on the course have been made near impossible. This means that all areas of the course are longer than normal and there is little definition. When the ground conditions allow we will be out there to sort this out but it will take a few cuts for us to get the grass under control and disperse the laying grass.
It’s not all bad news as the greens are coping well and are the driest part of the course. They are still a good healthy colour and currently are disease free which in itself is a big plus. We have both verti-drains with new tines and both hand mowers set up ready to go when ground conditions permit. We have managed to hand cut the greens a few times in between rainfall.
All this time has not been wasted as we are currently going through our whole machinery fleet down to the last nut and bolt, greasing and fixing every issue we have. This will put us in a strong position when the time is right to get on the course.
By the time you read this we would have demoed a machine called the Air 2G2 which will be used on the couple of the accessible greens. Here is a bit about what the machine does.
It is an aeration machine that does not disrupt play or require a post-application clean up. The Air 2G2 immediately relieves compaction, aides in surface water drainage by creating larger pore space in the soil subsurface, balances the water to air ratio within the soil and encourages positive microbial activity. Furthermore, the increase in air space within the soil means there’s more room for roots to grow.
This machine will be integrated in to our annual aeration program. It is another tool along with what we have to improve the playability, drainage and overall health of our greens for the whole year.
Lastly I would like to add a section on looking after the course when the course opens as there will be large areas of the course still very susceptible to wear and rutting. When playing out of competition I would encourage all Members and visitors to adhere to the following points as these will only help in limiting any damage to the golf course and making it more enjoyable for everyone to play at this difficult time.
• Where needed pick and place your ball all around the course as there will still be large areas of the course especially in the rough that will take longer to drain.
• Repairing pitch marks and replacing divots is essential especially in the winter months as recovery time is a lot slower.
• Playing Gimmies when close to the pin (not in competition) is a way of limiting wear to around the hole as the greens are softer than normal. By reducing the amount of footprints you give everyone a better chance of holing more putts.
• All signs, post and rope are there for a reason. This helps us to manage the traffic around the course and allows areas that need it most too slowly recover.
• Please use the mats and turf reinforcement these are there to protect the ground and give more grip on banks and high traffic areas.
Thank you for your patience I know it’s been a frustrating start to the year all fingers crossed for some better weather in the coming weeks. I look forward to seeing you back on the course soon.