March Course Report

Since my last report the weather has slightly eased which has meant we were able to get out on to the course and do some work. We have sprayed the greens with seaweed and iron, sarrell rolled twice, hand cut and rolled. All the fairways have now been cut for the first time since November and tee’s collars and aprons have been cut too. We have also strimmed and fly mowed all round the Tees and ditches. All pop ups have been trimmed and a few low lying sprinkler heads have been raised.

All the bunkers have had a whole new edge put on them which will make maintenance through the year a lot quicker and easier and the sand has been rotavated, moved around and added where needed.

We have stripped the turf and are levelling the 15th Tee. This will be seeded, sand ameliorated in and covered with a germination sheet. It will take around 4 weeks to get back in to play and will save the club a fair bit of money on turf and man power but result in a much improved teeing area.

Due to the competition being late in the year, we have to delay our main maintenance to the greens, fairways, tees and approaches. This will mean the window of opportunity to drain greens will be shorter so we have taken the decision to drain the 1st green now. It’s not going to be ideal conditions only for the fact of getting to and from the green so we have boards to help with the wetter areas. We will have the green back in play within 4 weeks of the work finishing and start to finish the job will be done in 3-4 days. I appreciate that the green has been off for a while and this will prolong that but we don’t get many windows during the year due to the nature of the soil type and if this one is missed then we could potentially be going in to another winter with the 1st being on a temporary. Also when we get the 1st drained it will free up more time to do the 7th this year and then eventually the 3rd.

Just a little info on the 3rd green because of the lay of the land the 3rd green sits quite low which means getting the water away through the drains becomes more difficult as there is no natural fall away from the green. As this is not so straight forward I intend to seek a second opinion of a specialist contractor.

Having now had a full winter and probably seeing one of the worst, there are things I would like to address. The 13th is an area that needs some serious thought; early thinking is to put an open ditch along the left hand side to allow for all the standing water to drain away in to the ditch half way down the fairway.

Also the 1st, 7th and 3rd greens as previously stated are a priority as these are the only ones that have let us down through this wet period and when completed we will have consistent quality playing surfaces throughout the year.

In the coming weeks we have greens maintenance booked in for the week commencing 21st of March. I have been very happy with how most of the greens have stood up to a very long winter and encouraged that we have something to work with and push on for the coming months. We intend to scarify, solid tine, top dress, over seed, brush, roll and fertilise. Although this looks a lot on paper this won’t cause as much disruption as hollow coring or the Graden machine and the greens will recover a lot quicker. We plan to have all the work done on the Monday and Tuesday of that week followed by a light dress, brush and roll on the Thursday. The general idea for the greens throughout the season is to input sand, small tine, brush and roll every month, this will be a very light process with little to no effect on the playability of the greens and disruption of play.

I am incredibly excited that spring is fast approaching and that we have a very good and detailed maintenance plan for every surface which will ensure that the course will be at its best all year round.

Chris Marker
Head Greenkeeper