A cold Spring for the third year led to the grass growth once again being very late. Greens need wet & warm weather; the sort generally associated with an English Spring – however cold and dry is what happened again and this leads to the greens being hard, difficult to putt and generally no growth for recovery to any work that’s done.
We are now in early June and currently the temperature is very good however we have had little rainfall, meaning the greens are still not where we would like them to be and growing freely.
All of the planned work was completed, however we did have to work with the weather and as such some of it did not take place until very late.
Vertidraining was completed and prior to topdressing, the greens were aerated at 75mm. The greens had to be verticutt to remove moss & thatch and annual meadow grass seed heads, that were just beginning to show.
The top dressing machine was hired and our new brush did a good job with 27 tons of top dressing being applied. We could have done with rain to help settle the dressing and bring on the grass growth, but this did not happen so recovery took a little longer.
Fertiliser has been applied; luckily this time it did rain, so we are awaiting the results of soil tests that were taken earlier in the year before we make the next stage of the greens plan.
Whilst top dressing was done and staff were tied up with that work the rough mower was sent away for its Winter service. This did cause much concern to some members as for a few days the rough was very long – “tiger rough” as we used to call it, although I am pleased to say we did not see one! On return of the mower, we were only a few days returning the course to normal.
It my understanding that the servicing of the machine will now be done much earlier in the year as it used to be – we will not have a repeat of the problems caused by its late servicing; though we cannot blame the service agent, as they took only one day longer to service the machine than expected as additional faults on the rollers were found and repaired. Currently most servicing is complete; just the Gator and tractor to go.
My main urgency is to set up the greens irrigation and I will start this today. It may take 2 to 3 days before it settles down after its winter shut down, by which time it will be raining non-stop.
Generally on the course grass mowing is now taking up nearly all our time and apart from small normal jobs such as strimming and weed spraying, we should not have any major work to come this summer.
I would however like to lightly top dress the greens during the summer, time and money permitting. It should not upset putting to the degree that the main top dressing does and should have grown in within 3 or 4 days maximum. This is required to open up the surface area to allow free draining again to combat the increasing amounts of moss that builds up over the winter. Most of the areas that were badly affected have recovered; however the rear of the 13th is slow is to regenerate, but should be fully recovered shortly.
Our apprentice, who was doing well and had recently passed all his tests suddenly resigned – this of course has left us short staffed at the wrong time of the year, just as he was able to do most jobs unattended, which was of great help.
I understand we are now going to reform the Greens Committee to where it used to be, with three directors. This should help with future continuity of management and course direction; hopefully we will once again have monthly meetings with minutes provided to the main board.