June 8th 2013 – Roll Test

The top putting green sat waterlogged for several weeks during winter. This was mainly due to the poor rootzone and a lack of adequate drainage below the surface. As a result, growth started very slowly and it has struggled to catch up with the greens on the course. Frequent topdressing, aeration, regular feeding, cutting and rolling has returned the surface nearer to the required standard.

Click on the cog at the bottom of the video for high definition.

June 4th 2013 – Purchase Of New Toro Roller

Last week saw the arrival of our much anticipated greens roller. After a number of demonstrations we opted for this model. There are many benefits to rolling, we considered the following among the most important factors:

1: Increased speed and smoothness –

From a golfers point of view these are the most important factors. After mowing the roller makes it possible to add 1-2ft of speed.

2: Avoiding lowering height of cut –

Whilst trying to promote native fescue grasses at Royal Cinque Ports it is important that we don’t lower the height of cut to obtain speed. Fescue grasses do not cope well with continual mowing below 4mm. We are confident we can consistently obtain a green speed of around 10ft by using the roller and cutting at 4.5mm.

3: Decreased disease –

Many tests have been undertaken by American universities and turf research institutes and the results are surprising. Greens that were rolled 3 times per week show no signs of Dollar Spot and Red Thread, whereas a neighbouring plot, that has never been rolled yet otherwise treated the same, showed significant signs of disease. This was done without regard to green speed, the only difference was the process of rolling.

4: Saving cutting units after topdressing –

Cutting straight after topdressing blunts the cutting units which in turn can lead to a large grinding bill! Rolling after topdressing in place of cutting aids amelioration of the sand into the turf canopy which means the greens can be cut later than planned without sacrificing speed or smoothness.

Click on the cog at the bottom of the video for high definition.

May 28th 2013 – Germination Sheets

May 28th 2013

With The Amateur Championship looming, the race is on to return the driving range tee to the required standard. The tee is heavily used during the winter and, after the Halford Hewitt and South East Links competitions, action had to be taken. Soil temperatures in May were still fairly low, so after an intensive repair job using a sand/soil mix along with a seed blend which has been chosen to match the existing sward we decided to lay germination sheets. The sheets speed up germination for faster growth as well as protecting the seed bed from wind and birds. Results so far have been encouraging and we may look to use them on heavily worn par 3 tee areas as well as the range tee in the future.