When the word ‘aeration’ is mentioned it usually sends a shiver up the spine of every golfer! This however does not have to be the case during times when the course is busy. This week all of the greens were pencil tined with an 8mm tine to a depth of around 3″.
Aeration achieves three important objectives. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green’s roots, and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch.
Tom Watson shot a course record 58 at his home course, Kansas City Country Club, just days after the greens had been aerated!
The 13th bunkers were upgraded last year in order to solve water table issues. Although we have had a dry Winter we are confident that flooded bunkers will no longer be an issue. The decision was taken to upgrade the edge of the left bunker so there is a more definite bunker edge. revetting was continued round and chunks of Marram planted behind. This may look a little out of place just now however the rough between the bunker and the 14th tee will be left to grow long and whispy. This will blend the bunker in nicely. The style also acts as a nice demonstration for possible bunker styles in the future.
Oliver Hook and Lee Campany looking pleased with the results.
In Greenkeeping, sometimes ‘big is beautiful’. and this was the phrase in mind when we built this tee. By using the natural sand we removed from the back of the 3rd tee we managed to bridge the gap and create one large tee that will accommodate yellow, red and blue markers.
The tee itself was levelled in sections using a method new to the staff at RCP. New First Assistant Lee Campany brought a method he used to use and we were all very impressed with the results. In the past, a theodalite and level staff were used every square meter in order to create a flat surface. With the ‘horse’ method a series of pipes are placed in the ground and used as railings when a level wooden plank or ‘horse’ is dragged across removing any excess sand and pulling into low spots
The tee was then turfed with a fescue / bent mix and is bedding in nicely. We hope to have it open for play as soon as possible which is looking nearer the month of May. The most time consuming activity was the upgrade of the path to what is now a smooth rubber path.
This tee was in such a fantastic position but never used due to an uneven playing surface. It was also an incredibly awkward shape to maintain. Material from behind the tee was removed in order to build a new tee at 16. The turf itself came from the old 16th tee saving a small cost on new turf. A natural dune shape was created behind the tee, fitting in with the surrounding area. In addition to this the walkway was ripped up and re turfed then rubber matted to help cope with large volumes of traffic passing through this area.
The 3rd Fairway has now been brought back to make it fairer for the shorter hitter. In the spring work will commence on the walkway to the front left of the tee. This will be closed off and restored to long whispy rough.
With a dry week forecast, the decision was taken to apply the first dressing of the year. In total 15 tonnes was applied over 20 greens. Holes left from vertidraining have now been filled in creating thousands of mini channels of sand which enables surface moisture to pass through the rootzone. This has helped with drainage on greens 1&3 where there has been problems of flooding in localised areas in the past. We pride or greens on not only smoothness but organic matter levels. Topdressing is a fantastic material for diluting organic matter and keeping percentages under control. This year we plan on a ‘little and often’ approach to topdressing. This way golf will not be interrupted and surfaces returned sooner.