During the Final Open Qualifying the range looked fantastic with the R&A’s addition of distance markers. The R&A and the company who supplies all of the furniture were kind enough to send the numbered fronts for us to make into signs. They have been attached to plywood and a wooden border was put in place and painted to pin the actual sign. wooden posts then attached and the completed sign was then dug into the ground. These are a great memento of a fantastic competition.
When the sun shines a certain way on the greens it is very easy to see the invasive weed pearlwort. If you look closely pearlwort looks like a very fine leafed short grass, greasy to the touch. It is very important that we spray this weed out after Deal week and overseed with fescue around 4-6 weeks later when any chemical toxins cant harm new seedlings. A week after spraying we will see small brown spots on the greens where the weed is dying off. This will be most evident on high spots or slopes of greens where the weed has taken over. A month ago the chipping green was sprayed as a trial with great success so I am confident that there will be no disruption to golf whatsoever.
This year the Greenstaff have been trying out some management software to help run the golf course and maintenance facility more efficiently. This software helps us plan work, keep stock records, health and safety records, application records for fertiliser, chemicals and sand along with all things staff related. Also by inputting machinery hours we are alerted whenever any servicing needs to be carried out. In this picture we see First Assistant Lee Campany filling in the diary, each member of staff has their own responsibilities on Turfkeeper.
Great progress has been made in grass coverage on the tees this year mainly thanks to growth retardants and a consistent fertiliser programme. Some of the tees are not quite as firm as they should be. Regular topdressings will firm the top 30mm as well as reducing organic matter. The tees swallow up 25 tonnes each time compared to the greens which are nearer the 7 tonne mark.
Greens are topdressed as frequently as possible. We have a goal of 150 tonnes a year, most of which will be applied during winter months. It is very important that every opportunity is taken to apply topdressing in a manner that does not affect play, little and often.
A week ago the 3rd and 18th black tees along with a strip of rough on 13 and behind the 10th tee were sprayed with a product called rescue. Rescue is a product that cleans out undesirable grasses such as Yorkshire fog and Coarse Ryegrass. You can see in this picture of the 3rd black tee the brown patches are starting to turn. This process needs to be repeated annually in order to keep on top of unwanted grasses. there is a considerable amount on all of the other tees on the course, so it is important that we introduce more fescue in the coming years before spraying rescue.
The rough trails are extremely important as many productive, thick areas can be controlled with this chemical which would lead to thin whispy roughs and less lost balls. There will be another blog update soon on the results of these trials.
Over the past few months there have been many grass snakes and adders spotted by golfers and greenkeepers. They can sometimes be found curled up in green irrigation valve boxes situated all over the course. The snake in this picture is a poisonous adder, so it is advised to keep distance at all times!
This picture demonstrates the benefits of using modern rye grasses. This tee was overseeded last year and again in the spring with a Fescue / Dwarf Rye mix. The Dwarf Rye in question is the re-generating rye that in character is finer than a bent grass and almost as fine as a fescue. This has enabled us a rapid, complete recovery on the entire tee all year which is desirable considering the amount of play. The tee suffered considerable damage after a marquee was erected for several weeks. This remarkable seed mix holds the key for creating quality traffic areas and paths on the course. The rye acting as a big brother for the fescue creating smooth, solid walkways.