30th November 2015 – Top 100 Golf Course Rankings

The website http://www.top100golfcourses.co.uk has this week released its latest  English and Great Britain & Ireland top 100 rankings. Royal Cinque Ports has achieved an all time highest position of 15 in England and 38 in GB & Ireland. We are one of the only clubs in the rankings to make a significant improvement year after year which is extremely encouraging and shows the club is moving in the right direction. There has been a ‘buzz’ amongst the Greenstaff since the latest edition of top 100. Below are the rankings from 2006 where a remarkable 23 places have been climbed in the space of  9 years.

In England:

2006 – 22

2008 – 21

2010 – 19

2012 – 18

2014 – 16

2015 – 15

 In GB & Ireland:

2006 – 61

2008 – 50

2010 – 47

2012 – 44

2014 – 41

2015 – 38

Please follow the link below for the full rankings:



28th November 2015 – Bernhards Delegation

Two weeks ago, Course Manager, James Bledge had an interview to join the Bernhards / BIGGA delegation in February 2016. This is a chance of a life time to visit the Golf Industry Show in America for a week of education, course visits, networking and representing BIGGA on the stand at the show.

Last week James was delighted to find out that he was successful and will now join 9 other turf professionals in San Diego where he will be proudly wearing his Royal Cinque Ports shirt!


27th November 2015 – Winter Topdressings

This winter it is very important that every single opportunity is taken to apply sand dressings to the greens. The target every year is to apply 150 tonnes however this is been incredibly difficult to achieve due to the amount of  summer golf played and the club not owning grinders which keep the mowers sharp after dressing. So far this year we have applied around 80 tonnes of sand since the first application at the end of January. 120 tonnes would now be a more realistic target which is still very good. Next year reaching 150 tonnes should pose no problems with the arrival of some new equipment.


22nd November 2015 -Plug Drains In Putting Green

As mentioned in a previous post about drainage problems on the putting green, there are still a few other operations that can be carried out to improve overall turf quality. The green has half a dozen wet spots where water appears first, These areas will almost definitely puddle up until the sub surface is exchanged with free draining rootzone, until then we can work on moving the water through the profile as fast as possible after a wet spell.

As well as verti draining there is a more effective operation using an auger to drill holes down to a depth of between five and six feet, punching through to a permeable layer then filling the holes with gravel and 300mm of a sand/rootzone mix that allows water to infiltrate extremely fast. the plugs are then capped off with the turf removed before the operation commenced.

12 holes in total were drilled as a trial however this is not a solution to the problem, more a possible part time remedy.




20th November 2015 – USGA Frost Video

It is now that time of year again when frost prevents play on the main greens. Please watch the video below, the USGA have released this to show golfers the actual damage caused when playing golf on frost or frozen greens. Please check the club website each day to see if temporary greens are in play. Emails will be sent out to the membership should there be a change between main greens and temporary greens, and visa versa.



17th November 2015 – Tools Of The Trade

There are many tools and implements used in greenkeeping to record data and create bench marks and goals.

The tool on the left of the photo is called a clegg hammer, this tool measures firmness.  The Tester consists of a compaction hammer operating within a vertical guide tube. When the hammer is released from a fixed height it falls through the tube and strikes the surface, decelerating at a rate determined by the stiffness of the material within the region of impact. A precision accelerometer mounted on the hammer feeds its output to a hand held digital readout unit which registers the hammer deceleration. The readings are displayed in Gravities and during summer months the optimum number would be around 120 Gravities. At this time of year when the greens are damp and recovering from overseeding the number was between 90-100 Gravities which is very good.

The tool on the right is a moisture meter. two 3″ probes measure the time it takes the electrical signal to travel between them and using this data the meter can determine the moisture content in this top 3″. Optimum moisture levels for our greens are around the 17-22% mark. Again at this time of year this is very difficult to achieve and we are obtaining figures nearer 30%. By using the probe during hand watering we can direct water exactly to the areas that need it which gives us more consistent moisture levels through out the green. The greens are performing very well and by using these tools we can monitor closely any areas that may be under performing.

Thank you to Michael Fance from ICL for kindly loaning the tools to the club.


17th November 2015 -Bernhards Training

Today Gary Woodward and Steven Nixon from Bernhards Grinders visited to give the Greenstaff some training on how to get the most out of a piece of light grinding equipment purchased a few years ago. The ‘Rapid Facer’ puts a clean face on the edge of the soleplate. The main aim is to keep already sharp edges super sharp and can be carried out efficiently.