This week all of the greens were given a deep air injection from an Air2G2 which was kindly loaned to us. and a shallow tine aeration from our Procore. The Air2G2 injects air horizontally 12″ deep at a pressure of around 4 bar. This simply relieves compaction but more so supplies the rootzone and roots with some much needed air.
Please see below the videos of this amazing machine. The ground literally lifts up below your feet, you can actually feel the soils breathing!
The Toro Procore is renowned as the best machine Toro have ever made. Aeration is one of the most important factors to achieving good surfaces and this time a 9mm tine was used at a depth of around 3″ at square spacing. The greens were rolled straight after to return the surface to a decent standard. The holes should disappear within the next few weeks however the greens will still remain smooth.
This year both teams from Royal Cinque Ports and Princes Golf Club got together for a lunch at The New Inn, Sandwich. This is a great testament to the bond between the teams and the clubs. Of course the Course Managers were the last ones standing from both teams! The Greenstaff at RCP wish everyone at Princes a Happy Christmas and great success on the course in 2017.
As expected there are already signs of fresh growth in the burnt rough areas. For anyone concerned about whether or not this does any damage to wildlife can rest assured that Natural England support this and have researched this thoroughly to come to the conclusion that any mice, voles, snakes etc can either burrow down or move out of the way and re locate in plenty time so no wild life is harmed. Where temperature probes where placed before and after burning treatment within the Latin square design plots. The temperature readings showed that there was no change in temperature below ground level (at varying depths 2 – 15cm), and the results of the botanical records also indicate that there was no damage to the rooting layer.
Birds of prey have been spotted diving over these areas since so there is proof that mice etc sill live here. Repeat burning will bring a larger variety of flower and fauna in the future.
After a lot of serious consideration the decision to transplant turf from the 11th and 15th tees to the 3rd approach was taken. This area has really struggled since spraying rescue and we are now confident it will be in far better condition come the Spring rather than if it had just been overseeded. The transplanted turf will grow in seamlessly as it is already native and matches its surroundings perfectly.
The reason there was so much kill here is down to the fact it is the main traffic route for golfers and greenkeepers over the years and as a result had a severely high population of rye grass. As this turf came from the already rescue’d 11th and 15th tees the area is pure bent/fescue/poa, which will mean we will have a ‘green like’ standard of approach come the spring. This was a mammoth effort by the team after a last minute decision by the Course Manager and the result is fantastic.
The beach tee will be used for the remainder of the winter now to rest the large tee and keep traffic from walking on the new area. Anyone entering or leaving the green from this side is kindly asked to use the black mat path.
Continuing the long list of path upgrades, the 16th is next to have irrigation installed. Deputy Course Manager Greig Easton also undertakes the duty of irrigation technician and he does a fantastic job of any new projects. There are a few more paths to do this winter along with the installation to the turf nursery on 11. It is not possible to grow grass on our links without water so all of these upgrades are essential to fulfill our goal of 100% grass cover from the moment you enter the first tee and leave the 18th green.
An extra application of 46-0-0 granular will be put down around August to push growth on the paths and cover up any signs of black matting like the picture below, Good nutrition and water will most defiantly give us this.
The Rescue graminicide application has been a huge success refining the sward however there have been a few high traffic areas that had just too much rye / fog and highland bent to have any sort of chance of being in great shape come the spring.
The decision was taken to strip all of these areas and re turf with tee turf from 11 and 15 yellow tees and transplant straight on to behind the 8th and 10th greens and also the 3rd approach which was a substantial task.
The new Classen turf cutter made this job easy, efficient and precise, cutting out the old and new turf to the exact same depth across the blade so it was a case of a straight replacement with very little preperation.
These areas are all now GUR and will be topdressed and roped to keep traffic off. A grand total of 750 square meters in total has been turfed and the rest of the approaches are recovering extremely well from the Rescue so we are all very happy now the worst areas are turfed.
Iron is a commonly used micro nutrient on the golf course especially during the winter months. This week we sprayed a reasonably heavy dose of 15.6kg/ha to help strengthen the plant during an attack of fusarium disease. 12l/ha of Seaweed and 2.5kg of Sulphate of Ammonia was added to the mix to promote recovery. A day later a contact fungicide was sprayed to eradicate any disease and stop any new fungal activity over the Christmas spell. It is extremely frustrating when disease strikes as we try absolutely everything to make sure this doesn’t happen however sometimes you just can’t beat nature. It has been a strange year with very little wind, this is unheard of down here. As a result dew has been forming on the greens from around 4pm to 6pm the next morning. and with night temperatures in to double figures disease thrives.
Next Autumn / early winter we will be trying a dew dispersant programme to prevent dew forming and reducing chances of disease. a fungicide with contact and systemic active ingredients will also be sprayed to kill any disease and give protection at this time of year when pressure is so high, so high in fact that fungicides are struggling to work 100% effectively.