The opportunities turf managers have to learn and network these days are incredible and TSL was no exception.
This years event took place at the stunning Royal Automobile Club in Surrey and was attended by around 100 Greenkeepers, Reps and Turf Managers. The event is sponsored by ICL, Syngenta and Bernhard’s grinders with some assistance from the STRI., these companies design and manufacture a range of fertilisers and chemicals as well as helping everyone in the industry with planning, strategies and solutions.
At the event there are 6 stations where groups of 15 or so spend 30 minutes learning about: planning fungicide applications, slow release fertilisers, dew suppressants, a new fungicide and there was also a grinding exhibition. In the evening there was a BBQ and Greenkeepers had a chance to ‘talk shop’.
Even though we spend a great deal of money with these companies, it is fantastic that we have these opportunities to learn and it just goes to show what a great industry we work in. A great video was made of the day with a cameo from Sean Mclean, the Course Manager at Princes Golf Club!
Fescue and Bent go together like Cheese and Onion, they compliment each other well, Bent grass gives the sward a strong back bone during winter when fine fescues enhance all aspects of playability, Annual Meadow Grass counts are lower than ever this year thanks to sand applications and precise moisture management so there has never been a better time to sew in some bent grass to compete with this.
These new finer bents originate from New Zealand, the top performing cultivar according to the seed houses is called ‘Arrowtown’, we have sewn this alongside a ‘Manor’ cultivar at 4g per m2. You can see how fine the seed is below, it is like a powder:
The seed is sewn in tiny dimples and can be seen germinating in the morning dews around 10 days later, it will then blend in and become more apparent coming in to the winter months.
Our program of Fescue seeding will continue in October on greens after the Grand Match, realistically we will always have Poa, Rye and Yorkshire fog in our greens unless we treat them chemically but its a case of making use of what we have, our greens perform very well so we will not be treating them chemically at the moment. We can keep refining and pushing better grasses in as a chemical treatment would be substantially aggressive and it would take the greens 2-3 years to recover fully.
The machine in the video below is a drop dresser, it applies sand a lot better than our spin dresser especially when the sand is wet as it doesn’t clog up, it also targets the sand super accurate preventing it from spilling on to greens. We have screened hundreds of tons of sand from the wetland behind the 13th green so we can use it on approaches, tees and fairways. We applied the sand at a rate of 25 tons per hectare which is around 5 times heavier than the rate we use on greens, this is mainly because we do not get the chance to do this often.
Two days after this we had a thunderstorm with the rain falling at a rate of 7mm per hour which washed the sand in well. Just like the greens we apply sand to dilute organic matter, firm and smooth the surface and encourage finer grasses. After last years Rescue applications the approaches have never looked or played better, the goal is to get them as close to greens quality as possible.
Last winter we installed irrigation in to the turf nursery to the right of the 11th green. The image below was taken from google earth and shows how it is divided into three different sections for different grasses. The entire nursery has been sewn with fescue and has good coverage however by sewing other seed cultivars we can use more specifically suited types of turf on different areas of the course.
The RPR is a dwarf rye grass, fine yet very hard wearing and dark in appearance. used for paths and areas of cut rough
The olympic is also a dwarf rye grass but even finer, almost fescue like, lighter in colour and used for high traffic areas on approaches and tees.
Fescue can be used on approaches and fairways, this area will really be pushed this year and used on any areas of fairway after rescue work.
The turf nursery received its first cut at 11mm this week (fairway height) There is also a 5 month slow release fertiliser working away releasing nutrients slowly.
The red and white pins have become somewhat of a trade mark of Royal Cinque Ports over the past few years however we wanted to do something a little special for the 125 celebrations. A new one off pin was designed with the club colours on the top stripe.
These will be used for special club competitions, it also helps to have a spare set of pins for when we need to refurbish the other set.
To acknowledge the clubs 125th anniversary, The Outpost Club very kindly donated a beautiful teak bench with the words:
In honour of Royal Cinque Ports’ 125th Anniversary and with gratitude for years of camaraderie through the annual match at Deal – The Outpost Club
The logos of both clubs are etched in to the wood and look stunning. The club are most grateful to Will Smith and the members of The Outpost Club who donated. The bench is located in arguably the most beautiful spot of the golf course, the 4th tee.