Some of you may have noticed some red flags on 3 and 16. These have been placed to show the boundary edges for the soon to be fairway extensions. These areas have been cut down to 1.5″ in March before being scalped to the ground this week. We are doing this now before skylarks begin to nest. The next step will be to spray this area off with Total weedkiller which will kill off everything. The shaper will be able to work easier with these areas without any grass and very little organic matter present.
The club have chosen 1st Golf to undertake the construction,
they will be starting the 3rd hole on the 3rd of September and the 16th hole a week later. They will be working away from golf when any large tournaments are being played, when they need to work in the line of golf the tees will be moved up to ensure workers are out of the line of play.
On the 25-26th of September the fairways will be hollow cored in order to generate enough cores to lay on these new fairways. Below is a photo of the team hollow coring a fairway, 1 or 2 fairways at a time will close on these dates to keep the contractors safe.
That way we can grow fairways that have the exact characteristics that the rest have, it is much cheaper than turfing and and faster then seeding, we are confident that these areas should be back in to play in late spring 2019 weather permitting. Below is a picture of Royal Portrush where 1st Golf have been working, they have also used the hollow coring method, you can see the green tinge of fresh growth.
By undertaking these projects at this time we will have a considerable amount of time to grow the fairways in. Even a month later would compromise the quality come spring 2019.
Last week during the Hewitt, a local drone photographer came down to make a video on how the Greenkeepers set the course up. It was a perfect morning as the whole team were out setting the course up. Many thanks to Jon for this fantastic video.
This Spring we have experienced very little growth, Its not necessarily any reason to cause concern here, however we are around 6 weeks behind previous years. The Y axis shows what we call growth degree days or GDD, GDD is an index that is used in agriculture to show when a crop reaches a stage of maturity. Over the last 4 years we have been using this index to indicate when we need to feed and retard growth. We settled on a figure of every 175 days as we felt that the grass plant stayed under a decent amount of regulation for that time. As we can see below we reached that at the start of April last year and we are really no where near that this year.
We work out our GDD by subtracting 6 from a daily average temperature and accumulating that figure each day. Any negative figure is changed to a 0 as there is no such thing as negative growth.
The Poa is starting to seed and the buds are coming out on the trees so we should start to see some definition in the long roughs soon. The pro will be happy when ball sales go up!
The fantastic thing about our club is the identity. The members and staff are every proud of our club colours and they can be seen everywhere. This year the greenstaff purchased some vinyl wrap and coated the old pins with the club stripe. The wrap is heated on with a heat gun and should last a few years.
The club took delivery this week of a state of the art roller. Shipped in from America, the Salsco HP11 III is a wide roller capable of rolling all of the greens in around 3 hours which is a 2 hour saving from the old model. This will allow us to double roll if needed or include approaches to make the complexes extra firm and fast.
After a single pass it is common for over a foot of speed to be added. The weight on the turf is actually less than the human foot as it is dispersed evenly between 3 very large diameter rollers. This means that we shouldn’t have any issues with compaction, we do however need to make sure the surfaces don’t seal by excess rolling, this can be avoided by sarel rolling (a small roller passing over the turf with small spikes on it) or any other form of solid tine aeration.
The main decisions to opt for this brand and design were not only because of the size but also the roller brush system. Each roller has a spinning brush that keeps it clean as it drives. The problem with our last roller was the fact it seemed to pull up and drop a lot of sand even as much as 6 weeks after topdressing, this would then take 2 members of staff 4-5 hours to undertake the job as there would be sand lying on the surface which would require switching in.
The roller was used for the first time on Easter weekend at the Brassey where golfers enjoyed smooth, fast greens despite the wet weather. This machine will make a huge difference to the standards of our surfaces from now on.