One of the nicest touches with the new irrigation system is the addition of front middle back yardages on all of the sprinkler heads. These all aim at the hole and are made from a material that is relatively scratch resistant. Hopefully with the new rules of golf this should help speed up play even more.
With no path irrigation installed on the path leading to the range, the black matting path struggled last year during the drought, this spring we decided to install a red Coxwell path which has instantly enhanced the look of the area.
Last year I was lucky enough to be asked to attend the Real Madrid facilities as part of the Turf Business summit. During this time I was introduced to the machine above, the ‘Koro” . This is the machine that strips the tops off football pitches so they can be reseeded for the following year. It acts like a wood plain, the more passes made the smoother the surface becomes.
The area was then drilled with a Dwarf Ryegrass and fertilised. covered with grow sheets and left for a month to ‘pop’
Below are a couple of before and afters, with the bottom photo taken mid April
The path still has a few bare areas however it is hoped that it will open in June.
It really is fantastic having a team who all play golf, not just for the understanding of the game in relation to setting the course up but also for the fact we can have some nice days away playing some competitive golf!
The Greenstaff have a great relationship with Course Manager Lee sayers at The London Club and it was such a privilege to come through for a tour of the facilities and a game on this fantastic golf course which was of course in top order as ever.
The winner on the day was Ben Williams who claims he has a handicap of 8!
There are a few greens that have a considerable amount more rogue grasses in them than others, in order to infiltrate and dilute these areas the Greenstaff pot seeded some fescue in to greens 6 and 18.
9mm tines were sawn off in order to create a shallow plant pot on the green where fescue would be dropped in. Usually a Vredo disk seeder would be used however with Summer approaching it is not the best idea to put slits in to the green due to drying out and the possibility ball roll would be sacrificed.
10kg of pure fescue seed was then broadcast and the green was rolled.
One month later there was an incredible germination of new seedlings on both greens, following on from this we wish to include this technique along side drilling at the end of the season to achieve our goal of having fescue dominated greens,
The above photo was taken on the 18th green around the same area 8 weeks later.
A few of the newer bunkers had a considerable amount of stone in them due to them being naturally excavated. Last year a portable screener was purchased to screen sand for topdressing , compost heaps for soil and it can also be used to screen bunker sand, the screener can be lifted and placed by using the forks on the tractor which makes this an incredibly efficient process.
In March I was asked to talk at the SIGI (Icelandic Greenkeeper and Groundskeeper) conference in Reykjavik along side some very exciting international names in the industry, Pittsburgh Steelers Groundsman Andy Lipinski and Dutch Tech whizz William Boogaarts. Andy talked about the NFL and how his pitches are maintained , it was incredibly interesting for an ‘outsider’ to hear. William runs a fleet of robotic mowers on a number of golf courses in Holland, during his talk he discussed how trees on could be genetically modified to grow leaves that give off light in order to get rid of street lighting! looking far in to the future! Both very hard acts to follow!
Golf is developing at an incredible pace in Iceland with most towns having some kind of 9 hole facility. The Icelandics are very keen to grow the game and the conference (although most of which was in Icelandic!) was very interesting thanks to Arnaldur Freyr Birgisson (Pictured Middle) acting as translator.
The hospitality shown to the international speakers was second to none and we all managed to see a good part of the beautiful country.
Unfortunately we never saw any northern lights even after a mid night drive to the top of a very large hill!
During the talk James discussed the history of Royal Cinque Ports and agronomy, touching on all aspects of turf and staff management and the clubs hopes for the future. The Icelandics were extremely forthcoming asking questions through out the talk which made it far more enjoyable and interesting.
Iceland was without doubt one of the most incredible places I have ever visited and I would recommend it to anyone. The snow would usually melt around April and golfers would soon enjoy midnight golf.
To read a little more about speaking and Iceland please look at this article below from the Turf’s up blog written by James Bledge
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