This winter has seen a lot of rainfall so far, with 56mm of rain in November, 131mm of rain in December and a further 28mm of rain up to the 10th of January 2016. We have been far luckier than some courses but this is still a lot of rain for what tends to be a dry course. We have tried to keep greens in play where possible but at times we have had to rest them and let them dry out, even when the puddles have gone from the surface the greens are still at saturation point and are very soft. We could do with a few weeks of dry weather to let the course dry out fully.
With the wetness and cooler temperatures, some areas over the greens have died back and are not looking the best. These areas will return once we start getting better drier weather and warmer temperatures. We will also help to bring these on with the addition of some light fertilliser. The greens were vertidrained at the start of October but will be done again when we can take a tractor over the surfaces without causing any damage. They have also been barreled tinned several times to allow air into the green.
The winter tees were also barreled tinned during December to let more air in. These will be topdressed in the near future too. The fairways, have had a treatment of sulphate of iron at the end of October to reduce the moss but because of the constant wetness, some moss is coming back so we will have to repeat this after the fairways have been tinned again.
We have removed some gorse from the rear of the 17th green and down the right-hand side of the 18th winter tee, this will help air flow around the winter tee and help to keep it drier. We have also carried on removing gorse down the right side from the tee to help improve the view of the 18th green.
We took the opportunity whilst the road through the course is closed to start work with a local farmer to cut back the gorse along the said area and this will definitely help with finding lost golf balls and provide a clearer view of the traffic and pedestrians using the road. It will also improve the health of the gorse as it has become weak and leggy. Once this area is finished we will start cutting back the gorse beside the 15th tee.
Mark Campbell head greenkeeper