Welcome to my first golf course report since returning to where it all started back in 1985. There have been some changes to the course and the vegetation has shot up dramatically in places. Playability is my big aim for the course over the next few years which will enable all levels of golfers to enjoy their golf and not go home frustrated! The ball has started to roll in that regard with the whin removal undertaken last year and with plenty to do in the future.
The bunkers as we all know are difficult to play out of and as greenkeepers are also difficult to maintain. The windy weather of late has played havoc with the sand and we have repeatedly had to shovel and reshape to bring them back into order. The sand will not pack and when it is dry will only lead to some plugged balls unfortunately. There is plenty work to be done over the next few winters to reduce the depth and improve sand quality and performance. We will be trialing a new bunker liner in the bases of bunkers which will help contain sand on the faces and also stop any stones coming through.
A plan for any bunker alterations will be made available before the winter programme is decided.
The STRI visit on June 7th highlighted good progress with regard to firmness, trueness and general speed. Their visit fell after we experienced a whole days rain the day before and results may have been slightly affected compared to a few weeks earlier during the dry spell. Nonetheless the sand dressings over the past few years are proving beneficial in keeping the surfaces firm and true. The verti draining done in late March was probably a little bit late and with some Leatherjacket activity has rendered a few holes that are still slow to fill in. Combine this with a lean fertiliser strategy and coolish weather means that some areas of greens ie. RHS 12th will take a while yet to completely fill in.
Light verti – cutting, grooming and sand dressings will continue through the summer period to further enhance trueness and complete grass cover. Moving forward we aim to increase Bent grass levels through some late summer over seeding. We still have some Fescue grass seed in stock and if the opportunity occurs will also try to get this into the sward.
Aprons & Approaches
These areas received a verti – cut last month and were sanded recently. These jobs aid sward refinement and turf performance. Some rye grass within needs to be sprayed with ‘Rescue’ graminicide to help clean up their appearance.
All tees have been sprayed for weeds and more recently been given a summer feed.
The fairways are performing well and the recent wet month of June has kept them from drying out too much. Regular divotting and tidying up of divots is greatly improving the look of the course and many thanks to the volunteers who have given their time to help us. Most of the weed spraying has been completed.
I have decided not to white line dash approaches to greens for buggy users but would ask that the buggies be kept back a few metres from green edges and not be taken onto the tees. Thank you.
Semi-Rough & Roughs
We have sprayed most of the weeds in the semis and widened them in places. The taller roughs are getting to the stage where they are needing cut and this will be done in the next couple of weeks during some dry weather if we get it? The ‘Laser’ herbicide has worked well in keeping the bases more open and reducing the time spent finding your ball.
LHS 5th hole. The mounding left behind after the car park works has turned into a weedy mess and as a result we have strimmed it down and sprayed it for weeds. There are still plenty of stones in the area so it has been white lined and made GUR. There is 1no. drop zone in use.
17th Green Pole. A new pole has been made by David Grigor and will be in place very shortly!
George Paterson Head Greenkeeper