All the areas of gorse that we intended to remove and turf over, have now been completed. I would like to thank Willie Gray and his staff for the added help. It is very much appreciated. Due to added help from his landscaping team, we were also able to clear some of the gorse from the banking along the right-hand side of the first fairway, which will help the ball roll back down to the semi-rough.
The greens have come out of the winter much better than previous years and are looking extremely healthy. It’s encouraging to see a lot less poa annua on the greens and the start of fescues coming through the bent grasses.
We have recently tined the greens again to help them breathe a little which allows cation exchange to take place and also relieve compression from winter play.
The greens have already had a top dress and a verticut in the last month and when we start to have more grass growth we will start to regularly repeat these procedures. The height has just been reduced to 4.5mm from 5mm.
The tees have had another verticut to reduce the thick lush growth of the poor grasses and encourage better finer grasses to in fill. We will continue to verti cut as we see fit and overseed with fine grass species. They are due a liquid feed and an application of wetting agent, this will be done once we get a break from the windy conditions.
The amount of fescue that has come through on the fairways is amazing, the cover is now a good 60 – 70%, a vast improvement on previous years.
The regular applications of iron and wetting agents plus annually overseeding with fescues has made a huge difference. Hopefully, in the future, this will continue. We have started regular cutting of the fairways.
The roughs have just had a spray of laser herbicide to help reduce the coarse grasses and this will be done again at the end of the season once the roughs have been cut down. The purchase of new machinery will help massively with maintaining the rough around the course, and some progress has already been made in that regard. The areas of roughs will be reduced in main play areas this year which will allow for greater runoff and a better chance of being able to play the ball as it lies, as well as speeding up play.
All areas are due to be sprayed soon for weeds as daisies are starting to pop up all over.
I would like to thank Alistair tait for all the help that he has done on the course over the winter from signs to markers, arranging for the carpark holes to be filled etc. His help has been invaluable.
I would also like to thank all the members who are involved with the work parties picking up litter on the course and devoting fairways and semi roughs. Olf courses need more people like you!
Mark Campbell ex-head greenkeeper