Summer has just arrived and there appears to be an end in sight for the continual rain, which creates its own challenges for the greenkeeping staff. The occasional warm weather and the continual wetness have ensured that there is plenty of growth around the course.
Unfortunately, the work that was carried out at the chanory car park to improve the parking and traffic flow is also presenting the club with a few unwanted problems. The increase in the number of vehicles going through the course and the narrowing down of the roundabout at the car park is causing more traffic to become bottlenecked in front of the 5th tee and green.
We have already had to block off the access to the old nursery at the rear of the 12th green and access to where sand and soil is stockpiled, as the visitors were using this as an overflow carpark. New signs have been put up to warn drivers that there is no parking at the sides of the roads. We are also in constant contact with the highland council to make them aware and we await some action to help improve the current situation. As well as the parking problems in this area, the contractors have left the area to the left of the 5th green in a state which is less than ideal. We have had one meeting so far to discuss the way forward, and another meeting is arranged for this coming week to try and come up with a solution which is acceptable to the club.
The greens are continuing to be regularly verti cut, topdressed and rolled. With all the rain we have had, the greens are softer than during a normal dry summer and we are starting to see more pitch marks again. Obviously, it is in everyone’s interests to repair their pitch marks as they go. Recently, I was approached by 2 members playing in the sweep to say that the side of the hole cup at 10 was damaged. This turned out to be a pitch mark right on the edge of the hole cup and was not repaired which affected the roll of the ball into the cup. So please repair your pitch marks.
The aprons have had a second verti cut and topdress to help improve the surface
The weaker tees have all had a second feed of 12:5:20 slow release granular fertilizer to help improve the grass cover and appearance. The club’s policy of allowing play from all tees obviously has had an impact on some of the teeing grounds. This is more evident on the white tees, which are obviously proving to be the more popular of the teeing options. To try and help the situation on some of the more well-worn tees, we are trialing a box filled with divot filling mix on the 5th tee. This has proved to be beneficial, and we may extend this to other tees which are showing signs of wear and tear.
The fairways are improving all the time with fine grass content and cover and are due to be barrel tined soon to let them breathe.
The rough will have another spray with the grass herbicide and weed killer towards the end of this month, to help thin them out again before we cut the rough down in October.
Work will be starting next month behind the 9th tee area. This is to remove some of the gorse in this area to allow access and storage for the erosion works on the west side of the course which is due to begin in October. These works will comprise rock barrier works extending for approximately 200 metres to reinforce the existing sea defences. A contractor has been engaged to complete the heavy works, whilst the greenkeeping staff will carry out the finishing earthworks and seeding of the area.