Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Course

Welcome to Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Course

Links Golf Since 1793


Spring report 2024

5thApril 2024

It’s been a long, wet and cold Winter and Spring has been no better so far. I don’t think I can remember loosing the feeling in my fingers from cold weather at the start of April but so much for global warming!!

Nevertheless our greens team have persevered through some pretty miserable weather these past few months and have to be congratulated on their efforts and dedication. Refreshing of around 20 bunker faces completed, a new bunker on the 8th dogleg, re painting of all the on course furniture, fencing repairs, whin management to name a few.      Photo – new Apprentice Kieran getting in his step count.

  7th greenside bunker

Work on the greens took place in February when we gave them a solid spike followed by a Graden scarify and a heavy top dressing. This was quite aggressive at the time and happily they settled down fairly quickly after a week or two and much improved after another couple of dressings of sand. Growth has been extremely slow this year so far and we have only just lowered the mowers to 4.5mm. Our next target is a star spike and a little refinement with the verti cut units, a liquid spray of seaweed/molasses/humic acid and Nitrogen, some more light sand dressings and a Spring feed towards the end of the month. If we can get a wet day without any wind then our first application of wetting agent will go on.

Onto the fairways which have had a good rest from divots through the winter. Many thanks to the members for putting up with using mats as it certainly helps with recovery for the main playing season. We have been patching the fairways regularly since the mats were lifted and it is good to see that many divots are being replaced by golfers. The downside just now are the birds which are turning over divots in their search for Leatherjacket grubs which are emerging from the soils just now. These little blighters eat away at the grass roots and subsequently stunt growth throughout the season and is something we could do without!  Although the weather has been relatively poor we still have a high footfall over the course all Winter and Spring which creates a lot of compaction. Our new Gxi8 spiker was put to good use in December when we got all the fairways spiked thus helping relieve some of this compaction and also loosen the soils a bit to aid in turf vigor. More sand has also been applied to seven of our weaker fairways and this seems to be working well. Also a pellet fertiliser feed has gone onto 1,2,3,4,7,8,12 and 13th fairways recently to help strengthen up any newly germinating seed that was sewn last Autumn. Again if we can get some calmer winds in amongst this wetter weather then all the fairways will be treated with wetting agent to counteract any drier weather forthcoming.

Coastal erosion. Note. Last Autumns high tidal surge coincided with one of the lowest atmospheric pressure readings since 1916. As you are aware plenty work has gone on at the 1st and 2nd holes over the past few weeks. Rock armour has been placed by GF Job at the 1st and 2nd tees to protect these most important areas. In between a short term fix of sand and Marram which was salvaged or reclaimed from the far end of the course and built up back to the exposed manhole covers  and re gaining the core path once again. Two rows of chestnut fencing has been staked in to help protect this sand material and aid in any Marram regrowth. Subsequently and unfortunately last weeks high tide has taken a fair chunk of the sand away from the beach edge and some of the fencing will have to be moved inwards. . Long term this area can be re charged with sand and backed up with rock armour when enough funds are raised and become available. The core path area is to be soiled and seeded shortly to restore grass onto it and will be roped off meantime.

Looking ahead to the season now upon us it would be nice to get some warmer weather and some more consistent grass growth.

George Paterson

Head Greenkeeper