Course Update Summer 2018

By Garry James Morse Head Greenkeeper

Hi all,

I thought I’d take some time to give our members an insight into what work has been going on behind the scenes, where we are on the golf course, and what we have planned for the remainder of the season.

Current Course Condition

Over the last 6-8 weeks, we have endured some testing conditions in regards to the high temperatures. Tailored irrigation and the hand watering of dry spots is an ongoing task to ensure that the greens perform at a true, consistent level. Greens and the Tees are going through upwards of 35,000 litres of water per day, which is paramount in regards to keeping playability at a premium.

The irrigation process has been made easier due to the Club investing in a new Top Spec Irrigation Control panel which was in need of updating. The new Bailoy control Tablet was installed throughout the last two weeks of June, which has helped the Greens Staff work more productively and efficiently along with ensuring the water we are putting out, is going where it should.

Fairways and other in play areas we know are dry, but will do our utmost to keep them in a playable condition through these testing conditions.

Visit from STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute)

Garry Wilson (former Course Director), was instrumental in bringing STRI on board in regards to improving the golf course, especially the greens. With the expertise, technology and equipment the STRI possess, they have been able to help us pinpoint inconsistencies within the profiles of our greens with accurate analysis, which in turn enables us to work more efficiently, and focus on specific areas in regards to renovations and maintenance.

STRI consultant Adam Newton, who is head of agronomy at The OPEN Carnoustie this year, paid us a visit on the 11th June 2018.

During the visit, Adam takes a multitude of readings. This helps us indicate where we need to focus our works and ensure we produce an improving golf course for the most important part of our Club. The MEMBERS.

I’m pleased to say, all the work the Greens Staff are putting in, and the investment by the Club is paying off. We have had improvements across the board. Moisture, hardness, trueness and speed levels are all in target range, and improving.

The work that has been done, and what we plan for the future will further improve the consistency and playability of our greens, along with longevity, i.e. Playing on the summer greens longer throughout the year amid extreme inclement conditions, and the winter greens only being used as a last resort.

Comment from Adam Newton

‘Course presentation and agromic conditioning has seen a marked improvement since my last visit. Hard work and good greenkeeping husbandry are to thank for the progress being made.’22nd June 2018

To help further course improvement, the Club has also invested in a new Toro tri-flexi 3400 greens mower (leading in contour technology) and a Campey TB220 Topdressing brush. Both pieces of machinery will again help aid toward producing a better quality, consistent, playable golf course for our members.

What’s next?

Making sure the greens are refined, playing true and consistent is one of our main objectives. The greens will continue being fed with a liquid fertilser as not to hinder our daily cutting regime. (When applying a granular fertilser, the product has to be thoroughly washed into the profile to avoid picking back up with the cutting units which could take up to 3 days). We will continue applying light dressings of sand (every 3-4 weeks), and engage in brush grooming when required. Cutting height will be monitored through these testing conditions, but we will always aim to be within 3.25-3.5mm during the playing season.

Any surplus water we do have will be reinvested into any tees that are built up, which are free draining and struggling with the drought conditions.

Bunkers I know are an ongoing concern, and we are doing our utmost to keep on top of. Bunker maintenance is an extremely time-consuming task, so whenever I have some time available in our schedule, I will allocate to improving the condition and playability in our bunkers.

Any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to ask if you see me around on the Course, or leave in my tray at the Club office.

I will look to update you all again come the close of the season before autumn renovations begin.

Many thanks

Garry Morse
Head Greenkeeper

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