We'v been spending a lot of time getting the course in really good shape for next week's Pro-Am. It's certainly one of the events during the year when visitors judge our club and course so tip-top presentation and playability is what we're aiming for. So we've been strimming and trimming, mowing, cutting and cleaning to be ready for the main event.
We've also been using a water injection machine to aerate the greens. The process isn't used for watering, just to help create a porous surface which the water from the sprinklers can penetrate. A few photos below but we've been a bit busy to take any more this week...
Roger says: "Shaun and Nigel strimmed All the banks and ditches yesterday so today I spray all the strimmed areas with a product called Laser. Laser is a graminicide with takes out coarse grasses such as Cooch and Ryegrass. This should refine the banks making them less penal for the golfers, easier to maintain and help improve their appearance. The practice ground look rather sexy after Monday’s cut. We’ll be doing a lot of detailing over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the Pro Am".
Some decent weather has allowed us to get on top of the grass factory. A drop in heights of cut. Fairways 15mm Tees and Aprons 9.5mm Greens 4.5mm semi rough 28mm Rough 40mm. Hopefully All banks and ditches will be strimmed this week followed up by a spray with graminicide which should refine the banks by taking out the coarse grasses. In the last couple of days we’ve final surpassed the 10ft stimpmeter reading on the greens.
It's all about cutting the grass at this time of the year, and we're keeping on top of things a little by taking the fairways down to 15mm instead of 17mm. We're cutting the greens a little shorter now too, with 4.5mm being the new cut length. We've also been maintaining the greens with some grooming, using vertical blades to refine the grass and take care of seeds.
The pictures show the course looking great, with cherries starting to grow on the trees at the side of the 5th fairway, and golfers who push their tee shot a little left of the 14th might spot some pyramid orchids. The photo below was taken there just this morning.
We hope you enjoy the blog, and the positive comments are still very welcome.
The grass is going mad and we are mowing everywhere to have the course ready for a great weekend of golf. Nigel also been picking up all of the cuttings to keep things clean and tidy. Cutting heights around the course are as follows:
- Fairways: 17mm
- Tees and Collars: 11mm
- Greens: 5.25mm
- Rough: 60mm
Some repairs to the sprinklers have been taking place too and we're very grateful to the members who have complimented us on how the course looks and plays right now. It's nice to be appreciated 🙂
We’ve quadra hollow-tined the greens 1.5 inches deep with a 1.5cm spacing. The tine size is just 8mm so it's less disruptive to the putting surface. We top-dressed a 20 tonne (1 tonne per green) of Rootzone mix (70% sand,30% soil) then double brushed the dressing in and followed up with a cut.
Having dedicated Monday and Tuesday to greens maintenance we will now turn our attention back to the rest of the course. Cut,cut,cut. Fairways, practice areas, semi-rough, rough and tees, collars.
Full rake on the bunkers and hole change for tomorrow.
More hollow tining, mowing the grass which is growing at an alarming rate, and just generally keeping the course looking brilliant. It's a beautiful Monday and anyone playing this week is going to find a course in peak condition. Also, check out the arty photos from Roger! The T&P media team seems to have a rival...
Mowing, mowing and more mowing has been the order of the day recently. The conditions have meant some really strong growth all over the course and everything is looking really rather lush. We've also been spraying the fairways and ditches with a selective weedkiller. Read the course manager's April report by following this link.
On Monday and Tuesday we pencil tined all the greens followed by a cut and a roll. Wednesday's rain meant a bit of extra work re-raking bunkers but we're on top of things now and concentrating on getting the course ready for a busy few days over the bank holiday weekend. Very pleased to have had so many positive compliments from the members about the course condition too, we do appreciate it.
The last two photos show the new marker posts that we've now placed around the pond, and the metal ones they've replaced. This was a health and safety issue raised by the golf committee and we're happy to address such things.
The work goes on, even in Friday's wet weather. We took the chance for a bit of creative strimming and gave some TLC to the greens mower units following the top dressing. The weather was a lot better for Saturday and those who played in the President's Cup reported that the course was playing extremely well. We do our best 🙂
We've been working on getting good definition into the rough and fairways, and bringing some uniformity to some of the trees around the course. An early morning double rainbow was well worth a photograph and some lovely wild flowers are springing up. All in all it's really starting to look great, in time for many months of golfing fun.
Some really good weather has meant that we've been almost too busy for photos and blogging, but here are a couple of images showing our work. On Monday we gave all of the greens a heavy top dressing, then a brush and a cut, with almost no disruption to golfers.
Keeping the players playing without getting in their way is always something that's important to us, so on the few occasions that we disrupt things we ask that you bear with us whilst we're making your course as good as it can be.
There were two inches of rain in the early part of last week, yet we managed to keep to 18 main greens right through from Thursday to Saturday. We've been cutting the tees and greens and some rough, but a lot of the rough remains too wet to be cut. The new fairway markers are out, freshly painted, making the course look even more special.
The first photo is quite interesting, it shows just how effective the verti-drain work has been. That's a playable green despite having suffered an enormous amount of rainfall, as you can tell from the puddle.
Below are a few interesting photos from Shaun, the first of which shows the hazard posts and distance markers having been painted for the new season. That alone is a pretty big job. Then we have a couple of photos showing a puddle which formed underneath the 17th fairway. The water built up with nowhere to go in the clay so Roger had to dig away some turf to relieve the pressure.
The photos of two ditches on the 2nd show just how well they deal with water. Some members have asked us if they work because they're often empty, but they most certainly do work, shifting water off of the course very quickly.
Then there's a couple of pictures of a sprinkler, which has had grass and soil gradually accumulate around it. Eventually this stops them raising from the ground and they break, so we have a special tool to cut the ground accordingly.
There's also a photo of the bunker on 18 being pumped out and whilst the pump is on the course we've also used it to empty the soakaways on the 10th and 12th holes which always need attention after so much rain. We dig soakaways at various locations around the course, fill them with stones and sink a pipe to the bottom of them. They're essentially just big buckets to take water from around the greens, but the clay soil out there means they need to be emptied as they won't drain on their own, other than in summer when cracks below ground can assist with the process.
Roger is on holiday so thanks to Shaun for taking photos. A bit of decent weather has helped us crack on with some work on the bunkers and with the mowers out with vengeance the course is becoming all lovely and stripey. There's a report from Jeff Mills out soon, it will be published with the next club newsletter and it contains a good amount of information about course conditions in March and plans for the coming months.
The sun rose over the distant hills and Roger could barely contain his excitement. It was "Verti-Drain" day and his Instagram feed mentioned "#emotional" and "#whenyouwishuponastar". Anyway, the team got to work and despite a bit of inconvenience to the members, things are progressing very well on making our greens all kinds of lovely for the coming months.
Update from 2nd April. The combination of "proper" deep aeration and thatch removal has certainly sped up the draining process. A LOT of rain has fallen lately but we're still on main greens. The last picture shows installation of a drain on the 13th fairway two years ago.
It's been another busy few days. The main job we completed was the work on the beech treese between the 4th and 5th fairways. That area is looking really tidy now. We've been power brushing the winter tees to, as well as putting out the new flags in readiness for the Captains' Drive-In. Clearing dew from the greens remains a daily task.