Firstly, I would like to wish all the members a Happy New Year and hopefully the Covid-19 situation will slowly improve during 2021.
The weather during the Christmas period was very cold resulting in heavy frosts for a sustained period. Winter greens were used during this time. The reason we use winter greens is not only thinking ahead to the spring but also to protect the turf from surface burn when white frost is present. Secondly, and most importantly when the frost is deeper into the soil profile, this is when root shear can occur especially when the ground is starting to thaw out.
During November and December, we have carried out the following work on the course:
• 2 applications of top-dressing was applied to all greens at a rate of 0.5 tonne per green which is 10-12 tonne per ha.
• Greens were sprayed with wetting agent at half rate, chelated iron to help control moss and to promote colour and seaweed to help maintain plant health and sward density.
• A fungicide was applied to all greens as a preventative measure before verti-draining was carried out to a depth of 10”.
• The greens are being hand cut at 6mm. The frequency of cut will be determined on weather conditions and the amount of growth that is present.
• Lawn sand was applied to all tees in early November to help check back the onset of moss and to help with recovery after coring and verti-draining was carried out. The wetter tees on the course were cored and the remaining tees were vert-drained using ¾ inch tines to a depth of 10”.
• The teeing positions are being staggered as much as possible which will help with wear on the tees and also the walk-off areas.
• Tees are still being divoted on a daily basis and being cut when required.
• All Fairways have been sprayed with Ammonium sulphate and Sulphate of Iron.
• All fairways have been vert-drained using ¾ inch tines to full depth of 10”.
• The fairways have been divoted as much as possible and could I please remind all members to continue to use a mat or lift and place “OUTSIDE” the line of the white posts which helps protect the 1st two bouts of the semi-rough prior to the start of the season.
• The surrounds have had an application of top-dressing applied.
• A granular fertiliser (6-0-27) was applied at the start of November after coring to help with recovery and to help harden the plant.
• All surrounds have been sprayed with chelated iron and magnesium which helps the turf utilise iron and promote winter hardness.
• We have managed to build 10 bunkers this year, 3 of which were new bunkers.
• The main drain next to the 3rd fairway bunker has been replaced and we have installed a new drainage system into the base of the bunker as well as an overflow gravel drain into the rough. Both of these tie into the main drain.
• The bunker bases and sand will be put into the bunkers at the end of February/early March.
• Several areas of gorse have been cut back and removed. The areas that have been cut back are at the 13th 14th tee, 15th tees. The areas that have been removed are at the 8th,15th and 16th tees.
• Further gorse management will take place in January/February next year.
• Gorse plantation will be added between the 3rd and the 5th holes and in the rough behind the 8th green.
The winter programme will resume in January. The main priority will be re-doing the 18th path, inspect and replace a section of the drain at the 1st , gorse management and laying 700sqm of turf as well as grinding all cutting units and servicing machinery.