The West Kilbride Golf Club
Course open for play. All buggies and trolleys are allowed on the course. Winter greens at 3rd and 15th in play due to bunker work. (updated 26 November at 09:55)

Firstly, I would like to start October’s links report by reminding all golfers to please repair their pitch-marks.  There have been an increasing number of unrepaired pitch-marks visible on the greens.  As rainfall levels increase this will produce softer ground conditions and if pitch-marks are not repaired or repaired incorrectly then there will be scarring on the turf which will be unsightly until stronger growth recommences in the spring.  Your help with this matter is greatly appreciated.

On the course during October we have been busy with general maintenance practices and starting our winter programme.  After coring greens in late September, several greens were overseeded and top dressed again at a rate of 0.5 t per green.  The greens were sprayed with Amino Acids, Seaweed and trace elements.  A 5-0-15 granular fertiliser was then applied to help with recovery and to harden the plant.  The chemical Acelepyrn to control leatherjackets has been sprayed onto all greens (22nd October).  The deadline to spray the chemical this year was extended to the 31st October.

The surrounds have been verti-cut and hollow-cored.  Localised over-seeding was carried out on weaker areas using a fescue/ryes grass see mix and top-dressing was applied.  The surrounds have also had an application of 6-0-27 granular fertiliser applied to promote growth and recovery.

The tees have been sprayed with Acelepyrn (13th October) and an application of Lawn Sand has been applied to help control the onset of moss and to promote colour.  I have started hollow-coring the wetter tees and the remaining tees will be verti-drained over the next few weeks.

Several fairways (1,7,8,10,11,13,14,16,17 and 18) have had one application of Ammonium Sulphate and Iron applied to help strengthen the grass sward and to promote colour. Further applications will be applied over the winter months until March.  Verti-draining has been carried out on several fairways (5,8,10,13 and 17) to a depth of 200mm with 5% heave to help break up compaction layers within the soil profile.  The remaining fairways will be aerated over the winter months.

The winter programme is now well underway.  We have built two new bunkers at 13 in conjunction with the architect’s plans for the course.  The bunkers at the 6th greenside and 11th fairway, which were collapsing have been re-built.  I will be concentrating on re-building the 3 fairway bunkers at the 3rd hole over the next few weeks.

Gorse plants which were ordered last year for various parts of the course have now been planted behind and to the right of the 5th tee and to the left hand-side of the 8th hole to help define these areas.  Gorse has also been planted along the fence line at 14 and onto the mound.  The bottom half of the mound will be cut at semi rough height to allow a ball to come back towards the green.  Further gorse will be planted between the 3rd and the 5th holes and next to the 18th tee which will help define the path once completed.  Over the next couple of months, I will be starting to manage several areas of gorse.  This will include removing small plantations in front of the 15th and 16th tees and trimming down gorse at the 13th medal tee and at the front of the 13th tee.

The walkway behind the 15th tee has been solid-tined and overseeded using a Tetraploid rye grass seed mix which grows in temperatures down to 4 degrees.  The area was then heavily top-dressed to aid with germination and to level out the worn areas.  This area will be roped off to reduce the amount of traffic and wear during the winter months and will remain GUR.

A camera survey was carried out in the drain between 7 and 13 and has been jetted to clear a high amount of sand and silt from the pipe.  The drain on the fairway at 14 was also jetted.  Both drains are now running clear but will be monitored throughout the winter.

Rick Fulton
Head Greenkeeper