Greens Blog May 2019

The Winter is finally over and the season is underway. It has been a strange start to the season as it has been extremely dry, but yet it was so cold that there was frosts nearly every morning which prevented us switching the irrigation on. As you all would have noticed, or at least I hope you would have noticed, is that we have carried out our annual greens maintenance which involves hollow coring, top dressing and over seeding. The process to this operation is to remove thousands of small cores (in this instance 1.5 inches deep), apply enough sand to fill the holes and apply bent seed. With help of a hired in brush, the sand and seed is then brushed into the holes creating thousands of little plant pots for the seed to grow in. Now I know there are many members thinking why are they doing this now? the greens were fine etc…… well the answer is simple, the greens didn’t get to the quality they are by doing nothing. The timing for this operation is crucial, too cold and we will get a very slow recovery and could have quite possibly wasted over £1000 in grass seed. Myself and the club came to the agreement to do this at the start of the season, far enough into the year to get results, not too far into the season where it disrupts too many competitions. Now it is complete, I am happy with how the operation went, we are busy trying to restore the greens which I expect 2-3 weeks and nobody will have to worry about an operation of this scale for the remainder of the season.


It appears the weather has picked up from where it left off from last year. It has been scorching and already we are struggling to keep these greens irrigated. Fortunately, its fairly cool overnight so the greens are getting a good drink without the water evaporating as it hits the surface. It’s been great conditions for brushing the sand into the holes but that combined with the intense heat has put them under a bit of stress. I am not overly concerned at this point, with rain on the way and a feed applied, I expect a full recovery very soon.

I hope everybody is enjoying the changes to the course, especially the new bunkers installed on the 1st, 3rd and 13th. Again as it has been so dry, it’s not helped the new turf around the edges of the bunkers on the left side of 3 knit in. These bunkers were the last to be built so they haven’t had as much time as the others to stabilise. The sides have also crumbed into the bunker so can I please ask all golfers to not step around the edges. We are hosing the new turf down every day to encourage growth but again it’s not overly concerning, if it doesn’t recover, it’s not a huge job to replace the turf around the edges if needs be. I hope the new sand is living up to everybody’s expectations, this sand was sourced from Scotland and is the very sand used on the Centenary course over at Gleneagles. I personally think the sand is great having tested it in the wet and the dry. One thing to remember with sand, if it gets too dry it will plug. The bigger clubs tend to irrigate their bunkers to avoid this, unfortunately this isn’t a luxury we can afford right now.


The plan for the season ahead is to present you all with a fantastic golf course to rival the best courses in the country. Any work we do to the greens will be minor and barely noticeable. All I ask this season is that you replace your divots, rake any bunkers you find yourself in and most importantly, REPAIR YOUR PITCHMARKS!


Have a good season.


Alex Lowes


Head Greenkeeper

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