Friday, 25 October 2013

Greens Renovations - Digging them up!

The greens have performed great this year. Before the season started we set ourselves a goal that on a daily basis throughout the playing season (spring to autumn meeting) the greens would not drop below 10.5 feet. This was achieved:) Undoubtedly the good summer helped us here but our long term agronomic plan allows us to achieve our targets.

Last week we did our annual maintenance to the greens. It was a very intense week and the greens were worked very hard. It consisted of deep aerating the greens with a 20mm tine down to 250mm. We then applied 30tonnes of sand and brush it in to the holes.

Next up was the deep aerator again, but instead of a 20mm tine we used a smaller 12mm. This was to 'drive' the sand down the tine holes and help to close them up. We then applied another 20tonnes of sand and finished off with an organic granular fertiliser to aid recovery. When doing this work we included the collars and approaches. It was a long week!

It did not go with out hiccups (namely the weather), but we feel that we acheived our goals. Over the years aeration and sand has been the backbone to our agronomic plan. As these greens are considered 'old clay push ups', they were designed to hold water. This was pre-irrigation systems and keeping hold of moisture was key to their success. However, this changed around 60 years ago and as we have play for 12months of the year, getting water moving through the profile is now the key to their success.

The work that we did last week may seem unsettling in the short term, but long term it allows us to get them performing to a great standard in all weathers!

Sand dumped on the green
Sand applied to the 20mm holes

20mm Tine hole
Sand being worked in
12mm tine 'driving' the sand in to the 20mm holes
Organic fertiliser being applied

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Drainage Project - Week 2

So far progress has been slow but steady. The first area that we are draining is traditionally the wettest part of the golf course. It runs from the high side of the 8th, through the rough and past the 1st fairway. This zone on its own is a huge challenge in itself.  It goes directly across the fairway irrigation system and for the five runs that we are making, we have to cross it 28 times!

The main bulk of this zone has now been completed but it hasn't gone without any hiccups. Unfortunately we hit our first irrigation pipework at the end of last week. We managed to avoid 27 of them so far but one got away:( However, it was fixed straight away and we move on:)

All efforts will now concentrate on getting the area ready for the weekend when the holes will be fully operational again. So far the feedback has been great with many members commenting on how clean it looks once finished.

After this area has been drained in a couple of weeks then we will start connecting the surface moisture to the drains. Both the 1st and 8th holes will be hollow-cored, scarified,verti-drained,gravel banded and finished off with a heavy sand dressing. It will help rainwater once on the ground to move in to land drains. Many long hours are going in by the greenstaff, but once winter sets in it will be worth it!

All pipework 'lasered' in

Good old London clay!

All fairway lines are re-turfed

Trencher leaves a lovely cut

Pipework repaired

If in trouble, call the 'Dominator'

Turfcutter takes turf off the fairways

Join on the far side of the 8th fairway

Trencher at work