October Course News
This month sees an end to what has been a summer like no other, with little or no rain for most of it. The course has suffered, like all others , it’s all been very un-British.
Summary: I will summarise here, and then elaborate in more detail below:
On the whole the greens at Horsley have been good this year; speed has been an issue, where we are trying to find that medium which everybody will be happy with. At times we have had to put height of cut up because of the stress to the plant; this has meant at times the greens have been inconsistent. Large amounts of water were put on just to keep them alive. We had to turn the water off on the tees mid-drought and use the water to keep the greens alive. The company have now invested in a bore hole so that we will never have that problem again.
From now on most of our time will be taken up repairing and turfing tees, round bunkers and other problem areas such as collars and aprons.
GREENS IN DETAIL
The stress on the plant has been like no other year. We have had some anthracnose, this is a disease that attacks the crown of the plant but I don’t think it has been as bad as last year. The main problem greens have been 5,6, and 13. I was finding that these three greens were suffering more so I sent soil samples to the Sports Turf Research Institute STRI whose report is included here: nematode’s were present which drains all the goodness out of the plant – we have been applying liquid garlic which does help and the greens have improved.. A lot of maintenance has gone into the greens over the last few weeks and I thank you for your cooperation while this has been carried out.
The work that has been done: deep vertidraining and then top dressing with 30 tonnes of sand. Pure bent seed was then sown and fertilised. Results are already looking excellent . I intend to hollow core again Mid-November.
Below ground, root growth is excellent and black layer gone. Thatch depth was typically in the range 1.5-1.8 cm, which is well on target. Just three greens had significantly more, the 5th, 6th and 13th
The top dressing has been a real positive and a similar input must be a priority on an annual basis. To date this has been incorporated effectively into the top 5 mm, but it will work down with time and ongoing treatments year on year. The objective is better firmness (especially in winter), reliable green speed and a lesser risk of diseases such as Fusarium or Anthracnose, which are tied in with high surface humidity.
Continuing to provide high quality putting surfaces over coming weeks will call for frequent aeration to optimise infiltration and downward dispersal of ground water on all greens. Using the verti-drain to 25 cm on about four occasions to the end of February.
The primary greens for extra care are again 5, 6 and 13. The intensity of the work will include over-seeding , top-dressing and fine tining.
The aprons have been cut tighter this summer to a height that needs slightly more intensive maintenance and better irrigation cover to maintain completeness.
Under this regime some areas have survived satisfactorily, but others have struggled. Repair work is underway using Perennial Ryegrass and if necessary we may need to overseed again in the spring. Areas around the bunkers and the more serious bare patches are going to be re-turfed as soon as the weather conditions allow.
There is much to be repaired through overseeding and returfing on tees too in coming weeks. We have started seeding tees and we are now assessing the best plan for the tees, either seeding on some or on others we will totally re-turf. We will also take out a full irrigation assessment to make sure tees are fully irrigated for the start of next season.
In addition, there is a requirement to re-level a number of tees .
Inevitably, the fairways have been heavily droughted, but the grasses are showing good signs of recovery.
To advance this process I will be applying a penetrant wetting agent, such as Aqueduct or Excel, also to help rain soak in quickly and evenly. The sooner the soil becomes moist the better the grass will recover before the end of the growing season.
Finally a big thank you to all members who have come up to me and offered support in this most difficult of summers.
- Members Buggy for 18 holes £15.00
- Members Buggy for 27 holes £20.00
- Members Buggy for 36 holes £25.00