August Course News

Dear Members,

After one of the wettest winters on record I wondered if the course would ever dry out – well I can safely say ‘yes it has’.

With 2mm of rain in the last 6 weeks and the longest prolonged dry spell since 1976 this is a very challenging time for me and the greens staff and we are doing our upmost to manage the situation with the resources we have.

The condition of the greens is my highest priority – last month I raised the height of cut from 3.5mm to 4mm to reduce the amount of stress the plant is under and compensated it with more ‘Turf Ironing’ which helps to maintain the speed and trueness.

The greens are still being watered automatically every night for around 7 – 10 minutes a green and carefully monitored as a few of the ‘basin’ shaped greens are becoming too wet in the middle and effectively being overwatered which can cause as many problems as drying them out. Automatic irrigation systems are very poor at watering the high spots on greens as they are greatly affected by wind and surface run off; we are manually hand watering 6 hours every day to keep these high spots from burning off.

The bore-hole has now been completed; they struck water at 35 metres and then drilled another 10 metres to make sure it is a constant supply. This is a huge step forward and will allow us to maintain the course to a higher standard by routinely watering the tees and approaches without ever being at risk of running out.
The tees that we have re-seeded are beginning to show signs of germination and now we can start irrigating again, we are going to heavily water the rest of the tees and make a decision on if any others need to be ripped up and seeded.

The dry weather has caused the bunkers to become very dry and powdery and the sand not holding on the faces. We are going out weekly and pushing the sand up to try and keep the bunkers at the correct depths – It would be a great help to us if you could push the sand away from the centre when raking the bunkers and not drag it off the high areas.

Please feel free to come and find me on the course to chat about any of this in more detail.

Thanks as always

Simon Hardman

Head Greenkeeper

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