On the Course in June
Welcome to the June edition of our monthly Course Blogs aimed at keeping you updated on the general condition of the golf course plus details of all the work Head Green Keeper, Shaun Kench, and his team have been doing throughout the month.
Since we experienced the frequent thunderstorms and extremely heavy rain at the start of the month we've had no rain whatsoever which, as you can imagine, has been tough on the golf course! To combat the problem our sprinkler system has been in use every day, with the guys coming in at 3:00am and 8:00pm to try and water at the most beneficial times. A process that will continue throughout this 'drought-like' period.
The recent weeks of high temperatures, along with heavy flow of golf, has already started to burn some areas of the course, and as a result we have regularly treated all the greens and tee boxes to reduce the stress. The greens were treated with Humic SC, a soil penetrant containing seaweed, which improves water infiltration, reduces ponding, improves soil oxygen levels and replaces the need for slow and expensive aeration. They have also been treated with an NPK fertiliser, Libfer Fe (iron) and Krista Mag (magnesium), all of which are a folia mix to help provide a strong and coloured sward on the grass.
In the last couple of weeks we have applied Retain Pro via a pellet gun to the most stressed areas and we are beginning to see the positive effects of this leading-edge wetting agent designed to break the surface tension of water and evenly distribute water throughout the rootzone. This product has also been applied to the tee boxes, but due to the continued use of a small area they are struggling to recover as quickly as we would hope for.
The bunker on the 10th have now been renovated concluding with new sand being installed in the past couple of days. They will now be left as G.U.R. until the first weekend in July so the sand can settle correctly. We have also topped up the sand levels in the bunkers on the 5th and 7th.
Cutting on the golf course has been reduced due to the heat with the fairways and tee's only being cut once a week, but we will be leaving them longer if required to reduce the impact and stress on these areas.
The green's mower height has also been raised back to 4mm, again, to reduce the intense stress on the drier patches showing. Cutting on the greens has also been reduced generally with Monday's and Thursday's being 'rest days' so the grass has a chance to grow.
Our Estate Gardener, Johnny, enjoyed some much needed time off in June but in between annual leave he has been busy cutting the lawn areas around the hotel entrance plus constant watering of the new plants. The Halfway House area has been tidied up along with other general clearing work throughout June. The terrace area just off the 18th green has now been fully cleared, beds planted and new umbrella's installed so all members and guests can enjoy the glorious weather in comfort.
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Please can all golfers follow any on-course instructions and directions. These are in place in an effort to maintain the condition of the course for the months ahead.