On the Course in March
Welcome to the March edition of our Course Blog 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.
It's hard to believe we have already seen the back of March! It feels like the year has only just started and we're into the fourth month already.
March was a difficult month both on and off the golf course. Firstly, both Graham and Dan left the Green Keeping team. Graham leaving first to fulfill his dream of working in motorsport and Dan leaving due to family circumstances resulting in him being unable to continue in his position. Both departures leaves us short staffed for the time being but we are in the process of recruiting replacements for both of them. We have taken on Radford who has joined us until the end of September to assist through the very busy season ahead, and we are currently interviewing suitable candidates to take on the qualified position that remains vacant. In the meantime we will continue to do everything possible to keep the course in the best condition we can.
It was discussed by some members at our recent Members Evening that they would be interested in volunteering their time to help out, so if you feel that you could spare some time, whether it's for strimming, weeding or divoting tee boxes, it would be greatly appreciated whilst we look for the ideal replacement for Dan. If you are interested in helping then please contact Shaun directly via email to email@example.com
As many will have noticed, the planned renovation work did not start on Monday 25th March. Unfortunately the machinery that was being hired was damaged by a previous user and the other machines to replace it were unavailable to us. We have had to therefore re-schedule the works for week commencing Monday 8th April. We apologise for any inconvenience but this is our only free period to complete this vital work before the golf season gets into full swing.
On the course, however, things are certainly looking up as the summer tee boxes were rested through the winter months and have now been cut for the first time and the recovery looks fantastic. We will continue to use various tee's for the time being until the growth is continuous, before resting all the winter areas.
Although temperatures have been reasonably warm throughout the last 4 weeks, ground temperatures are still around 12 degrees. The optimal growing conditions are far away but germination and growing of specific fescue grasses will become more apparent once we get up to around 14 degrees. That said, we have certainly had some growth in places during the last week of March which have allowed us to get a full cut across the course.
The greens are slowly but surely getting back to full health after the fusarium outbreak in December and we began a treatment programme which will now run to the end of the season which should keep the grasses healthy and strong, which in turn will help create a faster and truer surface for the year ahead. Last week the greens were treated with a soil conditioner and a winter green mix of nutrients, seaweed, calcium, phosphate, mangnesium and iron sulphate. These treatments should help the greens to become more active during the cooler periods and it will also help prepare the roots so they are ready to grow when the temperatures hit the ideal numbers. We also treated the greens at the start of the month with a bio-mulch treatment which helps reduce the organic matter that builds up during the winter periods and also stops moss from developing. This, along with, the planned hollow coring and verti-cutting should significantly reduce moss and thatch levels before the main season starts.
The final application this month on the greens was lawn sand which is a fertiliser which also attacks the moss areas and also acts as a base feed for the plant. With all the above treatments applied to the greens we are going to be getting some strong growth in the next month.
March also brought our first irrigation test of the year, enabling us to check all heads are working efficiently and also to check that no leaks have appeared in the system. The test went very well and now we are just waiting for the chance to turn our new overnight irrigation system on and hope all the hard work through the winter has been worth it.
AROUND THE CLUBHOUSE & HOTEL
Jonny spent March seeding, growing and preparing all the bedding plants in his polytunnel to be ready for April and getting some colour around the club house and hotel public areas. We have also been discussing the addition of more wild flowers throughout the site to increase colour in some of the less attractive areas.
Shaun and the Green Keeper Team would request that all on course directions, signage and line markings are all adhered to until further notice when playing. These are all visible and are in place to help keep the course in a presentable and enjoyable condition for all golfers. It is also requested that due to the reduced light in the mornings that the Green Keepers are given right of way at all times, and can all golfers please wait to be called up before playing shots.
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