Welcome to the May edition of our Course Blog, keeping you updated on the condition of the golf course and details of the works our Greenkeeping Team have been doing.
May has come and gone and with it, we have finally had some rain, although it's nowhere near enough! May itself has been a slow and frustrating month as temperatures although warm in the daytime, didn't raise above 8ºc overnight until the latter part of the month meaning that the ground temperature was nowhere near the 14ºc needed to encourage plant germination.
Because of this everything, except the rough, has grown slowly and all treatments that were applied took ages to take effect. By the end of the month however, temperatures have increased and now we are seeing some really good growth across all areas of the course.
The greens are now looking really healthy, are knitting together well. We applied fertiliser to help the base of the plant strengthen up for the summer and have applied both penetrant (humic sc and maxi crop seed weed) and folia mixes (foli N, krystamag, and prosper plus) every other week to help encouraging growth and have been able to apply these mixes to the tees as well.
This is a programme which is intended to continue throughout the year. We have also introduced the use of PGR (plant growth regulator) mixes to this year's greens programme. Although it sounds like it will reduce the leaf growing, it actually encourages the grass to grow laterally and helps to get the grass spreading into the weaker areas and most noticeably those areas that over the past few years have not fully recovered.
Regular checks are being made on the stimp readings (green speed) and we have had them running at 9.25 for the whole month. Some have commented that they are slower then preferred, and we are intending on increasing the speed of the greens to 9.5-9.75 but no more, or some greens will be too quick.
All the bunkers have now been edged, weeded, sprayed and hand raked and each month they will be gone over again to keep them tidy and playable.
A couple of comments have come my way regarding the water level of the lake between the 1st and 18th fairways. In April we took the decision to empty the lake into our irrigation lake to ensure that we have a good water supply for the summer ahead. With the dry winter and burning summer last year, the lake level was around 8ft lower than it has ever been, so rather than risk not being able to water as much as we would like to, we had to take a chance!
This lake will fill in time and water will be moved around the course where we can to ensure that we don't run out. It must be said however, that all the greenkeepers I know are really concerned that water could become a problem this year if we get a repeat of last season, with some clubs already struggling as it is.
Around the estate, Jonny has been working hard to try and get the car park into order after the whole area grew like wildfire at the start of the month when he was away. He has now got the majority of it under control and will now be focusing on weeding all the flower beds and will be putting up the hanging baskets that have been grown from seed, in the coming weeks.
The Greenkeeping Team would request that all on-course directions, signage and line markings are 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 the Green Keepers are given right of way at all times, and can all golfers please wait to be called up before playing shots.