I have not posted for a while so I thought I would give a wee update of some of the work we have been doing through the winter months.
It has been quite a decent winter on a whole with mild temperatures for the time of year and very little rain up until the last few weeks!
I am pleased to say the course has been on full greens most of the winter unless there has been a frost. The rest of the course has held up really well with us rotating tees between winter tees and main play tees to spread the wear and give the golfers a longer course.
The use of the fairway mats from 150 yards seems to have been a success and we will see the benefits of this once the season starts
A lot of my budget this winter has gone on drainage work, installing new piped drainage systems on the 8th men's tee, the ladies 16th tee and a new main drain across the 4th, 5th and 7th fairway. The work on this main drain is nearly complete now with all trenches dug out, pipe laid and back filled with gravel and rootzone. We have had over 50mm of rain in the last couple of weeks so we are leaving the surrounding area to dry out before we re-lay the turf.
We have done a lot of tree work again this winter with the biggest job being the felling of the trees to the left of the second green to allow the early morning light to hit the green. We are already seeing the benefits of this on frosty mornings as with the sun hitting the green it is no longer the last green to be switched over.
The small bunker to the left of the 15th fairway has also been filled in although you might not have noticed as I don't think anyone ever goes in it which is the reason it was filled in!
We have done a lot of aereation this winter too with the fairway slitter and spiker out as much as possible.
On rainy days we have been painting tee markers and hazard posts as well as servicing machines and tidying up the shed.
With the recent mild weather we have decided to start applying lawn sand to the tees and aprons as this will harden the turf, weaken the moss and green them up after the winter.
Next week we will apply a granular fertiliser to the greens and walkways.
We will also be applying a penetrant wetting agent to greens tees and aprons next week.
Before the start of the season we will be looking to have all the bunkers flymoed and edged, the drainage lines all turfed and as much aereation work done as time will allow us. In addition we aim to fill in the bunker at the back of the 6th green, crown raise and thin out some more trees and complete a few more small drainage jobs around the 8th green, 14th green and the 16th green.
That's is all for tonight, I will post my next update quicker than it took me to post this one.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog due to being so busy and not having many days in the office. Even with the terrible weather we have had, I have still been working the lads pretty hard so a big well done to them!
We have had a couple of staff changes in the last few months as Jim Gowans and Ian Scott have moved on, so we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
David Cooper has come in as Deputy Head Greenkeeper. David is 27 and hails from Cupar and has been a greenkeeper for 11 years at Ladybank Golf Club where he started out as an apprentice and worked his way up to 1st Assistant. We wish him all the best and hope he has brought his wellies.
The golfing season has gone really well with the greens performing exceptionally considering the amount of rain that has fallen of late. We are in the process of solid tining them with 12mm solid tines down to 9” to help them drain better and get air into the soil profile. They will be rolled and cut afterwards to restore the high quality surface.
All of the main play areas on the course have had aereation work carried out on them. Greens were hollow cored with 12mm tines then top dressed with 55 ton of kiln dried sand at £60 a ton!
Tees, aprons and fairways have all been solid tined with 19mm solid tines.
We have rescued an old Sisis slitter that used to sit on the practice area by treating it to new tines and a bit grease and have run it over all fairways and walkways.
We will continue to solid tine and slit throughout the winter to help improve drainage and try to break up the hard pan that sits a couple of inches below the surface.
We have been doing small drainage jobs across the course over the last few months and we are in the process of doing a couple of drains on holes 13 and 14. We would like to do more but are restricted by our budget. However our new budget starts in January so expect to see us digging more holes on the 4th when we come back after the Christmas break.
During the high winds of late we have only lost 2 trees, 1 of which was dead and was due to be cut down and the other was on the left of the 8th. It goes to show all the tree work we have done in the past few years is now paying off and we are not losing large numbers every time we have strong winds.
On the run up to Christmas we will be tidying up loose ends and if the weather is suitable we will try cutting some of the main play areas.
Merry Christmas to all and good luck for the 2016 golf season.
Its been a while since I last updated this due to the fact we have been really busy and we only have 5 green keepers including myself at the moment. The shortfall in staff equates to us being 100 man hours short every week so if there are some jobs not being done please bare with us, we know they need doing and will get to them as soon as we can.
I would like to say a big thank you to Jock Peebles and Hamish Brown for all their help with the drainage work that we have been doing and also thanks to wee Davey Hart and Willie the Sherriff for turning up every week to help out
With the help from Jock and Hamish we have fixed a number of wet areas on the course, the wet bits at the top of the 4th, the 14th fairway and the corner of the 13th.
The picture to the left is of Hamish's back side in the trench at the 13th, its not the best picture but if you look closely you can see how much water is running down the trench. The pipe we found here was 12" in diameter and was choked solid with tree roots so it just goes to show drains and trees are not a good combination!
This week we have dug an open ditch up the left hand side of the 13th to try and dry up that boggy area.
We are meant to be in the middle of summer but with temperatures in the single digits I think the couple of weeks of good weather we had in April was summer!
The low temperatures have meant that growth and winter recovery has been pretty slow so a few greens still showed evidence of disease scars up until a few weeks ago.
The whole course has been sprayed with fertilizer, iron and primo max growth regulator to try and push things on. The wee white blobs of foam that you have all been asking about is the line marker from the sprayer. Its kind of like the football referee's vanishing spray!
Over the last few weeks we have had very little rain, I'd tell you exactly how much but my rain gauge keeps getting stolen! To stop the greens drying out we have been watering by hand because the irrigation system is not up to scratch and needs a lot of time and money spent on it.
In the coming weeks we will be focusing on presentation and keeping the course tidy. I am also looking to overseed and top dress greens if the weather is suitable.
Thanks for reading this,
Last weekend saw the opening match of the season between the captain and vice captain in which the vice captain's team won 16.5 to 9.5. The season opener saw us revert back to the full summer course and an end to the use of the dreaded fairway mat.
It was also last weekend that the clocks spring forward to BST but I think the weather didn't get the memo to change as we have had really low temperatures this past week with frost on 4 occasions meaning our spring aereation has gone a little slower than expected.
This year we decided to scarify the greens using the graden sand injection machine as this process can remove 3 times as much thatch as hollow coring and it back fills the the lines with kiln dried sand. Due to the frost we have not been able to start these aereation works until 8.30 am meaning we have only completed 11 greens so far.
We have put on 30 tonnes of sand on the completed greens which has emptied the storage silo and with it being the Easter weekend we can't get anymore delivered until Tuesday at the earliest so when it arrives we will finish the remaining greens.
The picture on the right is the 1st green after it had firstly been spiked with 13 mm tines to a depth of 12 inches to help with the drainage then had the graden run over it to remove thatch. 3 tonnes of sand was put down on green to fill the tine holes and scarifyer lines before we dragged it in and blew off the thatch and debris.
Next week once all the greens have been completed we will spray them with a pigment called Green Lawnger TR and then apply our Everris cold start spring feed to help the recovery process.
Over the past few weeks we have been doing some smaller jobs for the coming season such as priming the irrigation system, topping up the bunkers with sand, cutting and tidying the wind blown trees, trimming sprinklers and doing machinery maintenance. We have given the tees, aprons and some of the fairways a cut to tidy them up as well.
In the coming weeks we will be tidying up paths, prepping and seeding the area between the 3rd and 4th tees, cutting the bushes and hedges around the clubhouse and applying fertiliser to tees and aprons. If I get a chance I will try to dig sumps at the wet areas to the right of the 6th green and on the 4th fairway.