April – It’s been a cool and very dry month with only 2mm of rain recorded, and some very raw northerly winds in the last week of the month. There are challenges with these conditions when trying to produce a smooth surface on the greens when there is no consistent growth. We have verti cut and put light sand dressings down which help smooth the surfaces out, but this puts the plant under a lot of stress. A little and often approach has to be taken relating to nutrition, topdressing and cultural work because we have to nurse the plant through these conditions until they change.

Irrigation programmes have been running to put some moisture into the ground, and though this helps, irrigating during the night with low temperatures and very cold water from our lakes brings the soil temperatures down even more.

Tees and approaches were aerated, top dressed and a granular feed was applied. The fairways have also been fed with a foliar feed and iron.

Some GUR areas, low spots on fairways and path ends have been cut out and re turfed.

May – Our nutrition programme will continue on the greens, we will continue our aeration programme of aerating once a month using a 10mm diameter pencil tine. A verti cut followed by a light sand dressing will be carried out every 2 – 3 weeks if conditions allow, this will help keep a consistently smooth surface throughout the season.

The work carried out on the tees along with the fertilizer applied and regular divoting has helped thicken up the surfaces, we will also be over seeding some of the high wear tees. A wetting agent, plant growth regulator and herbicide will also be applied to tees and approaches.

The fairway height of cut has been brought down to 13mm to get a tighter cut and we will start striping these up rather than block cutting, the fairways will be fed again towards the end of the month.

Over seeding – Poor growth in semi rough and rough along some of the tree lines is an area we are looking to improve over the coming years to get a better grass coverage which in turn will give a better definition between fairway, semi rough and rough. A seed mix designed for these dry shaded areas will be over seeded in the ground.

A wild flower mix will be sown into the woodland area between 15,16 and 17 medal tee, and also around the 14th medal tee, this will provide colour and also attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators. There are other areas we will look to target over the coming years, your thoughts are very welcome.

Other works include:
Path work.
Re-turf further GUR areas and path ends.
Taps to be replaced on 15th drinking water point.

Mark Ogden
Course Manager