Golf course report January 2023
As a general the greens are performing better than the previous 2 years at this time of the year. With drainage work completed on 16,17 and 18 definitely been beneficial, although there is still wet which will improve over time with the continued introduction of sand into the profile combined with the soil flocculation we aim to achieve in the future. This will all aid water movement and beneficial to both drainage and irrigation systems.
There’s a few disease scars around which due to the highest disease pressures for decade was always a risk but with recovery already beginning iv got no worries that these will not be an issue as we start the season. Our approach to helping manage the disease pressures is to use a combination of fungicides and turf hardening sprays to help minimise active disease and promote early recovery.
We’ve experienced some ice damage mostly visible on greens 3 and 8 caused by the extreme cold temperatures before Christmas and the lack of sunshine these greens get, meaning they were exposed to the frozen weather for a longer period than the rest.
With regards to leather jackets I’m confident that the application of acelpyren was successful and population numbers have been managed. We’ll be carrying out some test sheets to see before commencing our early season aeration works.
Moving forward we hope to aerate, top-dress and over seed the greens early season and continue our proactive approach to improving soil health along with playability of the greens .
The tees are still in play and managing the wear well, the rotary mower we purchased November helping us keep them presentable. Work carried out levelling the teeing areas on holes 6 white, 7 and 8th tees has been completed with germination occurring on all of them. The next stages it to allow growth, lightly roll, top-dress and continue to promote strong growth for the season ahead.
Regularly marker moving and divoting is taking place, they have been are aerated with solid times twice this winter so far to help encourage deeper rooting and improve drought resistance.
The aprons where ground conditions have allowed have been mown with the rotary mower to help keep definition and have also been solid tined twice to improve soil structure. Moving forward towards the season these will be fed, top-dressed and over seeded.
The majority of the fairways have recovered well from the summer drought and this winter have been slit twice to help improve rooting. They have also received an application of wetting agent penetrant to aid water movement. We hope to give these a full divot and little feed up preseason to get the best out of them.
Tree work has begun and will continue throughout the winter. This is massive task to catch up on an area of the golf course neglected for many years. We have been working on 3 and 7 so far with work to continue around the course to improve playability, course aesthetics and turf health. This week we have a team of tree surgeons working with us to get some of the more problematic pruning jobs done.
The system is fully drained down and our work will begin upgrading areas before spring with 2 valves to upgrade, green side box’s to be cleared and lined as well as sprinkler head levelling and replacement.
Last week we installed the liner into the 14th bunker taking the number of lined bunkers to 4 now. We’ve ordered another 240m2 of liner to help us continue to improve some more bunkers before the season.
The pathways have certainly taken a beating but have played there part keeping the course going this winter. We definitely need resurfaced and repair some of the existing paths and I think it would be very beneficial for us to invest in these further. We’ve been using stakes and ropes to help manage traffic areas these are regularly moved and reset to help spread winter wear and tear.
The golf course is definitely showing signs of the winter wear and tear but overall I’m pretty happy with where we are moving forward. Obviously it’s very wet in places and a bit muddy here and there but it is coping well with the weather storms which are moving through. The next 6 weeks will be all about preservation with us working towards starting the season in the best position we can be. Machine servicing will be taking place and agronomic plans set for the season ahead.