As mentioned before the excavation of the ditch is now complete, all surrounding areas have been tidied ready for the final stage of turfing and shaping of the sides, the path is complete and has been stoned. This has improved the area in front of the tee greatly, this was a very wet place on the course and an area where traffic was 'bottlenecked' to reach the fairway, causing more wear and mess in poor conditions. Before the path was stoned we drained it to ensure there is little chance of standing water through winter.
At the 20th green banking, the subsoil has been shaped and topsoil added from the end of the range and raked ready for seeding or turfing.
The bunkers between 18 and 27 have also been covered in topsoil and are ready for seeding
The 22nd tee has been covered in rootzone and shaped/ levelled ready for turf
The hedge that was between the 23rd green and the new hedge that was planted at the end of the range and the 20th semi has been removed as was agreed during the original planned layout of that hole. That is to be tidied this week.
The last few days have brought us wetter conditions, over 25mm of rain falling within a 48 hour period. This has caused some issues due to the ground being so firm previously, after the recent spell of dry weather. Once the surface began to soften the water has drained away relatively easily, however the barer areas are looking chewed up. We have put out hoops and will need to start roping off areas if conditions prevail. Please try and avoid areas where they are starting to wear. Preferred lies are now on due to worm casts and softer conditions.
The white tees and the driving range tee will continue to be used until the tees get wetter, some tees are being placed on the front sections and such as the 11th are on the back tee of the 9th hole as the 11th tee gets very wet due to the underlying construction. The bigger markers are being put out to ensure they can be seen in the leaves that are falling.
The rainfall has tested the ditch on the 16th however. Even after such a small amount of rain there was water in the ditch which is always a good sign. It is worth noting that we don't expect to see water in the ditch all year round, the way we have excavated the base,will allow water to run to the outfall near the 15th ladies tee.
The greens have had an application of granular fertiliser, granular fertilisers are preferred at this time of the year as the amount of rainfall can be varied, heavy rainfall can leach the nutrients more quickly if applied via liquid. The granular fertilisers rely of water to breakdown the granules then to be taken up by the plants, therefore safer at this time of the year. 19-27 greens have had an application of lawn sand. This is a high iron content fertiliser, using sand to dilute the mix so it can be spread on to turf. The lawn sand we use is 1-0-0 + 9% iron, but there are a number of different mixes available with differing contents of nitrogen, potassium and iron. The application rate is also quite high to ensure even application is gained.
Work has started with regular blowing of greens, tees and fairways to remove leave debris, after the last week of cooler weather they are coming down fast. The leaf cage has been assembled and is ready to go within the next week or so. To try and look at more efficient solutions to problems, namely leaf collection we have been looking at alternatives to what we currently have. We had a demo of a collection machine, which could not only be used for leaves but to cut long grass as well. The Amazone machine is a great piece of machinery which takes leaf or grass collection from a 3/4 man job to a 2 man job, saving a lot of time through the autumn. As mentioned we could also start to thin out some of the long rough, we cut and collect long rough, however using a rotary mower has its limitations. This something that will have to be discussed with greens committee.