In the next week we will be preparing for the up coming maintenance weeks. The first greens on the course we will be working on are 1-9. These holes will be closed from 6am on Monday 31st July until 6.am Friday 4th August. To prepare the greens we have been grooming, cutting and spraying with growth regulator and biostimulants. This will reduce growth but increase stress resistance.
The greens are still in really good condition and some may question why we are carrying out maintenance at all.
As the plant grows, in this case a golf greens grass, it builds up levels of Organic Matter (OM) in the soil, predominantly near the surface. Golf greens are intensively managed areas, which need to cope with the large amounts of wear and are fertilised more intensively than most areas.
This high growth rate causes larger than normal amounts organic matter to build up in the soil profile.
If we have too little OM, surfaces would be very unstable, ball response would be poor and water use would be excessive. Greens would dry out very quickly. Conversely, if we have too much OM then greens would be soft and bumpy, especially in the winter and disease levels would be higher
The process we are adopting during maintenance is:
Tine using 12mm tines
Tine again but in opposite direction on compacted areas
Tine again using 10mm hollow core tines
Brush sand to fill all holes.
Spray wetting agent/ biostimulant
Water in thoroughly.
Then following the maintenance the green is left for a couple of days until cutting can be carried out with out causing damage to the machine from the sand.
With good soil temperatures recovery should be fairly quick. Triple tining also has the maximum effect without causing major surface disruption.
Applying heave lifts and disrupts the soil beneath relieving compaction, adding sand into the thatch and soil gives the soil air in which healthy growth can occur.
To ensure the machinery and equipment is ready for the start of maintenance week we will tine sand and brush the 2 putting greens next week as long as the weather is ok.
When the holes are closed for maintenance, we will strim the bunkers on the course, this helps get them done quicker and the staff will be uninterrupted.
The full schedule for closure:
Holes 1-9 Mon 31st July - Fri 4th August
Holes 10-18 Mon 7th August - Fri 11th August
Holes 19-27 Mon 21st August - Fri 25th August
We have had a small issue with the new irrigation system, one of the 3 way joints started leaking under pressure, as the new system has been recently installed this has been put down to a weak weld during installation. This is the only plastic weld joint we have had an issue with. The problem was fixed within 24 hours and the system back up and running.
The weather has been more settled over the last 2 weeks and growth has been a little more consistent, enabling the course to be in great shape but more importantly from a maintenance point of view helps us plan a little more, concentrating on the smaller tasks once more. All secondary tasks and less frequent tasks will be covered before we start maintenance.
We have tidied the entrance lane, cutting the thorn hedge back at each parking place so cars don't get scratched and at the end of the lane so visibility is clear to the right.
We have started to cut the 22nd tee ladies tee with the tees mower, this will now be cut regularly and will be in play within the coming month. The new turf will need a light topdress to help improve the turf quality long term. The sides of the tee were seeded however it hasn't been a great success and we will turf them at a later date.