Greens News

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Our team of greenkeepers take care of everything to do with the course, from everyday tasks such as cutting and bunker raking, to larger projects such as drainage and irrigation. 

Below you will see a list of course updates - click on a tab to read the latest updates on current and planned projects. Reports from Head Greenkeeper Graham Careford are included, along with occassional updates from David Dickinson, the committee representative for Greens.

Course Information

Tee Renovation September 2017

  • Lifting the Turf

  • Job Completed

  • Levelling the Rootzone

  • Mark and the Rotavator

Click the arrows on the photos to view more.

Work on levelling the 3rd tee has progressed extremely well. Tuesday we stripped the turf using a turf cutter, the turf was then carefully rolled and stored ready to be re-laid at a later date. Once the turf was removed we rotavated the top soil breaking up any compacted areas ready for levelling. Rootzone was added to areas of the tee where subsidence affected levels, overall 8 tons of rootzone were needed to restore these areas. Original turf was relayed and heavily top dressed to help the turf knit together. This project was finished on time and well within budget due to machinery being borrowed from local golf clubs and rootzone being obtained from Tottenham Hotspur training ground without any charge. The tee will be roped off and left to take root and establish naturally.

Phase two of this work will commence on Tuesday 19th of September when we will be levelling the 1st medal tee.

The strong winds we experienced on Tuesday night brought down many large limbs across the entire course. Thankfully no large trees came down but the winds left debris everywhere. We are busy trying to remove all the branches and leaves that are laying on the ground, although this work has been hampered by other important projects that needed to be completed (3rd tee). This work has now taken priority and the course should start looking much tidier.

The clubs mower that cuts the rough had a major break down at the start of the week meaning the rough has not been cut for several days. I have now organised a replacement whist our machine is being repaired. We have now taken delivery of this machine and we are busy trying to catch up and cut all areas before the weekend. Some areas we may not have time to cut, but normal cutting regime should be back on track next week.

Winter programme this year will be dominated by drainage projects starting with the 12th green in October. Full details will be published next week.

Greens Renovations August 2017 - Day Three and Four

Greens Renovations August 2017 - Day Three and Four

Wednesday we aim to finish the second spiking of the greens, using the 10mm tine to a depth of 100mm. Day 4 (Thursday) will consist of applying more sand to the greens followed by brushing to encourage the sand into the holes.

At this point of the works there will be no further disruption to the surfaces, and our attention will turn to getting the greens back to a playable condition. We are unable to cut the greens because of the sand, but we intend to brush and roll the greens on a daily basis until such time the mowers can give the first cut. If no rain is forecast we will use the irrigation to help wash in the sand, this will help speed up the process.

The final task will be to spray a liquid feed high in nitrogen and containing seaweed, to encourage growth to aid the greens recovery. I am hoping by the middle of next week, little or no visible signs of the work should be seen, and the greens surfaces back to rolling true Thank you for your patience during this work, and you will be pleased to know the next renovations are not due until next March. Our attentions soon will be to carry out similar works to the tees, but this will be far less disruptive and the works should go unnoticed.

Greens Renovations August 2017 - Day Two Update

Greens Renovations August 2017 - Day Two Update

The weather has been good enabling us to finish stage one which was to Verti drain (spike) the greens with 19mm tines to a depth of 300mm. We have now started to apply large amounts of sand using our Dakota spreader to fill in the holes, with the aid of brushing. It is vital at this stage that the sand is dry as we need the sand to fall into the holes that the tines has created. If the sand was damp it would only bridge over the top.

Once renovations are completed the many thousands of holes created will be filled with sand improving the free movement of moisture which improves drainage, and helps root development. Top dressing is a vital procedure that is essential to produce good greens, it can also be the controversial because of the disruption it causes.

Why do we top dress?
During the year we apply 80-100 tons of sand to our greens and tees, most of this sand is applied to the greens. Regular light dressings will help keep the surfaces smooth and true, creating firmer faster greens. Sand dressing also helps dilute organic matter (thatch) in the top surface. Diluting the thatch enables moisture to pass through this layer freely enabling the surface to drain quicker, thus firmer surfaces. During the renovation week there is obviously more disruption as more sand is needed, but by doing this work in one week block during the holiday period, enables us to complete this work more efficiently.

Day 3 of the renovations will consist of spiking the greens for a second time using smaller 10mm tines to a depth of 100mm. Spiking at varied depths eliminates panned layers that can form if you continue to aerate at the same depth for long periods. Tomorrow I will report our progress and give more information on how we are going to restore the surfaces. Thank you for your patience.

Greens Renovations August 2017 - Day One Update

Greens Renovations August 2017 - Day One Update

Good progress has been made on the first day with all 19 greens being spiked to a depth of 200mm using 19mm width tines. Aeration is an essential to keep playing surfaces healthy and in good condition. Primarily aeration helps to control organic matter “thatch”, relieve compaction and to and improve drainage. Organic matter is decaying roots and grass stems in the top surface which left unchecked can inhibit root growth, reduces oxygen levels in the soil and encourages disease. Furthermore excessive organic matter creates soft surfaces creating slow soft conditions that is prone to foot printing.

Correct timing of aeration will ensure the fastest possible recovery and return the greens to good order in the shortest possible time. The key to a quick recovery is to carry out renovations when the turf is healthy and actively growing, which is why we carry out this work in August. It also helps that the course is less busy with many members on holiday, which makes our work that much faster. Tomorrow on day two I will post our progress and explain the next stage of the procedure, which will be top dressing and brushing.

Renovation works to greens, aprons and approaches will commence on Monday 14th August, work will be completed by Friday 18th.

Works will consist of the following:
• Verti drain (spike) 19mm tines to a depth of 200mm.
• Sand dressing applied (Heavy 20 tons)
• Sand brushed into holes
• 2nd Verti drain (spike) 10mm tines to a depth of 100mm.
• Second sand dressing (Medium 10 tons)
• Sand brushed into holes
• Liquid fertiliser high in Nitrogen and containing seaweed to encourage growth to help the greens recover.

Renovations of this kind will disrupt surfaces for a period of 7-10 days, but this work is essential for the health of the turf, and to improve the drainage characteristics.

Other clubs close holes or close the course completely while the renovations are carried out, I think this is unnecessary but would appreciate members to give way to the green staff wherever possible. During the works I will give a daily update on progress, and explain in more detail why we do this work and the benefits.

18th Fairway Renovation 04/08

18th Fairway Renovation 04/08

Bare areas particularly adjacent to the fairway bunkers have appeared not through scalping, but through water starvation due location of this area. This part of the fairway sits on a hill and is south facing meaning it’s subjected to sunlight for most of the day. Combine that with higher daytime temperatures during the summer months, the turf bakes hard creating die back, thus bare areas appearing.
The soil quality is very poor and has a high stone content, which is not good when you are trying to retain moisture. As part of the irrigation install we did discuss the potential of installing irrigation heads to this area to help the turf in the summer months, but unfortunately the costs were too high. We are now in the process of trying to make good these areas, and with a little help from the wet weather of late, we hope to make some progress. First task was to break up compaction using our verti-drainer allowing free movement of air and moisture.

Stage two was to overseed with Rye grass and apply top dressing.

We hope this work will improve these areas, but we are governed on progress from what falls from the sky. Areas are now white lined and should be treated as ground under repair.

Hydraulic Oil Leak - 5th Hole 04/08

Hydraulic Oil Leak - 5th Hole 04/08

On Tuesday 1st August we had a major hydraulic oil leak on our Baroness rough cutter in front of the green on the 5th hole. A main pipe ruptured releasing the machines entire content of oil onto the turf. Luckily it was in the rough on the bunker banking and not on the approach or even worse the green.

The area was roped off to deter people from walking through it to reduce further damage. It is too early to predict how much off the turf will die off, but any potential permanent damage will be repaired. In the meantime please treat this area as ground under repair.

Tree on Putting Green Now removed - 04/08

Tree on Putting Green Now removed - 04/08

Liquid Amber Tree

In recent months we have been monitoring the decline in the large and very beautiful Liquid Amber tree adjacent to the putting green. The decline started last year and has got steadily worse resulting in a large proportion of the tree dying back.

Splintering of the bark and cracking of the main stem has now deemed this tree dangerous, and the decision has been made to remove for safety reasons. This removal is planned to start in the first week of August and all works will be carried out by the greenstaff.

Divot Bags Update - David Dickinson 05/07

The use of divot bags is in operation again. Because we have lost a good number of these bags in past years and are often found all over the course, we have decided to adopt a slightly different approach. Each playing member will now be given a bag which they keep (a bag for life!). Seed and soil mixture will be found in boxes at various places on the course. Please fill your bag and repair divot holes either on the fairway or on tees. It is our plan to target certain holes in the first instance. This week it is the 4th and the 17th. Bags can be found under the notice board to the left of the path leading to the 1st tee. Obviously using divot bags is not compulsory but it really will help to maintain the appearance of our fairways. Thank you for your support.

Course Update - Graham Careford 21/04

21/04 - Spring rains have failed to materialise and since my last report only 0.3 mm has fallen, more alarmingly a mere 0.8 of rain since March 25th. This dry spell has meant the need to start up our very fragile irrigation system with daily watering needed on greens and tees. I am glad to report no major problems although many leaks are visible.

On the subject on irrigation, phase one of the irrigation project is now complete with the installation of the new water tank and pump house. The new tank is much larger than our last one and catches the eye because it’s so new, but we are planning carry out planting to disguise it from view. Spring cutting programmes across the entire course are in full flow and although growth is slow definition is very good.

Greens have recovered well from the renovations and are currently being cut at 3mm, this will be lowered to 2.5mm in the coming weeks. Stimpmeter reading on greens is 8.3 Tees will be overseeded, divoted and dressed next week, this work will help surfaces recover from winter play. We are putting more work on bunker maintenance, work has consisted on redefining the edges extra raking and destoning. I do encourage members when raking their footmarks to push the sand forward not backwards, this will stop sand being raked away from the middle of the bunker and stop sand building up on the edges. I also encourage members to inform me or my team of anything they see that needs to be addressed so we can resolve the problem swiftly.

07/04 - Spring renovations to the greens have now been completed, thank you for your patience whilst this work was carried out. First the greens were verti-drained, then 30 tons of sand was applied and brushed daily to fill the holes.

A granular fertiliser has now been applied to kick start growth and to help repair scarring and from last year’s Anthracnose outbreak. This will affect green speed for a short time, but regular mowing should prevent the greens becoming too slow. Greens are currently being cut at a height of 4mm, this will be lowered during April until we reach our summer cutting height of 2.5mm. The height of cut varies across the course and is constantly monitored to keep up with growth patterns. Currently we are cutting at the following heights.
Greens: 4mm Daily. Tees/Approaches: 11mm Twice weekly. Fairways 15mm: Twice weekly. Semi rough 25mm: Weekly. Rough 45mm: Weekly.

Work to repair bare areas particularly near greens is ongoing, consisting of verti-draining to break up compaction, followed by seed and soil. Unfortunately, very little rain has fallen recently, and practically none in the last fortnight. Therefore germination has been slow and we are about to crank up our ancient irrigation system to at last get some water onto the greens and surrounds. The bottom line is that we need the rain!

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