Irrigation works has continued well this week with all the 90mm mains pipe installed. The spoil on top of the trenches will be cleared and areas made good. Work will now turn to mole ploughing the smaller 63mm pipes which will connect to the greens, tees and approach valve boxes. Mole ploughing is achieved by pulling the pipework through the soil leaving very little mess on the surface. As much as 100 metres of pipe can be pulled at one time before it's joined which vastly reduces joints. This phase of the works should take 3 weeks to complete, weather permitting.
Drainage to the 12th green will commence on Tuesday 17th October and should take five days to complete. Levels on the green favour a herring bone design that will be far more effective in removing surface water. A temporary green will be in operation during the works and the growing in period which will be 3-4 weeks.
Height of cut on the greens has now been raised from 2.8 to 3.2mm (autumn height) this is standard procedure to reduce stress as growth slows and temperatures drop.
Disease is very common at this time of year with Anthracnose and Fusarium both active and very aggressive diseases that can quickly spread.
With this threat likely a proactive approach will be actioned involving a programme of preventative fungicides that will be applied monthly until Christmas, when the threat levels subside.
As winter approaches the greens will become softer and therefore be cut with pedestrian mowers to avoid unsightly tyre marks.
Number of cuts per week will be reduced from daily to one possibly two cuts per week, this will be the regime for the duration of the winter.
Over the summer months moss has creeped onto the 18th green and is now starting to spread. Its correct name is Silver Moss and has become more common on greens in the UK especially on US specification greens where nutrients can be lower. We have tried to eradicate the moss using cultural methods including aeration and scarification, but with little or no effect. I have now applied a fungicide which will suppress the moss and hopefully stop further spread.
Christopher has been working for the club now for nearly two years and has quickly become a much valued member of the greens team. He started as an apprentice and has quickly picked up the relevant skills to now being a very competent greenkeeper. Much time has been allocated to training Chris, training that has not only benefited Christopher's ability but also helping me maintain the course to the highest possible standard. Parkland golf courses are renowned for being high maintenance that need sufficient numbers to keep in good order, and Bush Hill Park is no different. We pride ourselves in carrying out many tasks and projects in house saving the club thousands of pounds every year. Over the last couple of years we have successfully undertaken large drainage projects including the draining of three of the wettest greens. Quotes from contractors were in the region of £5000, we average £1500 per green, a huge saving. These projects combined with maintaining the golf course does put enormous strain on our resources, so having the extra man does relieve that pressure and allows us to find more time for the smaller jobs. Having Chris on board will definitely help me and my team take the course to the next level, and I look forward to having him on board for the foreseeable future.
After the departure of David Dickenson to become club captain, I now welcome Mark Watts to his new role as greens chairman.
I look forward to working and sharing ideas with Mark, but most of all working as a team to make our course better.