Course Update - 16/03/18
Our main focus this week was the maintenance of bunkers, work consisted of edging to redefine the edges and the movement of sand to ensure the bases are more consistent. We did experience a large build-up of sand to the backs of many bunkers we worked on, this is due to incorrect raking.
I do encourage every golfer when raking their footmarks to rake in a forward motion, this will help keep the sand in the middle of the bunker and reduce build up around the edges.
Bunkers that require more sand were noted and will be topped up in due course.
Renovation works on greens and aprons will commence on Monday 19th March and will be completed by Friday 23rd March.
Planned 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.
Why does this work need to be done, and what are the benefits?
Compaction - Many thousands of rounds per year and machinery driving on the greens does create compaction. Verti-draining helps break the compacted layers encouraging the free movement of air and moisture in the soil profile.
Soil exchange - Holes that are created by aeration can be filled with sand creating a drainage channel allowing free movement of moisture from the surface
Continuing this practice over a period of time can radically change the soil profile from heavy clay to sand.
Root development - Channels created by the tines allows roots to develop deeper in the soil profile.
Sand top dressing
Improves Smoothness - Due to foot traffic and pitch marks the surface of the green becomes uneven and imperfections do occur affecting the roll of the ball. Sand dressings help fill these voids to provide smoother truer putts.
Thatch Dilution - The dead organic matter in the top surface can become concentrated which creates soft spongy surfaces. Sand dressings helps dilute the thatch creating firmer surfaces.
Quantities of Sand - This is dependent on budgets and the thatch build up in our greens. We apply on average 100 tons of sand to our greens annually.
Feeding turf comes in two forms, granular and liquids. Both are essential for maintaining good growth, but are managed differently when planning your feeding programme
Granular Feeds - Give larger amounts of nutrients over a longer period of time, this can be beneficial after renovations or when the greens are under stress to give the turf a boost. Granular feeds do take longer for nutrients to be taken up by the plant and can leave particles on the turf until they break down, either by rain or irrigation.
The negative in granular feeding is the flush of growth you experience after applying, this creates a woolly surface which significantly slows the pace of the ball.
Liquid Feeds - Give smaller amounts of nutrients over a shorter period of time. Liquids feeds will not give that flush of growth, which is ideal for a little and often approach which I adopt in our feeding programme.
Collecting data is an important part of gauging whether the works are having an impact. Since 2013 organic matter has reduced from 8% to as low as 2.9% on many greens, this is a clear indication the renovations are having an effect and the greens are improving.
We will not be closing any holes while the works are being carried out, but would appreciate if members could give way wherever possible so the work can be carried out quickly and safely.