Course Update

This long period of hot dry weather continues and the new irrigation system is doing a fine job in keeping primary surfaces green and healthy.

Some members have commented on the speed of the greens and why they are slower than usual.

Maintaining the greens during this dry period is very difficult and my sole aim is to keep the greens healthy and free from disease.

Cutting daily at a height of 3mm puts enormous stress on the grass and our maintenance must adapt to the conditions or the long term health of the greens will suffer.

Increased watering is essential to keep the greens alive, but this does have a negative effect on the speed.

In temperatures of 30 degrees a golf greens can lose as much as 5mm in evapotranspiration in one day, that 5mm needs to be replenished with irrigation water.

Other maintenance procedures have also been suspended such as verti-cutting which would put enormous stress on the plant, and would be a very poor management practice during this heatwave.

A disease called Anthracnose is very prominent at this time of year and attacks annual meadow grass that is under stress.

Two years ago we had a severe attack from this disease that spread through our greens killing large areas, this I am determined to avoid and will nurse our greens until this threat is over.

Green Speeds

When I first came into this industry golfers craved smooth true greens, now the trend is all about speed.

Nobody wants to putt on slow greens, but are they as slow a golfers make out?

The speed of our greens are on average are 9-9.5 for regular play increasing to 10-10.5 for major club tournaments.

Currently they are 8.7-9.2 for the reasons I gave above, not a great deal slower than our average speeds.

We measure green speed using a stimpmetre which is a tool to monitor the pace of a putting surface. It is very much a low tech device, essentially just a small metal ramp that is angled down to a flat part of a green. How far the golf ball rolls across the green results in the "Stimp rating" of the green.

 The table produced by the USGA shows guidelines for greens speeds.

Speed for normal play

Category

Tournament

Category

8ft 6"

Fast

10ft 6"

Fast

7ft 6"

Medium/Fast

9ft 6"

Medium/Fast

6ft 6"

Medium

8ft 6"

Medium

5ft 6"

Medium/Slow

7ft 6"

Medium/Slow

4ft 6"

Slow

6ft 6"

Slow

These figures do prove that greens stimping at 9ft are very much an acceptable speed for club golfers and a long way from being classified as slow.

This subject does highlight the pressures put on head greenkeepers to produce quick greens and how their actions can sometimes have a detrimental effect on grass health.

Other News

I very much want to bring more colour and interest to the course and have been very active this summer creating new planting at the 16th and for the more observant of you two Fernery areas at the 2nd and 8th medal tees.

In the spring we cleared scrub from an area behind the 5th tee and sowed some wild flowers as an experiment, not really knowing how successful it would be.

I needn't of worried as the area has been transformed will colour and interest with the different flowers brightening up a once untidy area.

The success of this work has motivated us to sow more next spring, so get used to seeing much more colour on the course next year.

The water level at the 13th pond is very low but fortunately we managed to remove most of the fish last year, and we are in the process of removing the final few.

We plan to de-silt the pond using an excavator in September to add more depth and remove the vegetation that is choking up the water.

This work should improve the look and health of the pond for many years to come.

It was my intention to organise a divot evening, but the dry weather would only give the birds plenty of seed to eat.

Likewise the divot bags have not been introduced for the same reasons.

However I still intend to organise a divot evening when conditions are more favourable for seed to germinate.

Date will be posted.

Future Works

Green Renovation week- August (Date to be confirmed)

De silting 13th pond- September

Drainage 5th green – October

Graham Careford

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Comments 3

BANIM, DR Shay on Saturday, 21 July 2018 09:19

Hi Graham
Great to see the benefits of irrigation on the greens and tees.
You’re right to preserve the green grass.
The wild flowers are a great treat, especially at 2 and 5.
Such colour
So natural
Well done

Hi Graham Great to see the benefits of irrigation on the greens and tees. You’re right to preserve the green grass. The wild flowers are a great treat, especially at 2 and 5. Such colour So natural Well done Sé
Mark Kermode on Saturday, 21 July 2018 18:38

Thanks for you excellent and informative posts, Graham. And we do notice the nice additions like the meadow grass behind the 5th tee!

Cheers,
Mark.

Thanks for you excellent and informative posts, Graham. And we do notice the nice additions like the meadow grass behind the 5th tee! Cheers, Mark.
WATERMAN, MR Bryan on Wednesday, 25 July 2018 11:23

Great work Graham. The greens are excellent - to my standard - and the practice putting green is excellent - probably one of the best in the area - if not THE BEST.
Great to hear of the proposals for the practice ground area for Pitching, Chipping and Bunker facilities. On the right behind the 1st Tee. Any chance of a practice bunker in front of the Swing Studio? For longer shots from a bunker!
It would be very nice to have the flat area in front of the bays regularly mowed/maintained with some demarcated circles and flags for chipping/pitching practice! Keep up the good work Bryan Waterman

Great work Graham. The greens are excellent - to my standard - and the practice putting green is excellent - probably one of the best in the area - if not THE BEST. Great to hear of the proposals for the practice ground area for Pitching, Chipping and Bunker facilities. On the right behind the 1st Tee. Any chance of a practice bunker in front of the Swing Studio? For longer shots from a bunker! It would be very nice to have the flat area in front of the bays regularly mowed/maintained with some demarcated circles and flags for chipping/pitching practice! Keep up the good work Bryan Waterman
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Saturday, 21 September 2019