Monday, 25 November 2013

Bunker maintenance work 17th Green

The bunker work to the right hand side of the 17th Green has now been completed. The bunker face lip has been softened, the bunker base was shaped to replicate the final sand shape, a bunker mat liner was installed and the first layer of bunker sand was installed. Final sand depths will be completed following settlement and weathering.

Shaping the bunker face

Installing the bunker mat liner

Shaping the first layer of Bunker sand

The completed work

Drainage works to Greens 4 and 6

Please find below photo's of the recent drainage works carried out to Greens 4 and 6. Duncan Ross drainage carried out the work which was completed to the same high standard as previous years.
Overall seven Greens have now had land drainage installed in them, Greens 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, the rear of 13 and the 15th. The overall aim of the drainage project was to produce Greens that are firm for twelve months of the year, this goal will be further achieved through the club's aeration programme and the sand dressing carried out.

Completed work on the 6th Green
The drain lines will be allowed to naturally settle before final levels are achieved.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Bunker maintenance work begins

Ten bunkers from a priority list have been highlighted for maintenance work this winter. The work will include removal of any over hanging lips, re shaping of the bunker base to mirror the final shape of the sanded bunker. A "bunker mat" liner will be installed in the bunker, this will eradicate any contamination of the sand from the bunker base material, will eradicate any contamination of the sand during washouts and will enable a minimum amount of sand to be deposited on the bunker face which will cut down on the chance of plugged balls.
The following photo's are of work being carried out on the right hand Green side bunker on the 17th hole.

The bunker before the start of work with heavy stone contamination and a over hanging lip.

The photo shows the reshaping of the bunker lip.

Removal of the over hang lip.

Shaping of the bunker face and base ready for the installation of the bunker mat.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Improvements to path ends

Several of the pathway ends have suffered from excessive wear and compaction resulting in loss of grass growth. Year long foot and vehicular traffic at several pinch points around the course has resulted in this loss of growth and presentation.
A new plastic honey comb ground reinforcement material "Hexapath is to be installed in these areas. The honey comb structure is set into the path end and partly backfilled with a rootzone growing medium and then seeded. The result will be a grass covered surface that will not wear as the down force from foot and vehicles is absorbed by the hexapath structure. Wear to the grass plant is not possible as the growing point is protected by the structure of the hexapath.
Below is a photo showing an installed section of Hexapath at the beginning of the pathway leading from the 6th Green to the 7th Tee.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Winter work programme

An outlined proposal of winter work for the golf course has been compiled into a small report. Following a recent Green's meeting the report is now available to view on the Green's management notice board situated on the link corridor in the clubhouse. The report will also be published in the members section of the club website.
The report highlights the main proposals for the larger tasks and does not mention day to day maintenance tasks.

Repairing pitchmarks in the Greens

Please follow the link above, an interesting demonstration on the right and wrong ways to repair a pitchmark on a golf Green.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Hole changing

Below is a photograph of the tools used when moving the hole on a Green. There seems to be a lack of under standing with some members who think that a board is not used when changing the hole.
The board used is actually a metal plate and is used to eliminate any lifting of the green in the area around the hole cutter.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Rescue herbicide applied to Apron

As well as the Tees an application of "Rescue" herbicide has been carried out to the 9th and 12th Aprons. As with the Tees the Aprons contain varying amounts of Perennial Rye and Yorkshire Fog grasses . The removal of these grasses will greatly improve the presentation and aesthetics of these playing areas.

The 9th Apron after solid tine aeration, seeding and top dressing with root zone.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Maintenance work on the Tees following the application of "Rescue" herbicide

Following the application of Rescue herbicide for the removal of Perennial Rye and Yorkshire Fog grasses the weakened areas have now been over seeded and dressed with a root zone. Further seeding will be employed towards the end of the month before the onset of winter.

The photograph is of the 1st Tee following scratch raking of the surface, seeding and dressing with a rootzone.
The 1st, 4th, 7th and 13th contained the most amount of Rye grass and therefore suffered the most disruption.

Results from over seeding the Greens

It has now been three weeks since the Greens were over seeded using two varieties of Fescue during aeration week.
The photograph below shows lines of the germinated seed developing into young fescue grass plants.

Difficult to photograph but the young established plants are shown in the dark lines.
From early establishment some week ago the mowing frequency was reduced to every other day, with the height of cut lifted up to 5mm. This obviously had an effect on green speed and roll of the ball.
As from this Monday (7th) daily mowing has been carried out. The sward texture has tightened up again although Green speed will be slower from lifting the height of cut.
Daily mowing during the week will continue until temperatures drop down to around 10*c and growth slows down. As from this Friday hand mowing will be carried out more regularly, with the heavier triple mower being rested during the wetter winter months.

Friday, 27 September 2013

"Rescue" herbicide applied to the Tees.

You will notice that the main Teeing grounds are looking stressed at the moment. A selective herbicide has been applied to control and remove unwanted Perennial Rye and Yorkshire Fog grasses from them. The end result will be a more evenly textured sward without the individual clumpy rye grass plants in them.
Unfortunately the herbicide does stress other grass plants including browntop bent and smooth stalked meadow grass. The deterioration will be short lived and following some remedial work the Tees will be healthy again.


Management of Common (Norfolk) Reed

The common reed running through the dike system on holes 4,5 and 6 has this year been controlled through two applications of a total weed killer, one in early summer and the second recently.
Although this does disrupt the ecological side of things the dike system does transport a lot of water through it not only of the course but from land up stream.


Rough land management

Between now and the onset of the winter months the longer rough land areas of the golf course will receive their yearly maintenance. The larger areas will be mown out using our Amazon groundkeeper.

The above photo shows the tractor mounted Amazon cutting and collecting the mown grass land on the right hand side of the 15th hole.


The grass is mown after it has set seed and before it naturally dies back releasing unwanted nutrients into the soil profile. These nutrients promote the wrong type of grasses for a golf course rough. Natural infertile soils help promote the desirable Fescue and Bent species which  develop thin whispy swards that are more acceptable for golf. This process is  long term managment and will improve the sward year on year. Smaller areas will be strimmed and collected by hand. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Work carried out on the Greens during aeration maintenance week, 16th to 20th September. All planned works were carried out during the week although there were some delays to due to heavy rain showers and a longer spell of rain on the Thursday.
The work carried out included the following tasks:
Verti cut all Greens.
Verti draining (aeration)
solid tining (aeration)
sand dressing
Below is a breakdown of each task with photo's to help explain each task.


A close up photograph shows a verti cut unit which is attached to the triple greens mower. The three units contain vertically set blades which spin at high speed and scratch at the green surface to a set desired depth. The aim is to remove surface dead and decaying plant material and help minimise the build up of thatch. The verti cutting process is carried out between six and eight times during the growing season.

Verti cut units in operation on the greens mower.



The club's 1.5m wide verti-drain

The photo shows 13mm diameter solid tines working to a depth of 200mm (8"). The action of the verti-drain produces heave as the tine enters the green profile, fracturing the soil and relieving compaction built up over the year through foot and vehicular traffic. As well as relieving compaction the aeration work improves surface drainage, allows air exchange between the soil air and the atmosphere. Soil air contains high rates of carbon dioxide produced during plant respiration.

A verti-drained surface.

A close up photo of the John Deere aercore punch action aerator.
The Greens were tined using 9mm diameter solid tines to a depth of 75mm. No heave is produced with this aerator therefore there is no compaction relief. The tines are punched into the surface vertically improving air exchange and surface drainage. The improved air exchange during aeration also provides valuable oxygen for beneficial bacteria and microbes present in the rootzone.

Verti-draining with the tractor mounted verti-drain followed by solid tining with the pedestrian punch action aerator on the 9th Green.
The Greens were overseeded using the Vredo tractor mounted seeder. The process used is disc seeding where the seed is drilled into the Green surface. The seed is dropped inbetween two angled discs which cut into the surface and release the seed. A roller then seals the seeded slit.
The seed used was made up of two species of Fescue (festuca species), Chewings and Slender Creeping Red Fescue. Fescue is the desired grass species on the Greens and forms part of the managent plan for the Greens.

The seed is dropped through hollow tubes and released into the angled discs. The roller then closes the seeded slit.


A close up of a seeded Green, two passes are carried out.

As explained in this year's STRI report the Greens are now dressed with straight sand. Top dressing improves surface levels, improves surface drainage, helps dilute the accumulation of thatch and helps create dry and firm playing surfaces for the majority of the year. The dry free draining environment is ideal for the germination and establishment of the desired grass species of fescue and Bent.

Sand dressing
A total of 140 tonnes of top dressing has been applied to the Greens this year. This amount is possible because of the use of the new spinner top dresser where the sand is passed through two angled spinning discs which throw the material horizontally over the surface.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Contractors at work on the Fairways

"Worth Draining" have been contracted in this week to carry out aeration work in the form of verti-draining to the Fairways and high wear walkways.
There are two 85hp tractors operating 2.5m wide verti-drains. The aerators are using 25mm diameter solid tines to a depth of 200mm (8").

Verti-draining is a form of aeration where heave is applied to the operating tines thus fracturing the soils below and relieving compaction.
The relief of surface compaction, caused by foot and vehicular traffic, produces a healthier environment for grass roots to grow in, improving air exchange and water movement through the open pore spaces created.
The high rainfall of 2012 highlighted compaction problems around the golf course restricting natural drainage and filtration of water through the soils. Through regular yearly compaction relief the soils will be maintained in a more open state, improving surface movement of rainfall.




New drainage line running water

The photographs below show drainage water being moved from the ditch behind the 13th Green down to the dyke on the 4th hole. The ditch collects drainage water from the 11th hole, from the 13th Green (two drains), and from the soakaway hollow on the left of the Green.

The black solid pipe (unperforated) transports water from the ditch to the dyke.

The manhole on the 16th carry showing water movement.

Members divotting team

Many thanks to the volunteers who divotted the front nine Fairways today. This is the second time this year that volunteer members have put them selves forward to help carry out vital Fairway divotting.

Hard at work on the 4th Fairway.

Not to be left out, the divotting team who helped out earlier in the Summer.

Bare Beck outfall tested over the weekend

The newly renovated Bare Beck outfall was well and truely tested out on Sunday 15th September with high winds and torrential rain The re-arranged rock armour kept the wind blown tide from disrupting drainage water from the golf course.

Hopefully this will now be the long term solution to last year's repeat flooding of the dyke system.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

September is a busy month for the Greenstaff

Next week the club are holding their Festival week along with Heysham and Lancaster golf clubs.
It is a busy week for the greenstaff having to work around the competitions, which this year are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

The following week (16th to 20th) is the golf course maintenance week. As well as in-house maintenance work on the Greens and Tees a contractor has been hired to carry out verti drain work to the Fairways and walkways. Photo's and information will be posted once the work is under way.
Volunteers have been requested again to carry out divotting work to the fairways during the week, hopefully we will have the same support as last time.

Fertiliser application to Greens

The photo below shows a granular fertiliser being applied to one of the Greens. This is the second granular application this year, the first was carried out in Spring.

During the Summer months liquid fertiliser was applied to the Greens on a monthly basis using the tractor mounted sprayer.
Fertiliser is applied to the Greens to help sustain growth. The Greens are under constant pressure from the ware and tare of play and maintenance operations and enough fertiliser is applied to combat ware without encouraging excessive growth. The club's main goal is to develop a Fescue / Bent sward, the correct amount of fertiliser applied is an important factor in the development of these grasses.
The main source of fertiliser applied is Nitrogen, along with Potassium make up the macro nutrients vital for healthy growth of the grass plant.

DEW in the mornings

This time of year brings about the formation of dew on the grass playing surfaces on the golf course.


Morning dew on the 18th hole

Clear skies and calm winds allow the grass surfaces to cool through loss of infared radiation down to a temperature which is colder than the dew point of the air next to that surface.
Dew is made of liquid water that has condensed from some of the water vapour contained in the air.

Morning dew can cause several problems. For the golfer playing surfaces are disrupted when dew is lying on the ground. Agronomically the quality of cut from the mowers is not as effective when mowing wet grass plants, the same scenario as trying to cut wet paper with a pair of scissors.
Early morning dew also creates an ideal environment for disease formation, fungal spores are often distributed through moisture.

Photo of early morning dew removal from the Greens through the action of daily mowing.

Alternative dew removal method using a dew brush, carried out during the winter months when daily mowing does not occur.

Dew removal using a tractor mounted zig zag brush, slightly more aggressive than a dew brush but effective at standing up the grass plant prior to mowing. 

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Finals Day

A strong North Westerly wind will make conitions difficult for finals day. The usual competition set up has taken place with Greens mown, holes moved and bunkers fully raked. Because of the nature of the day several people are playing both morning and afternoon finals, therefore the holes will be re-cut for the afternoon finalist.
As extra preparation the Greens were double rolled on Friday afternnon.
The golf club is looking into the possibility of investing in a lightweight Greens roller. There are two different options available on the market, both of which have been demonstrated to the club.
The idea behind light weight rolling is to improve the roll of the ball across the surface, eliminating both vertical and horizontal movement from the desired line of putt, producing a truer surface.

The above photo shows one option of Greens rolling, the vibrating roller is an attachment unit for the Greens mower.
The other option available is a single seat self driven ride on roller as opposed to the attachment above.

Update on alterations to Bare Beck outfall

New sea defence taking shape after two weeks of recontouring the rock armour surrounding the outlet of Bare Beck opposite the 4th Tee.

Large slabs of rock have been deposited and shaped on the windward side of the outlet. This rock groin will stop any debris from covering the outlet and preventing drainage from the golf course.

                             Further reshaping of the shore line on the south side of the outlet.

                                            Contractor at work moving the defence stone.