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.