16/07/18 – 14/09/18
On the course
Well, what a Summer we have had, officially the hottest and driest on record, and it has shown on the course. Whilst it has been fantastic golfing weather, it has been extremely difficult to keep the playing surfaces performing well, moisture management has been key. We are now in recovery and all surfaces are recovering well, the greens and approaches especially are performing extremely well and showing little to no drought damage, the tees have also recovered superbly well with only minor damage on a handful. Our areas of concern are the fairways, as we do not have fairway irrigation, nor the water abstraction allowance if we did, the fairways received no water for many weeks and as such the crown of the plant has died and therefore turf loss can be seen on a number of fairways, namely the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 17th.
Recovery – Fairway recovery will be slow and will be entirely dependent on growing conditions throughout September – November, for our part we will help matters along with a double scarification in October to remove the dead matter, and then once more in March ready for the new season. It has been decided that overseeding is not the correct procedure for recover for our site in these conditions, the reason behind this decision is the risk of losing juvenile seedlings, as the fairways do not have irrigation it is risk I am not willing to take to overseed at a large expense and then have the seedlings die through further drought. Instead, the tillering of the current grass plants throughout the fairways, fertilisation and scarification during the next 2 months will be sufficient for recovery. If areas of thin turf are still seen in March, I will then consider overseeding these problematic areas with the risk of a dry spring far less than in late summer.
The course itself is playing extremely well and I am very pleased with our daily set up and condition of all surfaces, with the addition of the Toro Proforce Blower last year to our fleet we are able to blow all leaves around the green and green compex on a daily basis, this gives a perfectly clean surface from leaf litter for the days play.
The month ahead
The next month will see our September solid tinning on green and approaches on Monday 17th, this will be followed by a light dressing. The tees will receive a core aeration in October and then again in November and a heavy dressing after each. The course will continue to be prepared daily and all surfaces cut and presented to their best. Course construction has yet to be finalised but will start in Early October. We are coming to end of the usual playing season however the weather is showing no sign of changing so lets hope for another for a few more weeks into October of goof golfing weather.