I hope you are all enjoying being back on the golf course. The Greens have received a granular fertiliser and a wetting agent / root booster package , this encourager’s the roots to dig deeper to search of moisture and help promote healthy growth reducing stress and disease.
We have dressed all the greens once very heavy and some twice that require more levelling than others i.e. Greens at the higher end of the course that is more exposed to the windy and cold elements and therefore tend to take longer to grow than the lower greens.
We have applied 25 tones of dressing this year which is a great help to the soil structure of the greens as well as the crown and surface of Crown plant. Our aim for this year was around 60/75 tonnes so well on track to achieving that.
We have just come out of one of the earliest droughts known in the last 33 years. During the drought two of our staff has been hand watering all day every day the young trees and newly turfed areas and I now think we are winning the battle. We must remember that although it’s sunny the ground temps are still very low and grass is not going to kick in until this raises but when it does all the prep work for that to take place has been done.
Leather jackets - This has been a massive problem to all golf courses. Over the last two years we have been spraying the greens with Accilaprine which we get under license from the government. We are only allowed to use 0.6 litre per hectare and we have around a hectares worth of greens. The spray does not kill the grubs it paralyses them and stops them from feeding. It would be easy to say this has not worked looking at the sheer amount of leather jackets we have found but the spraying even at best half rate is better than nothing.
After noticing that a large number of birds had been pecking at the greens we decided to trial night time sheeting to encourage the grubs to the surface. The outcome was an amazing to us all and it was very fortunate that despite spaying the greens we trialled this procedure.
As you can see from the pictures there is an astonishing amount of grubs that have come to the surface and the matting has been a huge success. On a positive note the covering has encouraged warmth and growth in the greens. We will be pencil tinning on a regular basis and top dressing all the greens on Mondays that have been top dressed to help control the eradication of these bugs.
Our next action will be the introduction of Nematodes worms which will have to be sprayed onto the greens in a very controlled way, the worms eat the grubs when established but we have heard conflicting views from a few local clubs that it is not been successful as once sprayed they the need to establish so hence why we have gone the spray route to date.
We will also be encouraging small birds to the course with small wildflower rough areas and nesting boxes so that they can feed on the little blighters.
We have put out almost 1 tonne of fertiliser on the poor growing fairways which where almost certainly affected by a mixture of poor weather conditions and leather jackets. They were also heavily aerated for the first time in years prior to golfers return.
The area between 5th and 6th fairway is improving and is being seeded and fertilised regularly. The new 13th and 14th tees will be back in play now that the weather has warmed up and we have painted and repaired most of the wood work around the course.
Work is still ongoing on paths to replace unsightly gravel under mats with turf so grass grows thru. The greens committee will be putting together a new programme of works to continue to improve the course for the coming season.
Lets all look forward to some warmer weather which will in turn deliver good greens and maybe some great golf.
Apologies for taking out one or two Greens daily but I hope you understand this is a priority in protecting our greens for the future and it will only be over a short period of time.