02. Apr 2019

April Newsletter 2019 – 1st edition

  • Greenkeeper,
  • News

Dear Members,

I would like to wish you a very warm welcome to season start. Like you, my team and I have been eagerly awaiting the start of the season and some optimal grass growing temperatures. I have titled this newsletter edition one, this is because so much take place through the month of April that it will take several correspondences for me to keep you all up to date.

We have received almost 200mm of rain over the past three months; this is almost half what we received for the entire 2018 season. Usually this amount of rainfall would not have too much of an adverse effect at Simon’s as our course drainage is exceptionally good. However, due to the prolonged period of drought we experienced through the spring, summer and autumn of 2018 the soil on the course was bone dry. This meant that all the rain that fell had to penetrate and re-wet the soil, this takes a very long time. The good news is that this has now taken place and that paired with the nice warm sunny afternoons the course has dried extremely quickly, all of this along with a dry forecast meant I was able to allow trolleys from Saturday 30th March.

Over the winter period we have been unfortunate to experience an aggressive outbreak of Fusarium (microdochium nivale) in the greens. I list the Latin name for any members who wish to read up on the disease. It has been explained many times that due to increased restrictions in pesticide usage on golf courses that such outbreaks are increasingly difficult to combat.

That said our main goal for the weeks ahead is to do everything in our power to encourage the grass plant to recover as quickly as possible, already in the past ten days we can see that the greens have almost 50% recovered. Through the weeks ahead the greens will be our priority and we will carry out the following: we will spray them with cold start fertiliser, gently scarify the greens in two directions, apply seed, lightly top dress, aerate using the usual small diameter solid tine, roll and apply water when required. We will commission the irrigation system this week to make this possible. To allow my team as much flexibility as possible to carry out this task the course information will read “See Starter House” each day until this is completed. We will also refrain from using the 1,2,3 pin positions during this period.

As we proceed through the month of April the early stages of spring will become more visible, however we must continue with caution, the weather during this period is very changeable and temperatures both day and night can alter considerably, clear skies lead to night frosts and we will no doubt also experience some foggy days when the conditions are conducive, please remember if you cannot see where your ball will land please do not commence or continue your round until such a time as you can do so.

In the past ten days we have carried out the following:

  • Place all summer tee markers in, in-season positions
  • Ball washers, benches and bins on all tees
  • Changed to summer mats and balls on the range
  • Trimmed all irrigation heads
  • Trimmed all yardage markers
  • Mowed greens, tees, fairways and foregreens
  • Placed fountains in the lakes
  • Raked all bunkers twice
  • Rolled greens four times
  • Sprayed greens with fertiliser twice
  • Repaired the main line irrigation leak on B6
  • Replaced all yellow hazard markers with Red

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate “Simon” on the 50th Anniversary of Scan-Group.

As always my team and I look forward to seeing you all out on the course and wish you all the best for the season ahead.

Kind regards

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