29. Sep 2021
In this newsletter I hope to explain to you what works and tasks have recently been carried out and what we plan to do in the weeks ahead.
This week we have finalised greens core aeration on all greens, this takes us to a total of 3 core aerations for the season. Core aeration is carried out to ensure we stay at the optimal level of thatch in our greens, this is to aid plant health and playability. I appreciate as the aeration work is carried out on the 9 holes that are closed you do not get to see the hard work that goes into the process, I have created a 1-minute timelapse video to explain: https://youtu.be/4cxD4v8usho or https://vimeo.com/616184086
Throughout the weeks and months ahead, as in previous years, we will take every opportunity to aerate the greens further. This is done in a variety of ways; deep solid tine aeration at 12mm diameter, shallow tine aeration at 9mm diameter and shallow tine aeration using bayonet tines. To read more about why we aerate, the benefits of aeration and golfing tips please follow this link: https://thegolfacademy.org/2017/11/28/survive-aerated-greens/
It is the policy at Simon’s Golf to play our summer greens all through the winter except during periods of frost and snow. It is my responsibility to try and ensure the greens are as prepared as they can be for the stresses associated with this. Again, I ask all members to please fix their own pitch marks and any others they should see on the greens. Please follow this link to find an informative article on repairing pitch marks from the Director of Greenkeeping at St. Andrews: http://blog.standrews.com/2016/03/09/repairing-pitchmarks/
Last week we had a floating excavator delivered to site and focused on removing the dead material from the lake on A5.
Now the excavator will move to B3 and hopefully B4 to clear the lakes there. The other lakes will be cleared during the winter if/when we receive significant frost.
We have taken the opportunity to remove the algae from the big lake between B1, B8 and B9:
We have started our autumn/winter tasks, below are a list of these with explanations as to why they take place:
- Blowing leaves daily – Leaves will be removed from the greens each morning, this is to aid playability and ensure plant health. This task will continue throughout the autumn.
- Raising mower heights – Mowing heights are raised in the autumn as day length/light is greatly reduced, a grass plants leaf acts as a solar panel, the longer the plant the more light can be absorbed making the plant healthier. This applied to all grassed areas but especially the greens. During this period the grass will reduce significantly in growth potential, we will mow the greens less and roll the greens less to ensure we do not create too much mechanical stress to the plant.
- Scarifying of tees – This will commence shortly and sand will be used to top-dress following.
- Verti-draining – We will verti-drain the fairways, surrounding traffic areas and grass pathways, this is predominantly to aid in decompaction and improve drainage.
- Seeding – We will be seeding grass pathways and high traffic areas and focus on incorporating rye grass seed in areas of the fairways that have a high Poa-annua population.
- Iron applications – We will continue to harden the grass plant for winter weather and play, this is done by applying iron-based products to the greens, tees and approaches, this helps to reduce the activity of various fungi.
- Hedges – The hedges will receive their final cut of the season.
- Stone pathways – We will continue to maintain and resurface the stone pathways.
- Chipping green bunker – We constructed the chipping green bunker in 2017 and after 5 years of play and sand splash from the bunker towards the green the edge of the bunker and the greens surface has raised more than a metre, we will remove the turf, reshape the bunker and edge of the green and returf the area.
- Traffic areas – As the grass growth diminishes traffic wear from trolleys will become more apparent, we are therefore forced to rope off areas to protect them from excessive wear.
Please note, all of these tasks are weather dependent. From this point forward the weather plays a huge part in tasks that need to be done, normally we can only plan a few days in advance and have to adjust our plans accordingly.
In addition to this we will continue to carry out our usual day to day tasks such as the mowing of greens, tees, approaches, fairways, semi-rough, rough, devoting tees and landing areas, changing holes, raking bunkers, hover mowing bunkers, hover mowing and strimming of lakes and streams, emptying bins, moving tee markers, trimming irrigation heads and yardage plaques, amongst other daily course maintenance tasks.
It has been decided that preferred lies will be implemented from Friday 1st October. Martin Logan, Club Handicap Committee, will send out an email on Thursday with a reminder of the rules regarding this.
As we move into the autumn there is the possibility of fog and frost delays, please remember to check the website and Starter House before play.
I appreciate this may be a longer and more detailed newsletter than normal, however, it does cover a great deal of subject matter and I would please urge all of you to read and absorb the information.
Golf Course Superintendent