25. Apr 2022

Greenkeeper Newsletter

  • Greenkeeper,
  • News

Dear members,

Season start
I appreciate my season start newsletters are always very detailed and this year is no different, especially with new 5 Tee concept and additional tree management project. I urge you all to please take the time to read and look at the information on the links provided. My Newsletters are also published on our homepage should you wish to read or reread past editions.

Members questions
I ask that should you have any questions, comments, or praise regarding the golf course that you direct them to the club’s Green’s Chairman Jesper Zerlang (via: klub@simonsgolf.dk) and if needed we will add them to our agenda for our next Greens Committee Meeting of which our Head Pro James Petts also sits on. My team, although extremely keen and committed, are not best placed to answer many of your questions.

My team
Like yourselves, my team and I are delighted the active grass growing season has now arrived, we welcome back many of our existing seasonal staff and welcome a few new faces to the team.
We are delighted to start the 2022 Season with the course presenting itself in the best condition ever. Following the winter course protection program our goal is to now prepare the course for a fantastically busy playing season.

Trolley ban lifted
I was delighted to be able to lift the trolley ban before Easter, I sincerely apricate how import it is for so many of you. The timing of the decision to implement and remove the use of trolley’s is really challenging. From a grass protection angle I must monitor when the grass stops actively growing in the autumn and starts actively growing in the spring. The grass growth has only really kicked in this week, and you will see that there are already signs of a little wear from trolley traffic on the grassed pathways this will be exacerbated by the very dry weather we are currently experiencing. I am confident we can grow this wear out and a little rain would greatly assist with this. 

Spring aeration
From Monday 25th April we will perform our spring core aeration on all greens, this process will be the same as last spring using 9mm hollow tines. The link below is for an explanation from the USGA as to why aeration is so vital for the overall health and playability of turf: USGA Aeration

The main purpose of aeration is to improve the overall health of the grassed area, in this case the greens, but will also improve the surface firmness and create a true and even ball roll. To perform this task we will:

  • Remove cores from the greens
  • Collect cores off the greens
  • Apply sand to the greens
  • Brush sand into the open holes
  • Roll the greens
  • Drop seed – creeping bent grass – onto the greens
  • Fertilise the greens
  • Water the greens repeatedly

We must wait for some days to allow the grass to grow though the sand before mowing can commence once more as sand severely blunts the greens mowing units. However, we will roll as much as possible when the sand is dry to improve ball roll.

Preferred lies
We are also close to completing our spring aeration of fairways and grass pathways, this allows us to relive compaction, improve drainage and allow air to the grass roots. As we await more grass growth and the holes to close over preferred lies will remain in place. We will email all members when preferred lies will be lifted.

5 Tee concept/in-season course
Our Five Star Head Pro James Petts and his Assistant Lars Løgstrup have long since had the ambition to enhance the golfing experience at Simon’s for golfers of all ability. To achieve this they have composed 5 different tee colours, Red, Blue, Yellow, White and Black with black being the longest course and red the shortest course available. Please see an example of the new score card below:

In conjunction with this task and following on from the re-rating of the course following our 2020 re-model we have been able to update our course guide so it reads clearer, has more detailed information and additional measurements. Working alongside Jens Islin and our long serving member Vilhelm Jensen of Production Facilities ApS all tee signage, scorecards and conversion tables have been updated and will be available from when we switch to our summer course next Friday 29th April.

This is also when I foresee we can start to play from our summer tee positions, I have already removed the artificial turf mats and placed the marks on the adjacent grassed tee. As with the warmer soil temperatures all divots removed from the tees will have seed and soil applied and the seed area should recover within 14 days.

Tree management program 2022
When Simon’s originally opened A and B loop’s in 1993 the course, although expertly designed and shaped, was considered to be very open from hole to hole. Therefore, a huge tree planting project was undertaken. Again James Petts, Lars Logstup and of course “Simon” were the instigators of this task. (You can see the video of the opening of Simon’s Golf in 1993 here). The tree areas were planted very densely as the trees where only about a metre high, this is very similar to how C-Loop was planted when it opened in 2007, and over recent years we have brought in professional Arborists namely Gribskov Stub og Gren with a careful approach to the course, to thin out the heavily populated areas such as between C1 and C9.

However, we have now reached a point where a larger scaled task is needed over all 27 holes to ensure the health of the trees for the years ahead, and also help to create more passageways for traffic and reduce the shade on some greens as this affects the health of the grass and also to improve the playability of the course. In some areas many of the trees are self-seeded and are not in very good health. These trees will be removed and be replaced with trees from areas on C-Loop in the autumn. Please note, that the fallen tree will also be removed at this time.

Many people have been involved in the task, again James Petts and Lars Løgstrup (our Pro’s) Caspar Grauballe (our Architect), myself as Golf Course Superintendent and Jesper Zerlang as Greens Chairman on behalf of the club all with the combined objective of creating the best golfing experience possible. The trees management program will commence from Monday 2nd May.

So, as you can read we are entering yet another fantastically progressive season at Simon’s Golf. I would like to wish you all the best season possible and look forward to seeing you on the course.

Kind regards,

Reamonn O’Neill
Golf Course Superintendent

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