GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE
MONTHLY REPORT – April 2020
Course Manager, Robert Bacon
Well well well……where to begin….
This is a truly challenging time for us all…
For a change I would love to tell you all that the weather has been terrible…. Unfortunately/Fortunately that has not been the case, there has barely been a cloud in the sky since we closed. 31mm of rain in total has fallen in the last month half of that in the last couple of days. As a result the course has dried up really well from our appalling winter weather. Temperatures have been high during the day but biting cold in the mornings, this, coupled with the dry weather has meant fairly slow growth which has allowed our reduced team the time required to stay on top of the maintenance.
Covid-19 – Golf Course Maintenance restrictions
We were given permission to continue to maintain the course during the lockdown subject to strict guidelines (Click this link for full guidelines Essential Maintenance). These guidelines included ‘essential’ maintenance only. Aeration including hollow-coring, Topdressing etc as well as the completion of Winter Projects and work in hazard was NOT permitted although some of these restrictions were relaxed at the beginning of the second wave of guidelines.
Our greens are currently being maintained at a cutting height of 5mm, normal cutting height for this period would be 3.5mm, this will help prevent any undue stress on our greens that could result in the need for additional costly inputs of Nutrition, Pesticides, Water etc
A granular fertilizer was applied to the greens this week which will pull all the different species of grasses we have in our greens into line and in turn improve density and fully recover the areas damaged in the winter.
Throughout this lockdown period we have been unable to receive any sand deliveries in order to topdress our greens. Topdressing our greens adds that final piece of refinement required to achieve an excellent ball roll… this situation is being monitored with quarries still closed.
As mentioned in the weather data growth remains fairly slow although I expect that situation to change after the rainfall and forecasted temperatures for next week.
Our tees have all been divoted and have good early season coverage. A granular fertilizer is due to be applied, however, due to the weather this has been impossible to apply. As we wait to apply the granular fertilizer we have been meeting the nutritional needs of our tees with the occasional spray the next of which is scheduled for May 1st. All yardage discs have been edged and will be cleaned prior to the continuation of golf.
Typically…. a few weeks prior to lockdown, we purchased several new ballwashers and new ballwasher towels that would be laundered and rotated in an effort to bring continuity to our course furniture. Something to look forward to…….
The fairways have dried remarkably well over this last period, thankfully. We applied some Iron to tackle the moss last month and this coupled with being able to dry cut the fairways in the afternoons in a variety of directions has resulted in a much-improved fairway surface. We have a granular fertilizer waiting to be applied once the conditions are right which I hope will result in the fairways being in their best ever condition.
The condition of the fairways has been further enhanced by some excellent work in getting all our holes divoted, thanks.
Prior to lockdown we had begun the process of rotavating and ‘topping’ up the sand in our bunkers. I estimate this is around 60% complete. This will be finished as a matter of priority once we can again begin to receive sand deliveries.
All bunkers have been, this week, sprayed with a total weedkiller and will soon be weed free.
Our ‘new’ bunker at the 9th hole also awaits sand.
Obviously throughout the lockdown I will be tightly managing all spend on our allocated budget while ensuring we open back up for golf in optimal condition.
Once play resumes…..
We will be looking to refine some of the measures implemented prior to lockdown in an effort to minimize the disruption to golf and maximise your enjoyment of your game. We will elaborate and update you regarding these measures as and when.
Special thanks should be reserved for you….our members as without your emotional and continued financial support throughout this period of lockdown it would be impossible for us to continue to work on the golf course.
Thanks also to Chris for his support during this period and to my team and their tireless skill and effort.
Please stay safe and we hope to see you on the fairways soon…
Robert Bacon – Course Manager