GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE
MONTHLY REPORT – May 2020
Course Manager, Robert Bacon
Well, great news received last week that the resumption of golf will be in the first phase of the road map back to some kind of normality with our opening date set for May 29th, subject to a final confirmation from the First Minister. It will be a pleasure to get back to moaning about pitchmarks and the weather……
The weather has been up and down over this last period with us now reaching 75mm of rain for May, 50mm of which has fallen in the past 7 days. Night-time temperatures remained low over the course of the month although there was a couple of double-digit temperatures overnight during this past week. Growth remains relatively low which has enabled us to stay largely on top of the cutting maintenance with only 3 members of staff.
Covid-19 – Golf Course Maintenance restrictions
We have now been given permission from the relevant authorities to begin to prepare the golf course for the return of our members. Having been permitted only ‘essential’ maintenance over the last 2 months, we can now begin to get our hazards etc back in shape.
Our greens are currently being maintained at a higher height of cut, this will be reduced gradually as we go through this week. Nutritionally our greens have picked up and there is a uniformity to the growth pattern now although we are still searching for a little kick in the growth.
We are currently combating a few issues that are out of our control..
- Our Poa Annua is seeding, as it always does at this time of year, giving us slightly bumpier surfaces. We have verti-cut today (25/5) to remove some seedheads and will probably do so again later this week.
- The greens are being eaten alive by leatherjacket grubs which come to the surface eating around old aeration holes meaning the holes cannot close. Normally we would mask the impact of this by topdressing the greens with sand but as I explained in my previous report the sand quarry closed the same day our course did, so instead of applying multiple sand topdressings we have been unable to apply any sand of note. Then there are the crows……
The Leatherjackets will emerge as craneflies over the next couple of weeks and normal service will resume. We did spray an expensive chemical to minimise the leatherjacket population, this product has had mixed reviews throughout the industry and is currently the only one available to us.
Our tees have all been divoted and have good coverage. Our tees received a granular fertiliser ahead of the recent rainfall to which they have responded well.
The fairways are in good shape. We require more growth to reach optimal condition and to that end we have a granular fertilizer waiting to be applied once the conditions are right.
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.
Our ‘new’ bunker at the 9th hole awaits sand and will be marked as Ground Under Repair (GUR) along with several other bunkers on the course that we consider not to have an appropriate amount of sand, these bunkers will be clearly marked as GUR. All other bunkers will be Lift, Smooth and Place until further notice.
Our temporary greens will remain in place until we understand the tee sheets impact on the maintenance of the course. I anticipate the course to be much busier than normal, especially in the initial weeks. On occasion essential maintenance such as Topdressing, aeration etc will have to be carried out on the greens and having the option of using a temporary green may be important if we cannot find ‘gaps’ in the tee sheet. Hopefully, we will not need to use them but if we do it would only be 1 green at a time working against play to ensure we impact any group only once.
IT WILL BE GOOD TO WELCOME BACK OUR MEMBERS & THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.
Robert Bacon – Course Manager