MONTHLY REPORT: APRIL 2021
Prepared by Course Manager, Robert Bacon
Well, what can I say about the weather, it has been great for golf and great to see so many members enjoying the golf course. From a course maintenance point of view, it is a slightly different story though.
April has given us 13 consecutive days of sub-zero overnight temperatures. This is keeping the soil temperatures, which govern growth, extremely low. Our grass plants require 6oC within the soil just to initiate growth and a consistent double figure temperature to maintain consistent growth. We recorded soil temps of 5.6oC on Friday (apr 16th). Our average air temperature for April to date is 4.6oC (9oC in April 2020). A dry cold spring is great for golf…. not for growth. The overnight temperatures are forecast to rise over the next week or so.
Our greens are ‘ok’ at the moment. They require a significant & stable increase in the temperature of the soil in order for us to achieve a consistent growth pattern. Moisture in the green is ok at present although we anticipate firing up the irrigation system next week (19th April->). Our greens perform best when we have around 20% VMC (Volumetric Moisture Content), this is our target figure when irrigating.
Our greens will receive the following treatments over the next reporting period…
- Minimal disruption aeration in the form of sarel rolling.
- Verti-cutting & Light Topdressing.
- Fertility as required.
- Irrigation as required.
We had planned to remove some organic matter from some of our greens in the form of Graden Sand-Injection, unfortunately, due to the current weather patterns, we have missed the window for this work with concerns over the greens recovering in a timely manner. This work will be carried out on all greens at the end of our competition season.
Our Tees and approaches have yet to receive their initial granular fertilizer application, due, again, to the current weather patterns. This will be done as soon as a sensible weather pattern presents itself.
The same applies to our fairways and trafficked roughs.
We are currently suffering through a run of unfortunate luck on our older pieces of equipment, although there is some good news on this front.
Tractor Mounted Blower – we are glad to report that we were able, thanks to excellent work by an engineering company, to repair our damaged blower and this is now fully operational.
Sprayer – Our sprayer requires some significant investment in order to pass its government legislated MOT. We also require replacing the foam marker. The Sprayer is 7 years old, its recommended replacement date was 2019 but other priorities arose.
Club Car Utility Vehicle – All the batteries in our club car require to be replaced. These are out of warranty. The machine is 7 years old, its recommended replacement date was 2019.
I will provide the club with an updated version of the previously submitted machinery replacement program.
It should be noted that the club have given our team excellent support in replacing machines, however, a program of replacing ‘as needed’ does run the risk of ‘needing’ several replacements at one time.
Updated Winter Program
THIS IS NOW COMPLETE.
The green has now returned to play, when the frost has allowed. The green requires further fertility applications as well as aeration, verti-cutting and sanding to improve ball roll and grass sward. Due to the very dry and very cold weather this has not been possible to date.
New Ditch at 10
Bridges will be added in due course.
14th & 17th
Focusing on the carries at 14 & 17. We have a contractor visiting site tomorrow (24th) to inspect the required works from which we will formulate a gorse removal plan. I expect this work to be carried out ASAP. This may involve complete hole closure. This will be communicated in advance.
This work is now complete, although some further ground clearance will be done when other priorities have been completed.
We will be removing the badly worn astro-turf from the path on 14. We will also be inspecting drainage on several paths prior to a top-up.
Not yet started.
We will be looking to divot all our fairways as the temperatures start to rise. Towards the end of March, we will be looking for volunteers. While we remain in ‘lockdown’ this may be hard to organise, safely.
This was a terrific success. Thank you to everyone who participated especially Chris who took time from his busy schedule to assist us, it was much appreciated.
We will communicate in good time the date of future divoting days.
Robert Bacon – Course Manager