Tee to Green April 2024

25th April 2024

The latest from our Head Greenkeepers of both courses

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The Downs course

This month the greens have been improving after the maintenance. We will continue to sand dust to improve trueness and speed, until we reach our KPI standard. Then it will be routine dustings to keep the KPIs to where they need to be. The greens have taken more time than expected to recover, due to the persistent cold nights and the spring flush in growth we normally have this time of year, has yet to happen, due to the soil temperature being low. We have also had to spray a growth regulator to reduce the Poa grass seed heads on the greens, which make the greens bumpy and slow. Therefore, this has aided in the slower recovery of the greens. However, if this was not done, the greens would be in poorer conditions for the upcoming months.

The bunkers have started to be weeded, de-stoned and topped up. So far, we have done holes, 1,2,3,17 and 18. We will continue to top up the bunkers in order, where we can in the upcoming weeks to provide an improved experience when playing out of these hazards.

The estate has had a few major water pipe bursts on their pipeline, which goes across the 18th fairway and rough. These have been repaired and have now been turfed by the team. Also, we have now completed the 1st walk off project, which was created after the large tree came down in that area. A wooden edge has been added for a woodchip boarder and turf laid where the old tree stump was. These areas will be GUR for the next few weeks.

The badgers on the course have been causing some damage on the course. We try to repair these daily, however sometimes it may take a few days.

The longer rough is starting to grow, with some wild flowers coming through, which is nice to see. Please can you not drive in the long rough in buggies, or take any trollies into these areas.

The last post and rope will come in this month, which will be pleasing to see. The cores from the greens weed used in worn and undulated areas are growing in nicely and aids our sustainability policy or recycling products.

Cores establishing on worn areas
Contrast of new sand being added in
1st walk off project
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Cores added to worn areas
Fairways continue to improve
12th hole during the evening
Optimising evening spray windows to apply feeds in optimal conditions

Look forward to seeing you on the course!

Rob Dyer, Head Greenkeeper, The Downs course

The Park course

April certainly had its challenges. After 3.5ft of rain in six months, the rain has finally stopped! But the sun hasn’t come out and it’s got very cold. No spring flush of growth and colour this year. Recovery has also been slow, but we soldier on and still try to create an outstanding golf course.

Feedback has been really good which drives the team. Green speeds have stayed between 9ft and 10ft for the last two months and the condition of the fairways, aprons and tees have been excellent.

Despite the poor conditions The Copse is looking amazing. The putting green opening has been well received by our members who enjoyed using it before The Race to Antognolla Order of Merit event on Saturday 20 April.

As I am sure you all have seen the bluebells throughout the golf course have flourished. All our hard work through the winter months has really paid off. Seeing such a thick carpet of colour really does compliment the golf course and as part of our ongoing ecology programme, we will be creating more wild flower areas.

This month we have been hydro seeding the old 4th fairway bunkers to help give them a boost. We put seed and fertiliser into a paste which helps keep the seed damp for better germination.

Due to the saturated ground conditions, we were unable to continue with the master plan, which includes bunker construction work on the 4th and 13th but this is now back underway and we hope to push forward in the next couple of weeks.

We have a maintenance day on Wednesday 8 May in which we will be carrying out the following tasks on the greens:

  • 20 tonnes of top dressing to be put on the greens
  • Verti drained using a 12mm tine, to the depth of 200mm
  • Solid pencil tine using a 10mm tine, to the depth of 75mm
  • Brushed the sand into the surface, filling the holes.

As a result, we will give the greens some good aeration at various depths and the sand will help dilute the thatch layer. The aim is to put down around 150 tonnes of sand this year.

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Look forward to seeing you on the course!

Simon Berry, Head Greenkeeper, The Park course

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