Tee to Green February

24th February 2023

The latest news from both courses from our Head Greenkeepers.

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The Downs Course

We have had some mixed weather throughout February with some hard ground frosts and temperatures ranging from -3 to 10 degrees Celsius. The course is coping ok, however some of the pinch points are looking worn. So we will aerate and seed these areas when soil temperatures rise.

The greens are in a good place going into maintenance week (week beginning 27th February). You may have seen some blackening on some of the greens, this is where we applied a half rate fertiliser prior to maintenance, to aid in recovery. The greens are still free some disease, albeit there is a lot of scaring on the fronts of the greens from un-repaired pitch marks. Please help us by repairing any pitch marks on the greens.

We have also verti-drained the greens this month, with little disruption to play. This process relives compaction and increases air movement in the lower profile of the greens. Also the Tee’s have had the same aeration work done to them.

Shockwaving has been completed on the fairways. Thank you for your patience with this, as it is a long process to cover the 14 hectares worth of fairways. This is the first time the fairways have had any sort of aeration over the last 10 years and should be extremely beneficial over the next year, giving the root systems of the fairway grasses to improve their root depth.

The upcoming maintenance will involve hollow coring greens with 10mm diameter tines, picking up the cores, cleaning off the surfaces, followed by top dressing and another cold start fertiliser feed to aid recovery. There will be sand present on the green throughout March, but greens will be playable. We do this maintenance to remove thatch from the profile and replace with sand to improve the growing medium. It also firms up the greens, increases percolation rates and relives compactions. It also aids in vital gas exchange in the soil. The corses will then be used across the site to recover any worn areas. This is part of our sustainable approach to greenkeeping.

If time allows we will also hollow core the tees and follow this up with a granular fertiliser. We will also be applying a liquid feed in March on all the playing surfaces.

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Looking forward to seeing you on the course.

Rob Dyer, Head Greenkeeper, The Downs Course

The Park Course 

The Dry month has been a bit of a blessing for golfers that require buggy’s and to allow us to carry out our maintenance on all the surfaces. Greens, Tees, Fairways and walk off areas have all been aerated which of course is key for the health of the plant especially when there is so much golf and want to keep all areas playable.

Greens are completely disease free which is a great achievement for this time of year, our fungicide programme along with our fertilisers has kept them clean, strong and performing well. Cutting them twice a week and rolling them has kept speed up and rolling true.

We are pleased with the condition of all key playing areas, the granular fertiliser that we put on the tees in early January has put some strength, colour and thickened up the grass sward, this along with the aeration has kept them in good condition.

Fairways have had a large slit tine across them 3 times this winter and anyone who played a couple of years ago would see the improvements we have made in the condition and playability.

Bunker reconstruction

We are re-building some of the poorly presented bunkers. Creating better shapes and enhancing the golf hole.

We used any of the unwanted soil on re-shaping the walk on area to the 5th back tee. Creating a far less steep bank for golfers and helps us to maintain the tee a lot safer.

Verti – Draining Greens and Tees( using a 13mm tine going to the depth of 8/10”)
Aerating Tees with a 12mm tine going to depth of 4”
Aerating Greens on a very foggy morning. Our new team member Danny Carter putting the steps in whilst breaking up the compaction and creating channels for better root development.
The mega slit, breaking up all that fairway compaction.
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The Team putting to use some wood chip. Creating a tidy path between the back tee and main tee on the 9th and protecting the single trees on the course. Putting woodchip down stops us strimming around or driving near the tree so there is no compaction on the roots or damage to the bark.

Look forward to seeing you on the course.

Simon Berry, Head Greenkeeper, The Park Course

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