Tee to Green July

20th July 2023
The latest news from The Downs course...
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The Downs Course

July has been a rather difficult month, especially in regards to the consistency of the greens. We have had lots of different weather types with a few storms earlier in the month, heavy down pours and some hot days, we really have been going from one extreme to the other. We have also had the irrigation main line to the course burst on the 4th carry, which has now been repaired. We got lucky with the weather whilst this was being fixed but in the days that followed, we had a 18mm of rain. We have had a few edges burn out which will be repaired in the upcoming week.

The 9th green has had a major attack from Nematodes which has left it slightly bumpy due to it damaging some grass species on the green. Nematodes are microscopic, unsegmented roundworms, which live in the soil and can parasitise turfgrasses. These pests are particularly problematic on golf course putting greens. Above ground symptoms are not always obvious and infections can go undetected until populations are well-beyond economic thresholds. We have treated the green biologically with bio-stimulants, sugars and granular fertiliser. Recovery has been slower than expected and we will continue to deal with the issue in hand in the upcoming weeks. This may mean the green may be slower than the other greens and may have additional sand on it at times.

We have also had two more main line bursts during the month, both happening on the 2nd hole, one at the bottom of the fairway and the other on the upper fairway. These are currently being repaired in house by our Agronomy Team.

The rain and a well-timed application of wetting agent, plus seaweed, has helped green up the fairways, which is pleasing to see. We have also seen good results from the micro management of the top of the 2nd and 3rd fairways has seen these fairways become denser in grass density.

Tree surgeons have been in this month to remove dead trees and scrubland on the 2nd hole which will allow a clearer view of the hole as you walk down the pathway. Also, the right side of the 7th tee has had its clearance project started, as trees were starting to encroach on the tee box. We now need to remove the wire fence there before the contractors to come back in and make the area more aesthetically pleasing.

On Ecology there has been a massive influx of butterflies in our managed natural rough within the last two months, which is incredible. We have also had a few visits from some local groups to showcase how much biodiversity we have on the course.

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Look forward to seeing you on the course!

Rob Dyer, Head Greenkeeper, The Downs Course

The Park Course

With the Festival Of Speed taking place this month it has given us the opportunity to complete some greens maintenance whilst the course has been shut. We carried out some cultural practices including solid tining and sand top dressing greens to continue to reduce the thatch in the greens. We managed to get around 30 tonnes of sand down which was pleasing. This was followed by an organic 6-2-4 recovery fertiliser which have brought the greens back to normal when play resumed.

We have also applied liquid feed and slit aerated the fairways prior to the Festival Of Speed to help aid recovery when the tents and staging are removed. We have also granular fed the weak areas and look to recover the yellowish areas.

The Short Game Area has come on leaps and bounds in the last month. The greens sward is impressive and looking fantastic given the grow in time so far. Most of the grass seed has popped and the course is really starting to take shape with most areas filling in nicely.

Look forward to seeing you on the course!

Simon Berry, Head Greenkeeper, The Park Course

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