Tee to Green March

23rd March 2023

The latest news from both courses from our Head Greenkeepers.


The Downs Course

Greens maintenance was completed at the beginning of the month. This involved hollow coring the greens using a 12mm hollow core to a depth of 60mm at 50mm square spacings. These cores were cleaned up with a brush and hopper and put into worn areas as part of our sustainability policy to recycle materials where possible. These were then seeded and fertilised to promote growth. The greens then had 60 tons of sand applied to the 1.1ha of green surface and this was brushed in to fill up the holes. We have since applied another half rate of cold start fertiliser to aid recovery, this will kick in more once soil temperatures increase. The weather was ideal at the time and with this we did some additional hollow coring on the par 3 tees, as well as a few others.  All fairways were terra raked, brushed, cut and blown off. The top of the 2nd fairway and the 3rd have had additional granular fertiliser applied to help promote growth on the weaker surfaces.

The fairways have started to recover well from the shockwaving work, which was completed the previous month. When temperatures increase, the fairways will be granular fed, to improve density of the sward.

Tees and aprons have also had a liquid and granular fertiliser applied to them to help with recovery. Tees are coming out the winter very worn and we have struggled to grow any seed (Including low temperature seed), due to the poor conditions this winter, which have been very wet and cold at times. We will continue to divot tees on a regular basis like we have been doing all through the winter.

Some more forestry work has been completed with the removal of some trees on the 5th tee bank. This was mainly to increase sunlight to the tee box, which really does struggle through the year with photosynthesis. A few Ash have been removed by the 6th tee, which had ash dieback and the left side Oaks on the 6th fairway have had their canopies raised for playability and adding extra light to weak grass area under them in the autumn. As part of our ecology program, we will plant three times as many trees as we took out.

Looking forward to this month, we aim to finish turfing some of the worn areas of the course and start our general bunker maintenance program, this will include topping up some bunkers with fresh sand. The new 150-yard markers will also be put out on the course

Cores being used on bare areas as part of the sustainability program.
Greens being hollow cored
Greens being cleared of cores
Checking core sample lengths.
5am maintenance to get jobs completed whilst the course is closed.
Tree removal on the 5th tee

Looking forward to seeing you on the course.

Rob Dyer, Head Greenkeeper, The Downs Course

The Park Course 

The course is presenting well despite inconsistent growth due to the soil temperature still a little low for consistent recovery. Monthly aeration work with a 10mm tine to break up compaction and aid drainage with regular brushing, rolling and hand mowing has kept the greens healthy and the green speeds consistent. We have continued with our foliar feeds to improve grass density and soil feeds to help enhance root development. The fairways are in good condition and regular brushing helps the plant stand up for a cleaner cut.

The tees and aprons have received some aeration work with a small tine to relieve compaction. We have applied a granular fertiliser to aid strength and colour and to help kick start the recovery after a heavy winter use.

Short Game Area Update

Finally the Short Game Area at The Academy has begun and its started to look amazing. As you can see from the images the entire site is being worked on. April's blog will be all about the progress and what are the next steps.

Small pencil tine across the greens.
The course looking splendid under a rainbow.
2nd Fairway Presented well.
 Short Game Area - Progress of the new putting green by the 1st tee.
 Short Game Area - Drainage lines and shaping around the green surround.

Look forward to seeing you on the course.

Simon Berry, Head Greenkeeper, The Park Course

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