Tee to Green: October 2023

19th October 2023

The latest from our Head Greenkeepers from The Park and Downs courses.

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The Downs Course

Firstly, I'd like to start with some good news. We have started to cut down the long natural rough, Hooray!! As I know you will find this pleasing, there is a lot to cut so we have targeted land areas and high traffic zones first. There may be some areas out the way that will be left long until we can get around to them, however this provides good cover for any birds which are migrating and hiding places for wildlife, before we remove it. 

The greens have struggled this month with disease, which was expected after the nematode issue which is currently going on. A few weeks back we had a fusarium patch, anthracnose along with a few spots of Dollar spot (which has also hit some tees rather hard). Although we have done all we can to prevent this, with the turf being weak from the nematodes, it was expected. We have now added some additional foliar feeds to the greens to recover any scaring before winter kicks in. We are currently adding about five units of Nitrogen each week, which is proving beneficial. We will continue with our prevention fungicide programme, but as I've mentioned numerous times, these are now really weak and do not last as long as previous products which have now been removed from the industry. 

Greens maintenance will take place from Wednesday 1 of November for three days and the course will be shut during this time. We plan on day one & two is to complete the Dryject procedure, which injects sand into the soil profile to dilute thatch and improve infiltration rates. Also, we are planning to remove more thatch on day three with an 8mm hollow core, as due to the wet summer we have had, our thatch levels have slightly crept up and we need to address this with some surface distribution. We will also verti drain the greens previous to this using a 12mm solid tine to a depth of around 200mm. This will help with the efficiency of the Dryject sand injection shots. 

Tees, aprons and fairways have all been foliar feed again this month, and we will look to continue this throughout the winter to help keep the turf strong with the heavy wear we get with a busy course. 

We will also start to rope off areas now which are starting to get worn and the normal areas we expect to see high traffic. Please do not go under the rope or walk over the white hoops, as these are placed in certain areas to protect it. 

Leaf debris will be an issue for the next couple of months as we literally have to remove millions with either our blowers or cut and collect machine. Please be patient, we blow off all greens and tees on course set up, however, most of the time, within a few hours these areas have debris on them again. Also, you may here turbo and back pack blowers during the day, unfortunately we have to make a bit of noise to remove the leaves. 

Our new rough mower on demo on the 15th carry.
Turf diseases discolouration on the greens
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Cut and collecting the king rough

Look forward to seeing you on the course!

Rob Dyer, Head Greenkeeper, The Downs Course

The Park Course

Playing Areas

I must say the team have put in an amazing effort to get all maintenance work completed through the end of September and October. Greens, Tees and Fairways have had some extensive and well needed maintenance which will have huge effects both short and long term for the health and playability on these areas.

Greens

The two days of course closure in September was certainly put to good use with the team putting in a massive shift both days in order to get all the work done. The GKB sand filler was hired in to remove the thatch layer in the top 25mm and replace with Kiln dried sand.

Once the machine has been through, the clean-up begins which includes shovelling up any debris and distributing any remaining sand evenly across the green by brushing and using a drag mat.

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Once the machine has been through, the clean-up begins which includes shovelling up any debris and distributing any remaining sand evenly across the green by brushing and using a drag mat.
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The finished product after a roll.
A week later the improvements are plain to see with our organic granular fertiliser to aid recovery and to keep them in good health.

During the month we have also verti-drained the Greens and Tees. Using a larger tine and going to depth of 200mm to help break up compaction and improve drainage. A roll to finish off to ensure a smooth, firm surface.

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Fairways

There is a lot of dormant growth that has laid flat which will obstruct any new growth coming through. To give new shoots a chance to come through we needed to rake out the dead stems and stand the plant up.

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More mess!
After the debris is cleared off and cut
We have also seeded some of the weaker fairways with our Rye and fescue grass seed mix.

The Academy

Work continues on The Academy and Danny is really bringing it to life with the Greens being cut and rolled and a sand top dressing to ensure a smooth surface.

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Look forward to seeing you on the course!

Simon Berry, Head Greenkeeper, The Park Course

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