Tee to Green: September 2023

20th September 2023

The latest news from the Greenkeeper's on the Golf At Goodwood Golf courses

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The Downs course

Starting with the greens, this month we have started our winter preparation by applying a granular fertiliser. We applied a 10-1-4, which is a bit more nitrogen than normal, this was to fill in some of the disease scars we had over the summer, so the growth after application was rather rapid. This was checked a few days later by a growth regulator to bring back to our normal level of clipping before we took off a day. This has also helped with our nematode issue.

The 9th green has recovered well, however, we are still seeing signs of nematode damage across all the greens, even though we applied garlic to all the greens a month ago.
Green speeds have been slightly slower this month, averaging 9.1 on the stimp meter. This was mainly due to two reasons, one being the fertiliser applied and the increased growth rate throughout the day until the growth regulator was applied. And two, we had a very hot spell at the beginning of September where temperatures hit over 34 Celsius on the course. They were kept on the slightly wet side, because if the greens had dried out, the nematode damage may have spiked again.

Tees have also been fertilised, this should help with the Dollar Spot disease issue we have had on the tees the last few months, which has hit a few tees rather hard. This will promote recovery, as well as our weekly devoting programme.

We had a major issue with wash down in the bunker on the week beginning of the 18th. We had 40mm in under 24 hours which flooded the course. We had some of the bunker lining displaced and a lot of faces washed down.

This also has caused a major compaction issue, with all the bunkers filling up to the top edges with water. Please be patient as we bring the bunkers back into play, as this is going to take a lot of hours of labour to get them looking and playing correctly again.

You will be pleased to know we will start cutting and collecting the long natural rough the week commencing 2 October. There has been a slight delay as we only have one machine for both courses and The Park course will be cutting theirs first before we start on The Downs course. This is a long process and normally takes between 2-3 weeks per course.

See you on the course soon,

Rob Dyer, Head Greenkeeper

 

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The Park course

Well, what a productive couple of weeks in September. The boys have been hard at it this month with vital maintenance on tees, Aprons, rough and of course greens.

Let’s start with the greens. I’m really pleased with how they are visually and also from an agronomy level. With good grass coverage and disease-free, going into the disease-pressure months this is an excellent place to be. But we must keep on our toes.

Aeration work continues with a small tine of 10mm going to a depth of 4”. This will relieve any compaction and give the roots channels to develop. We have continued with our sand dressing the target is 150 tonne a year and we have already put down 110 tonnes, the benefits of this is huge to the health and performance of the greens. Our feeds stay consistent with both feeding the leaf and the roots.

It is also vital that the greens are strong enough to withstand our maintenance which is happening tomorrow as I type this. It will be the same as last year. A deep scarify and Verti–Drain.

More on that next month.

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We have sprayed our aprons and green surrounds to enhance these areas and thicken the grass sward while giving them great colour. This has given us some great definitions.

The Tees have been deep scarified, ripping unwanted lateral growth and dead stems to improve the playing surface.

We have since sprayed a foliar on them to aid recovery and during our maintenance this month we will be aerating them with a large tine. Towards the end of September, we will fertilise them with a granular fertiliser to keep them in good health through the autumn.

As part of our ongoing conservation/habitat management plan all the long natural rough areas around the course, we have started to cut and collected. Although the course will look a little bare, the benefits of carrying out this task are:

• Thins out and removes unwanted weeds and course grasses
• Allows the natural fescue grasses a chance to grow by not being overpowered by courser species
• Gives the course definition whilst still maintaining its playability
• Carried out this time of year it doesn’t affect nesting birds or wildlife.

See you on the course,

Simon Berry Head Greenkeeper

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