Greens Director update 20th September 2018
Course Condition: The months of August and September are always taxing as this is often the height of the annual leave period with invariably one member of staff absent throughout the week. Therefore, much of the green staff focus has been on maintaining the course rather than addressing specific work which takes the course forward.
The ponds around the curse remain very low reflecting the dry summer and low water table. This is particularly evident on the 8th and 12th holes where golfers have been able to walk onto the two islands where normally there would be two to three feet of water.
Tees have suffered more than many areas this season largely because of the exceptionally dry summer and our limited options to water and thereby aid growth. If we had done so then we would undoubtably have run out of water for our greens and fertilizing without water would only result in further burning of the surfaces. Work has already started to restore the tees with the application of fertilizer and over seeding which will be followed up with verti cutting when conditions permit.
Leaves are once again becoming an issue around the course as autumn and winter approach. Steps to address this are underway when we hope to have access to a mechanical collector to support the existing work of our green staff with blowers and rough cutter equipment.
The hedges around the course have been cut by our usually local farmer. Feedback from both golfers and public using the rights of way around the course has been positive.
Greens: The dry weather has continued to affect our greens. Thus far this season we have now used 5750 cubic meters of our allotted 6500 allowance leaving only 750 cubic meters remaining to support the course during the remainder of the season. The 2018 season has seen us use more water and chemical wetting agent than ever before at NGC.
Recent work on the greens has included the use of an Air2G2 machine which in brief forces compressed air at up to 60psi into the sub soil. This fractured the compact areas allowing air to penetrate further into the root zone, supports drainage and helps address thatch build up.
The greens cut level has now been raised slightly which together with the recent application of fertilizer and the aeration provided by the Air2G2 has seen them appear lusher than in recent weeks whilst maintaining a healthy speed. We plan to hollo core the surfaces at the end of October which will hopefully allow golfers to continue enjoying the surfaces for a few more weeks before the season concludes.
Winter programme: discussions are already underway to finalise our winter work plans and funding allocation to support that work. Our focus will again be directed towards creating additional paths in our wet areas, working on some of our problematic bunkers and removing some of our dead and over clustered trees adjacent to the playing areas. Once finalised these will be included in future updates.
Rotating greens used during the winter will be piloted during this winter. It was no secret that our best greens in spring were again the 14th, 15th 16th and 17th which received considerably less footfall throughout the 2017/18 winter. Options for sharing out the footfall will be piloted from November 2018.
Finally:- I guess any update without a request to you as fellow golfers would not be my style. Therefore, can I reiterate my regular request re golfing etiquette
Enjoy your golf