Essential Course Maintenance
In the next few weeks, weather permitting, the greenkeepers will be doing the following:
•Light topdressing of greens, week commencing 30th Oct
•Verti draining of greens and tees, week commencing 6th Nov
•Fairway topdressing, hopefully same week as verti draining.
•Essential bunker repairs, as and when they get time between all the above.
I confess it’s been a while since I last put together an update, please accept my apologies and I will make a conscious effort to make these a more regular occurrence!
It’s the end of a busy season, disappointing weather wise but I do hope you enjoyed your golf nonetheless. The variance in temperatures through the season did make the growth quite unpredictable and mowing schedules were adjusted accordingly. At present we are cutting the greens at 4.5mm, slightly up from our summer height of 4mm, there is still a lot of growth out there but excessive low cutting in autumn can be very detrimental to the surface. Tees and surrounds are cut at 9mm and fairways at 13mm.
As we head towards winter the focus is very much on getting the grass into a healthy unstressed position to see us through till spring. Upcoming maintenance tasks include verti draining greens to allow air into the profile and relieve compaction, this will take place the week starting Monday the 6th of November, all other areas such as the tees and walkways will be verti drained as the winter progresses. Topdressing of greens will be done monthly through the winter, 5 to 6 tonnes per application I know it can be disruptive but at the risk of repeating myself this practice is the best way to get firm, fast, smooth surfaces and reduce thatch levels where diseases like to thrive !
We will be doing the usual repair work to the worn bunker faces as soon as growth slows to free up the manpower. They will be marked as GUR until next spring, free drop without penalty !
The yellow/brown looking patches you see on the greens right now is called Fusarium patch, also known as Microdochium patch. It is a fungal turf disease that is very common this time of year as it thrives under cool, overcast and wet conditions resulting in prolonged leaf wetness. Thatchy turf is also very susceptible to Fusarium patch and although we have made significant headway reducing the thatch levels in our greens through core aeration, topdressing and verti-cutting, there is still some work to be done to reduce it to an even more acceptable level. Our maintenance programs are geared towards continuing to reduce thatch levels everywhere on the golf course.
The greens were treated with preventative fungicide applications prior to the disease development and have since been treated with curative applications in an effort to halt the disease from spreading further. That being said, in some areas the Fusarium patch is showing some signs of resistance to the fungicide applications so we are monitoring it very closely. We will also continue to vent (needle-tine aeration) and lightly topdress the greens over the winter months to promote surface drying as moisture is a key component in disease development.
All that remains is for me to thank you for your continued support.