As we enter December and Christmas is just around the corner the weather is still noticeably mild, I wonder what the odds are for a white Christmas? Can’t see it happening personally.
This week we had our 6 monthly visit from the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) who I work closely with. They took some samples out of the greens for testing and I’m looking forward to the results to see how far we have come in the past 20 months.
The greens have improved through thatch removal and now we are looking at ‘the next step’. In the picture above we are measuring the infiltration rate to see how fast the greens drain and weather/how we can improve that.
The tees and approach areas have all been deep solid tine aerated and this week we have started the long process of aerating the fairways. The greens will be deep solid tine aerated (Vertidrained) this month as well.
The temperature today was still at 14c, which is well above the average so grass growth has still been prominent. We cut the rough last week and that is very rarely required in December! Due to this growth we have been able to continue our topdressing regime on the greens to try and keep them as firm and smooth as possible. Again, topdressing in December is quite unusual.
We have exposed the drain line which is in front of the 13th green. This drain will have to be renewed and hopefully this will cure the problem of the sitting water in this area.
The 3rd fairway bunker on the 3rd hole is being removed. This was a poorly constructed bunker and we have decided to fill it in. The 1st greenside bunker on the 6th (left hand side) will also be filled, it is too far away to be considered a true greenside bunker and is not in play due to the trees in front. We may remove one of the fairway bunkers (left hand side) on the 9th hole as well.
The 5th tee has been stripped of turf and is being levelled. We shall be moving the sprinkler heads and adding drains before re-turfing. This tee will open again in the spring.
The owner has kindly agreed to purchase another fairway mower. These requests are normally dealt with in the spring but Mr Long has agreed to let us purchase this machine early. We have 14 large fairways and a large driving range to cut so 2 mowers should make a real difference.
The greenside bunker on the 17th is nearly finished. We have installed a liner to try and prevent stone and debris contaminating the sand.
Below: Lining installed and edge being prepared for ‘Revetted turf’
Below: Edge and sand being installed
Allan and the Green keeping team.