Autumn is well and truly here and as the clocks change we are heading into November with the course in good condition. Disease has struck on the greens recently with September’s rainfall being so high and mild damp conditions creating perfect conditions for disease to spread. Applications of fungicide have prevented any lasting damage so as the growth slows down we are in great shape going into winter with very little scarring on the greens. The preventative fungicide program will continue until December/January. Applications of iron, potassium, phosphites and calcium will help increase the plan health minimising the risk of outbreak and we have also raised the height of cut on the greens to 4.5mm which will help reduce plant stress. The Vertidraining we’ve recently carried out will help get the moisture away from the surface which also encourages disease, moss and surface water build up. I would just like to say a quick thank you to Barry Stacey for his help over the last week. We try to cause as little disturbance to play as possible when carrying out such operations but on the occasions that we are amongst the golf Barry has helped our department by liaising with both visitors and members to help minimise disturbance for both parties. It helps massively so thanks Barry! As well as dragging a chain, we have purchased some fairway roller brushes to help combat the mess left by the fairway mower. It is worth mentioning at this point that worm casts are also a contributing factor towards the clumping. As the soil becomes wetter, the worms become more active making more casts which smear on the surface and the only chemical on the amenity market has now been withdrawn from sale due to environmental reasons which has left green keepers with a significant problem. Our governing body, The British Institute of Golfing Greenkeepers have produced a poster explaining the problems this can cause which is up in the clubhouse outside the pro shop to inform golfers across the country of this issue. We will be trialling new alternatives next year to help combat the problem. The 6th carry drain is now nearly complete with the last pipe going in last week. With a few finishing touches it should be completed soon. That should ensure there is no flow across the 6th in times of heavy rainfall. The majority of the cable trench has also now been backfilled and seeded. Mats, post and rope will continue to be put out leading into the winter months to protect the course from traffic wear and tear. The prolonged rain in September has meant we are going into winter fairly wet so we respectfully ask that members adhere to the signs and rope placed around the course guiding golfers to minimise unnecessary mess. This will help keep the course in better condition through the winter. Leaves have also started to fall which is another thankless task, we do our best to keep the greens and tees free from debris by blowing them every morning before play. We have made a small adjustment to the stream behind the 15th green to redirect the flow away from the 15th greenside bank. This will hopefully slow the erosion until we get a chance to address it. In team news we have a new starter joining us whose main role will be to maintain our machinery fleet. We have a relatively small fleet of machinery however it is one of the biggest assets the greenkeeping department has so keeping it maintained and in working order is of great importance. We are also glad to have Rob back out with us on the course from his spell behind the bar. Looking ahead we are planning to finally finish the 18th fairway bunker this month and after that re address some of the bunkers which have been holding water again. The winter program is being put together to ensure we keep making improvements whatever the weather…. That’s all for this month, hope to see you on the course.
Paul Oliver - Golf Course Manager