The Month Ahead

Since my last report we have had rain most days, which has produced some challenging conditions at times. July has so far given us 80mm of rainfall and we will have more to come over the next few days. This has caused surfaces to become saturated and makes maintenance very difficult at times.
Several of the drains around the course have been struggling to cope with all the wet weather causing many areas to become very soft. The turf is beginning to rot underneath due to the lack of airflow, making these areas unplayable. All of these drains are either old perforated pipes, which have become contaminated or are old clay field drains, which have become blocked or have moved slightly. Either way, these drains will need to be replaced in the autumn as a priority on the winter programme.

We have managed to get our aeration plans back on track during July and have Verti-Drained all greens with 13mm tines down to 8 inches. We have also been working on the poorer areas on some greens, by pencil tining intensely, top dressing and seeding, then brushing into the holes. Once the seed germinates, we should see these areas improve. We managed to get a much needed top dressing on all greens recently, followed by a Sarel roll spike, drag matt and roll. The greens absorbed the dressing in a day or so indicating the need to continue and increase these applications.
All the areas scared from the flood continue to recover slowly. We have continually seeded and spiked these areas to try and get seed to germinate and fill in. We will continue to work on these areas, which will reduce the white lined areas around the course.

The Out of Bounds posts are slowly disappearing into the long grass making it difficult to determine whether the ball is in or out. Unfortunately we lost many of the taller, white posts during the flood, but we have ordered more and once painted will be replacing the smaller posts to make O.B. more obvious. We will also be cutting a strip between the posts when our tractor and mid-mount deck has been repaired. This will hopefully make it much more obvious when deciding, in or out of bounds.
The events coming up soon include the Gents Senior Open, which is always popular, Ladies invitation Day, The Lappin Trophy, Senior Ladies Greensomes Open and Finals Day on the 13th August.

Our team will work hard to ensure the course is in prime condition for all these events.
The practise facility has been well received this season and is used regularly by many members and juniors. Can I remind all members, that this is a short game area and should not be used to practise longer shots. Staff report regularly that the green can be literally covered in unrepaired pitch marks each morning. The band of rough surrounding this area is a general indication of the boundary for approach shots. Flags are provided for targets for longer shots outside this area.
Finally, please continue to repair pitch marks, rake bunkers after use and replace divots.

Paul Sharp
Course Manager