Obviously our biggest challenge recently has been getting water onto the greens. Last week we had a major leak which put the entire system down for 9 Days. Normally a leak is fairly straightforward, unfortunately on this occasion when we found the leak, it was on a pressure reducing valve right at the heart of the main pipeline. This meant we did not have the parts required to make the repair immediately and also this was something I had not encountered before. In the end it took three attempts to repair and return water to all greens and even though we have now achieved this, there is still a pressure issue on half of the course that we cannot seem to rectify. However, the main thing is we have water going on the greens again and the turf has returned to health on most of the greens.
Inevitably there are issues that have come about due to the drought and the inability to maintain consistent soil moisture. One of those issues is fairy ring.
There are 3 types of fairy ring found in turf:
- TYPE 1 (Marasmius oreades)
- TYPE 2 (Scleroderma & Lycoperdon)
- TYPE 3 (Hygrophorus & Psilocybe)
Type 2 is what we generally see on our greens. Type 2 rings are those that produce a stimulated ring of grass growth and is most noticeable in weak or stressed turf. They do not cause any direct damage to the turf but can produce white puff balls that can impede ball roll on putting surfaces. A type 2 ring has a marked effect on the visual quality of the infected area, but does not harm the individual grass plant or the playing quality of the turf.
Fairy ring activity is triggered by wet and dry Cycles in the soil. As a result of extremely dry soils recently caused by a lack of irrigation and rainfall, immediately followed by the re-wetting of the soils with irrigation, fairy ring activity has been stimulated. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything that could be done about this and now we simply have to manage the fairy ring best we can for the remainder of the season. The use of wetting agents, aeration through spiking and maintaining moisture levels above 20% where possible will minimise the impact of the fairy ring.
Elsewhere preparations for captain’s day are going well. Bunkers have been mown, cleaned of weeds and debris and sand added where needed. This will continue for the rest of the week until all are completed with mowing also carried out to all areas from tee to green, with selected areas of long rough also being cut and collected.
Other than that watering is a daily job for the team and with no rain in the forecast this is likely to continue to be a biggest task over the coming days.
There has been a little more work carried out on the site of the new Green on Rawcliffe and there may be a little more carried out on this area in the coming days. However with the next two weekends being the biggest in the calendar year for our membership, our priorities will be on having Morgan’s course in the best condition we possibly can.
As always any questions that you have please email me on [email protected] and I’ll be happy to discuss in person if necessary. Otherwise, I hope you continue to enjoy the course and the lovely weather we are currently experiencing.