Although the lat 7 days have been an improvement, it’s hardly been good drying weather! At least we have been able to get the course open and carried out some work to the course for the better.
The main news I can bring is the arrival of a new piece of kit to the Greenkeeping sheds in the form of a greens roller. Most of you will now be aware of this but I thought I would explain about the machine in this weeks newsletter, on the effect it has and how we will be using it to improve conditions on the course.
About The New Roller
Obviously the purpose of the machine is to help produce a smoother, truer surface. Over the last 10 years or so the greens roller has become a more commonly used tool for the greenkeeper and as time has moved on the technology has also improved. The new turf rollers are much lighter than greens mowers and are designed in such a way that the compaction caused to the soil is very low.
Having trialled several machines, we decided that the Smithco turf roller was best suited to our needs. The machine has 2 rollers, 1 at the front and 1 at the rear and this double action gives great result with regards to trueness and smoothness.
There are other benefits from rolling too though, as we can now use the roller as an alternative to mowing, reducing the stress on the turf caused by regular mowing. The need for close mowing is reduced also and both of these factors will help us to produce healthier turf without compromising on the greens playing performance.
There are also a couple of things for us to be wary of though. Over use of the roller can have a detrimental effect on the turf, with thinning of the sward possible if rolling becomes excessive. Also with the undulating nature of our greens and the windy nature of our course, greens speeds could easily get out of control.
Although a little tricky to use in comparison to our greens mowers the roller is still very quick. Once a skilled greenkeeper has had a couple of outings on the machine they are sufficiently adept at carrying out the task. It does need to be towed around the course on a trailer though and as a result it takes about the same amount of time to roll 18 greens as it does to mow them, which is approximately 3 hours.
How We Will Use It
We will be using the roller twice a week all year round, with occasionally a third roll used for major events.
Sometimes we will roll instead of mowing and sometimes we will mow and roll together for extra effect when required.
We will use the roller after aeration work to help recovery. Aeration is essential but with the roller we can lessen the impact such work has on the playing surface.
Many of you will already be aware of the fact that we have 2 different sets of greens here at Hunley, with the greens under the railway line constructed differently from the greens on the Morgan’s course. Because of this the Morgan’s greens roll slower due to a greater amount of coarser leaved grasses, however with the use of the roller we can now even out that difference by adopting the right strategy of mowing and rolling.
I will be looking to host a course walk in the near future, however please do get in touch with any questions. My email is [email protected] or simply look out for me on the course.