Greenkeeping Update With Greg 30/10/18

Greenkeeping Update With Greg 30/10/18

First of all thanks to all that attended on Sunday, joining me in discussions about the golf course. It’s always been beneficial to all in the past and this  time was no different.

I thought for this week’s  newsletter I’d summarise the main topics of discussion by highlighting the answers to some questions that were asked by those attending.

I started with the greens, in what turned out to be  quite a lengthy discussion.  We could easily have spent the whole time looking at greens but here were some of the main talking points on the day:

  • Q – Should we not have done the work earlier regarding hollow coring and seeding?

In an ideal world we would have done the work in August, but the timing was agreed as to avoid disruption during the main season.

  • Q – But the greens are now bumpy, can you not roll them?

Yes and we will do which will certainly help. However, carrying out such work means inevitable disruption to the playing surface. We can’t get round that and it’s important to understand we cannot provide perfect conditions 365 days a year. In fact no-one can or does. Managing our greens the way we do though has significantly lengthened the time that they are in good condition.

(At this time it was pointed out that most other clubs use winter greens and that they only offer good greens for the main summer months)

  • Q – Why have recent top dressings left debris all over afterwards?  Why not  just use sand?

For several years we have used sand only as we have been doing so to dilute excess thatch.  Now thatch levels are under control and in order to progress further, the fine fescue and bent grasses require healthy soil biology to really flourish.
This season we have added 10% compost to the sand and some of this is the debris that you see. It’s unfortunate but only temporary and once the greens are mown afterwards, all the bits are picked up meaning the debris is only there for a day or so.

  • Q – Are there any plans to level Tees?  Particularly Snaith’s?

Yes they are but other areas take priority at this moment in time.  We do hope in the near future to begin improving our tees and maybe even this winter one or two will be rectified.

  • Q – It looks like you have scalped the fairways, why are they cut so short?

The Fairways are cut at 12 mm all the time during the summer.

This isn’t particularly short, the reason they are a little thin on grass cover is down to the recent application of selective herbicide. The product ‘Rescue’ kills the coarse Ryegrass and Yorkshire Fog but also weakens the others before they recover. This isn’t ideal in the short term but going forwards will result in better fairways next season and beyond.

  • Q – They still seem short in the summer too though. It would be better if the grass were left longer on the fairways?
There will always be conflict in this regard as many would prefer more grass on the fairways. However, if they were any longer then grass is likely to be trapped between club and ball preventing spin being applied to approach shots. Spin is needed to control the ball, particularly when playing into firm greens like ours.
Ultimately fairways are meant to be cut short to provide a good lie for good ball striking to be rewarded.
I understand that this is difficult for some who would prefer a cushion of grass under the ball, but we have to set up the course to be played in the right way.
  • Q – The new revetted bunkers look good, but you can get a difficult lie and sometimes it’s even unplayable? It’s true though that badly raked bunkers by golfers is often the cause of this.
This can happen I accept that, but also is not that common. There is a misconception that a bunker shot should be easy, I’m not sure why this is as a bunker is a hazard to be avoided as part of the game.
Sometimes in sport we can be unlucky, this is the nature of sport and particularly the case in golf. Sometimes you can land directly behind a tree and have to chip it out only a few yards, or you can go in a bush and it’s unplayable. The game is sometimes tough, we have to take the rough with the smooth like in life itself.
This list is not exhaustive but I hope it gives a good round up of the main points that were raised. If these are the kind of questions you would have asked, maybe look out for next time there is a course walk and come along, I’m certain that you will find it both interesting and useful.

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