Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog July 2020

Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog July 2020

A lot of recent work has gone into the short grass and has resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of these areas. Several years of susatinable management is now paying off and we are focusing more attention on the finer details and qualities of the course.

Fairways, greens and green surrounds in particular are as good as anywhere and it’s very pleasing for us to be achieving these results despite the many challenges faced so far this year.

Challenges

After a very wet end to winter, things got much worse with the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown coming into force. 

With only essential maintenance permitted during the lockdown and the difficulties presented from the general public abusing the course, it was extremely difficult to find reason for optimism.

We then found ourselves in a drought, which lasted the whole of spring and to top things off, we suffered severe vandalism to the irrigation system at a time when we needed it the most. 

Even after lockdown lifted, there has only been 5 of us to cover the 250 acre site and looking back and while writing this now, I’m amazed by what we’ve achieved.

The team have been incredible, taking the initiative and doing whatever they can to produce the best conditions for our members to enjoy. I would have been over the moon to have simply kept on top of things, but to have improved the condition of the facilities all round is way beyond expectations.

The course has become the perfect combination of quality fine turf complimented by beautiful natural surroundings. Having stunning golf, with a huge array of wildlife and the most spectactular scenery makes Hunley pretty hard to beat.

Club Championships

Morgan’s course was set up as near to perfection as it ever has been for the Club Championships. The conditions really highlighted how testing Morgan’s course can be when the wind blows and all that competed deserve credit for their perseverance and in the end posting some very credible scores.

A Reminder

Although there has been so much to be positive about recently, we must not forget that the pandemic is far from over and we all have to continue to behave in a responsible manner, to prevent any further spread of this extremely contagious virus.

It’s been fantastic to see everyone following all the precautions in place to reduce the risks and I think it’s important that we don’t become complacent, so please keep it up!

Turf Problems

I also would like to highlight a problem on the course to remind everyone that despite striving for perfection, we certainly don’t have it all our own way!

In recent years many problems with turf disease have come and gone as we have developed more resilient and sustainable turf. However, there has been some persistence in the form of Take All Patch disease.

Take-all patch is caused by a fungus, Gaeumannomyces graminis, which is found commonly in soil. The disease is very damaging to bentgrasses (Agrostis species) of which takes up around 40-50% of the turf on some of our greens. 

With our environmental ethos, we no longer use fungicides which does mean we lack a curative treatment for this disease. Therefore our response has been to fill the scars by seeding with fescue, which is resistant to the disease as well as to most other turf related problems. 

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Over time the more common turf diseases have all but disappeared and we fully expect these isolated outbreaks of Take All Patch disease to follow a similar pattern.

Most of the greens are pretty much flawless

August

With a busy calendar for the rest of the golfing season, we won’t be doing much different, but we will keep you updated as always within the weekly newsletter.

It is very likely that repairs will be carried out to the irrigation system in August and this is something we are very much looking forward to.

Thanks for reading and I hope to keep seeing you all regularly enjoying th course for the foreseeable future!

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