June was a month of extremes, with heavy rainfall followed by searing heat followed by more heavy rainfall. As is so often the case, this brings with it benefits but also problems.
It’s good because overall the turf gets both the sunshine and water it needs. However, the extremes fluctuations can cause other problems and in the last month there has been lots of fungal activity.
Despite this though, the course is in great condition and the positives hugely outway the negatives.
In this blog we will look at a couple of the issues we have faced during June. Firstly though, a brief summary of work carried out last month and this is split into work during good dry weather and then during wet weather.
Make hay while the sun shines is an old saying but for greenkeeping it’s pretty accurate. When the weather is nice and dry we take advantage by carrying out mowing across the golf course.
- Mowing all areas from greens through to semi rough
- Cutting and collecting long rough where required
- Treating areas of clover in golfing rough adjacent to the fairways
- Hand watering dry areas on the greens
Managing our time and work effectively allows us to be more efficient and get the best out of the course.
One good thing about greenkeeping is work can always be done, regardless of the weather, which maintains progress and improvements to the course.
Carrying out the tasks listed below during wet weather, will ultimately free up time when the weather is dry again, allowing for some of the tasks above to be continued with.
It’s also nice for the team, as we all appreciate variety in our work!
- Fertiliser applied to the greens but also worn and weak areas of turf.
- Divots on tees repaired with sand/soil and seed
- Aeration carried out by deep spiking on greens as well as other compacted areas of the course
- Fairway mower blades sharpened using our grinders
- Some of the long stems of grass that occasionally appear on the fairways were knocked off using a rotary mower
- Course signage was tidied up with strimmers
- Bunkers were tidied and checked for overall sand condition
One issue that has become more prominent in the last 3 years is a fungal disease known as Dollar Spot. It gets the name as the disease presents in small bleached spots on the turf the size of a dollar coin.
The disease is not common in the UK but is a huge problem in countries with hot climates and high levels of humidity. That said it is certainly seems to be on the increase and suggests that climate change is very real. It also comes about at Hunley due to other changes in recent years though.
The main change being the increase of fescue species in the sward on our greens. 5 years ago there was only around 10-20% fescue, whereas now we have more like 40% and on some greens it is over 50%. This of course is fantastic that the grass species we want is on the increase, unfortunately though fescue is very susceptible to Dollar Spot and it is the fescue on our greens that has been most affected.
It is a very complex issue with many influencing factors, some of which we can control, some of which we cannot. The one thing we are doing though is learning more about how to better cope with such issues and also to better equip ourselves for dealing with this in the future.
THE GOOD STUFF
A few pictures here show off our beautiful course at for me, the best time of year. There will always be challenges to face, but it will always be worth the effort with so much ‘good stuff’ to be happy about!
Finally, we’ve put together another film (below) to give an insight into the work we do on wet days, I hope you enjoy watching it!