Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog June 2024

Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog June 2024

June saw a significant improvement in conditions, with 45 mm of rainfall being the lowest monthly total for 12 months. 

Temperatures have still been on the low side but we did finally get some warmth late in the month, with the summer solstice finally producing our first day above 20 degrees!


One continued positive is the condition of the greens, certainly from a playing point of view. Lots of good feedback has been received, notably from visiting players in team matches commenting on the quality of the putting surfaces.

However, there are a number of issues that we are looking to address. Infiltration rate is without doubt much slower. This is the rate at which water drains from the surface through the soil profile.

With aeration practices having reduced recently, the infiltration rate is being hampered by a tension in the surface. We are currently limited on what we can do with available manpower, but we do intend to carry out some micro hollow tining before the summer is out. This will involve removing small cores mechanically and we are looking into contracting this out due to the staff situation. Keeping the surface open is difficult without regular aeration, so we are very wary of the situation and although we have naturally free draining greens, we need to avoid complacency with such issues to maintain high quality surfaces.

Moving forward we will look to do this kind of work a couple of times per year to maintain good infiltration. It’s important to reassure you all though that such work will have little to no effect on the quality of the greens, as tines used will be narrow, making only small holes in the surface so as not to affect ball roll.

Another issue we aim to get to sooner rather than later is with small thinning areas of turf. Hand seeding will be done to fill the gaps that have appeared due to a combination of early season wetness and the effects of increasing play.

Also we have a more noticeable amount of Yorkshire Fog creeping into the sward. This is a broad leaved, fluffy type species of grass that inhibits optimal ball roll. Reducing it’s presence is our aim while growing conditions are at a peak. This may also require localised hand seeding to help fill gaps left once the Yorkshire Fog is removed.

Fairways, Surrounds & Tees

Although turf density across the course is excellent, mainly due to plenty of moisture in the soil providing good early season growth, the overall condition has been somewhat disappointing. This is due to the regularity that we have been able to mow the surfaces each week. We have actually been mowing fairways with our large rotary on occasions too. This has benefited us, allowing us to complete work much quicker and compensate for the lack of manpower, but the downside has been quality of cut and height of cut has been compromised, leading to an overall drop in presentation.

Tees have again been mown less often, but most noticeable is the lack of time we have been able to devote to repairing divots. That said they aren’t too bad and the tees that now have irrigation are certainly able to recover more rapidly than in the past.

Coarse Ryegrass has begun to encroach back into the green surrounds and approaches, which does detract from the lovely smooth surfaces that we have produced in recent years.

More regular mowing would reduce its impact but we do need to try and control it more moving forwards as it’s only likely to continue to increase.

With all of the above issues, we have hired some extra help through the remainder of the summer and this will certainly make a difference.

Fringing Rough

The prolonged wet period obviously led to challenges with growth of the fringing rough. We have coped pretty well though and a good 80% of these areas have remained very light and wispy.

The usual holes remain an issue, ie Walker’s Gully, but we are continually cutting and thinning areas where required.

Feedback from members has helped us to identify and prioritise specific areas and we are grateful to those who have helped with this.

It is worth pointing out though, that there is a limit to how much wider we can make each hole, so we have to be realistic as well. The key is being able to find a ball and the aim isn’t to provide a good lie from which to play out from. 

Semi rough is there to offer a compromise to a less than perfect shot that is only slightly off line. The semi however can’t prevent a particularly wayward shot from entering the fringing rough. The fringing rough acts as a buffer to help keep wayward shots in play but also with enough of a penalty to make accurate play rewarded.

It’s a difficult balance to strike but one that on the whole we think we manage most of the time. That said it will never be perfect, so please do keep coming with suggestions of problem areas for us to look at.


Finally we got to use the new irrigation system in anger! Greens and new teeing grounds were irrigated during a dry warm week at the end of June and this was done so with a real sense of satisfaction!


Our busiest month of the playing season means we always try to see the course peak to some extent. Obviously we look to offer consistently good conditions all year round but July is generally where everything comes together for Captains day and Club Championships.

Now we are getting on top of the main challenges so far this year, we hope to do a little more fine tuning in July.

A few items here are on the agenda:

  • Morgan’s Mound green extension to be brought into use in full
  • Small areas of Clover to be treated 
  • Bare areas of turf on greens, fairways and surrounds to be seeded and top dressed
  • Any thicker areas of fringing rough to be thinned out

Thanks for reading and please do get in touch anytime with questions related to our work.

Greg Fitzmaurice

email – [email protected]

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