September has gone well for us with a large amount of work being undertaken. On the whole the weather has been kind and the condition of the turf is certainly at its best since I joined Hunley at the start of 2013.
The main areas in focus during the month have been the greens, greens collars and approaches and the areas of long rough.
Autumn is a challenging time as days become shorter and temperatures begin to drop, conditions become more conducive to disease. This is particularly the case when sea frets become more frequent, making it impossible to keep the turf dry.
It is vitally important that we go into winter with the greens healthy and with good grass coverage throughout as any damage incurred would be unable to recover during the winter when growth is minimal.
- Lawn sand applied to feed and strengthen the turf
- Fungicide applied to protect against fungal disease outbreaks
- Top dressing applied to maintain firmness and smoothness of the playing surface
- Height of cut raised to 5 mm to help protect against wear through the winter
Green collars and approaches
We have continued to improve the quality of the turf immediately before and around the green. The goal is to make these areas an extension of the greens themselves.
- Treat with Graminicide ‘Rescue’ to remove areas of Ryegrass
- Hollow core, overseed with fescue grasses to help improve content of desired grass species
- Top dress with sand to improve firmness and smoothness.
This has taken up a huge amount of our resources this month with as much of the long rough areas cut and collected. The team have been working split shifts in an effort to maximise the work done on these areas. The goal here is to have long grass creating definition to the holes, that is wispy in nature, benefiting both on course ecology and the retrieval of golf balls after a wayward shot.
Improving the nature of the rough is ongoing but here is what’s been done in September –
- All areas cut with clippings removed to reduce the dense lush nature of the grass.
- Areas treated with graminicide ‘Rescue’ to remove coarse grasses, Ryegrass and Yorkshire Fog
Going forwards the long rough will be managed in a more structured way. What I mean by this is that areas nearest to play will be kept thinner and cut a few times each year to lessen the impact on golf, while areas further away will be cut much less frequently and on a rotational basis. Explained in a different way, there will be ‘golfing’ rough and ‘ecological’ rough with the 2 areas managed slightly differently to keep a good balance between golf and nature.
For the month ahead, winter projects will begin. This will involve more bunker improvements, ecology work centered on gorse management and also with improvements to the green on Toons Tier.
Toons Tier, as many of you will be aware is a ‘Mackenzie’ green with a very steep slope between the two tiers. The problem with the green is both tiers are a little small and extremely difficult to play to as they tend to throw the ball away one side or another. We will be enlarging both tiers to allow for more pin positions but more importantly to make the hole a little less penal.
The winter program will be released in more detail soon and a course walk will be hosted to discuss the plans with anyone interested to find out more and share their views.