September has been a drier month than the previous two, but still with plenty of regular rainfall and warm temperatures growth has been as strong as ever.
This has meant most of our maintenance has simply been lots of mowing but with conditions also favouring disease, we didn’t get through the month Scott free there either.
In this month’s update I will briefly discuss September, but have then included the usual autumn report and schedule for winter work at the end.
Over the last decade it would be fair to say that one of the bigger challenges at Hunley has been getting sufficient growth, such is our geographical location and the nature of the site itself.
That certainly hasn’t been the case in recent weeks and it has proved difficult to cope with from a workload perspective, however the condition of the turf has actually benefited from the growth.
Dollar Spot again has been a problem in September.
Having discussed Dollar Spot quite a bit recently I won’t go too much into it again this month, however we had quite a severe outbreak last month.
Fortunately with strong growth and an application of Iron Sulphate, recovery was quick. This is also helped by the disease only really causing damage to the leaf and not the plant itself fortunately.
With the season’s close fast approaching we’ve been preparing for the months ahead.
Winter tees do get neglected through the summer, so the team have been removing weeds, mowing around and cleaning them up ready for use in the coming weeks.
With construction work and irrigation installations about to begin, the JCB excavator has been fully serviced and had a new battery, starter motor and a new bespoke bucket made ready for the busy period ahead.
Orders have been placed well in advance for rootzone, turf etc as well as parts for the irrigation system, so hopefully all will arrive on time.
Winter Set Up
As the course is still in excellent condition, there will be no rush to move to winter course set up immediately. We will phase things in as we feel there is a need but this is usually the order of transition:
- Preferred lies will come as soon as it becomes necessary
- Par 3 tees will be the first to move onto winter tees, with a measured yellow and red course available for qualifying scores to be submitted
- Ropes will be introduced in the more susceptible areas to spread wear from trolley and buggy traffic
- All tees will move onto the winter course when growth becomes minimal and chance of turf recovery becomes low
- All greens will remain in use throughout as normal, with no winter greens required
Although we will continue to maintain the course as normal in most areas, with winter project work beginning, there will be areas that we have to withdraw time from as a result.
That said, we hope this will have minimal impact on the overall playing experience on the course.
One area still a little in the air is with the wild areas of grassland. Although the local farmer still hopes to carry out cutting and baling of the grass, he currently is without a baler due to his literally going up in flames! Hopefully though he finds a suitable replacement and can still complete the work in October.
Below you will see attached the autumn report and winter program of work detailed in full.