Message from HeadGreenkeeper Steven on the Greens

I thought I would give you an update on the greens.

As you are all probably aware the greens have suffered this year due to lack of maintenance throughout the spring , lockdown (COVID-19) and staff being furloughed.

The greens on the golf course have suffered this year due to coming out of an extremely wet winter and having extreme heats over the lockdown period. With the irrigation system not working on hole no.2 and hole no.8 they have suffered from severe dry patch. Basidiomycete (superficial fairy rings) have also developed due to no Symbio products (compost teas) and bio stimulants  being applied since last November and have left the greens unsightly and has affected ball roll.

Going forward we have had Turf Irrigation Services  (TIS)  in to service the system and have replaced decoders and solonoids, installed some new sprinkler heads on the 2nd green, 6th green and 7th green and we have replaced all  the sprinkler heads on the 3rd tees to give more coverage. We will continue to keep replacing the sprinkler heads over the next year to a more reliable unit as the current sprinkler heads are not reliable due to there age.

I have also been seeking advice from Symbio and we have had soil samples taken for analysis which I will share when results are in.

We have also been advised to double our wetting agent inputs and instead of a cheap budget wetter we are now using a better quality product which will enable moisture to flow through the soil profile and will allow beneficial soil moisture to be retained. Whilst we are working this into the soil profile we have to irrigate for longer periods and the greens will appear wet and soft over the next few weeks.

Due to lockdown and most companies closed for business our first application of compost teas and bio stimulants were not applied until mid June we are now doubling up our inputs over the next few months  to allow more microbes in to the thatch layer in a short space of time. This will help to break down the thatch layer encourage deeper rooting which will also increase nutrient and water uptake as well as improving the soil profile.

The greens have been micro tined fortnightly to allow better penetration of water and air and we are applying liquid aeration after tining. We have been advised to increase the height of cut to 6mm to take the stress out of the plant and will also help with seed germination after over-seeding.

Next week we are continuing with our very late spring maintenance! Apologies in advance for any disruption in play.
Monday- Light verti cut and micro tined to create seed pockets.
Tuesday – Wetting agent applied and watered in to the soil profile.
Wednesday / Thursday – Over-seeding worn areas and sand top dressing , worked into the surface this will help level out the greens and will help with smoothing the surface and also seed germination.
Friday – brushed into surface.

I hope this has given you some information on what has happened to the greens over the spring and what we are planning in the next few months to improve the putting surfaces.