Mid Season Update 2018
Given the mixed playing season starting in a cold spring running into near drought conditions, the course maintenance programme has continued in a smooth vein from irrigating greens, course cutting programme on greens, approaches, tees, fairways and semi rough. The grading of all these surfaces and preparation has continued as normal. Given the very hot spell of weather, a prolonged spell of course irrigation took place which we haven’t seen on the course for some decades. Along with our top dressing and fertilisation programmes we have continued to see surfaces improve.
With regards to the staffing levels on the course, we have taken on a new apprentice – Reece MacDonald who will in the autumn go to college. Reece replaces Darren Roe who completed his 4 years and has now moved on to pastures new. We continue to support young people in the work place and work closely with the Trust and Enable Scotland to give young and disadvantaged youths the opportunity to gain employment within the local area.
Given the driest spell in recent decades, certain areas of the course have suffered, most noticeably some teeing areas which we are now in the process of renovating and over seeding. After the completion of the first phase of fairway scarification at 1st, 2nd, 9th, 12th, 13th and 18th fairways we are now embarking on our second phase of fairway scarification. This will include areas at the 3rd, 8th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 15th and 16th fairways.
In the last two weeks we have completed our programme of sand banding (secondary drainage system). Just over 4km of sand banding has been carried out at the 6th, 8th and 18th fairways so increasing the drainage capacity in these already drained fairways at 8th and 6th and partially drained at 18th.
We have for the last 8 seasons been applying calcified lime to our fairways to increase the alkalinity of our soil from that of a very acidic clay loam. We are now showing marked changes in this PH scale so much so that an increased reduction in sedges and woodrush grasses has dramatically reduced which shows an improved growing medium within this changed profile. We will continue to accelerate the PH to a more alkaline soil thus improving the natural breakdown of fibre within the structure (thatch).
We clearly will reduce fibre by our ongoing programme of scarification, however, we are one of only a handful of clubs in the country which have this season been trialling an organic product to reduce thatch on our fairways. This product increases the fungal bacteria within the turf layer which naturally breakdown our turf thatch. We have applied 2 treatments out of 4 and have already noticed signs of thatch decomposition. Along with the other measures we are taking at the club, we are undoubtedly at the forefront of this process of de-thatching and will in due course, reap the rewards.
As a committee, both greens and full committee, we have certain exciting projects planned for the forthcoming autumn/winter period which we will inform the membership of in due course.
Over seeding 2nd fairway
Top dressing 8th fairway
Scarifying 10th fairway
Scarifying 14th fairway
Sand banding 18th fairway
Flood water at 1st fairway
Drainage works at 3rd fairway
Preparing de-thatched area on 3rd fairway
Clearing open ditch at back of 12th green
Drainage at 18th bunker
Some of the work carried out in autumn/early winter 2017 by green staff
Air Two G Two trial of aeration on greens
Removing thatch at rear of 1st green
Preparing for turfing at 1st
Turfing at 1st semi rough
New open drain at right of 3rd
Removing thatch at right hand side of 9th green
Repairing burst drains at 15th
Clearing open ditch at 15th
Open ditch cleared at 15th
Coring and profiling at 17th
Re-turfing oil spill on 18th fairway