Course update - March 2018

22 Mar 2018

Posted by: Sarah Cross

Subjects: Course updates

Overall, I feel the course has held up well this winter. To say we have experienced our fair share of rainfall since the beginning of January with the odd gale thrown in would be an understatement. The recent snowfall has left the course with very little sign of damage or disease to any of our surfaces. In fact, I believe the greens in particular, came out of the snow better than when they went in. The course being closed gave us the opportunity to safely fell the trees we’d selected. It also reduced the risks that we would have had if the course was open and the disruption was minimal.

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The greens were treated before the snow with a penetrant to keep them dry. This works by reducing the surface tension of water droplets and allows the water to shed from the leaf and drain through the green. A fungicide was also applied with a tank mix of chelated iron and a sticking agent to harden the grass and give the protection required for the period of snow cover. A low nitrogen with high potassium fertiliser will be applied over the coming weeks. Given the weather we are experiencing, it’s difficult to say when our renovations will take place but I will liaise with Peter J. with regard to ‘up and coming’ competitions. Renovations are a necessary disruption, but good timing will help shorten the period of recovery.

The Tee boxes will be over seeded with ultra-fine Rye, top dressed and a tractor mounted lute will be used to restore surface levels. Once the new grasses start to come through, a slow release fertiliser will be applied to encourage growth and thickening of the sward.

The aprons, bunker surrounds and walk off areas have been treated with a 5-5-10 fertiliser. Once the fertiliser has broken down they will be verti-drained.

The fairways have now been verti-drained for a second time. A sulphate of iron treatment is still to be applied. Once the weather improves, a seaweed and chelated iron mix application will be carried out through the spring/summer. A selective weed killer will be applied when the weeds become active.

Some bunkers have been topped up or the sand replaced. The 13th and 16th bunkers are now the priority. We did have some of the old type of sand in stock which we have used in bunkers on the 7th and 8th holes. The 15th bunkers, which were very thin have been reinstated with the new buckbricks sand. 

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The tree work will continue but the intensity will slow down now we’re heading towards our surface preparations. We felled 108 trees, but a great deal of these were dead, or given no room to flourish. The stumps have now been ‘ground out’ and all areas have been filled and tidied. I have spoken to the tree surveyor who has agreed to write a report on the oaks we have our concerns with. The ivy will need to be cut and stripped from the bases before this can be carried out.

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I have sold our old Massey tractor and a Dennis mower that was surplus to requirements and I am now in the process of purchasing a loader bucket to be fitted on our Kubota tractor.

We have been demonstrating some semi rough mowers. I have some concerns with the age, condition and repair costs of the 2004 model we are currently using and are currently investigating the finance costs and payment options for a replacement.

The 3rd tee box will be bladed to ground level and cleared and may be left fallow for this playing season.

The borehole abstraction license has now been amended so we can test in March and apply water to the course in April. We have had some problems with starting the irrigation system. Our electricity supplier has a fused 3 phase supply cable between our pump house and Newmarket Road which has resulted in the pump motor running in reverse and becoming beyond repair. The supplier has been to site to assess the situation and has taken responsibility for the fault. A temporary supply will be installed until the problem is located and fixed. Our irrigation services provider and myself have spoken to our electricity supplier and they have agreed that they will incur the cost of the new motor. The problems with the irrigation system being some 32 years old has left me with no choice than to delay the possibility of reinstating the apron sprinklers for now as the costs could be very significant.    I have asked irrigation services supplier to give me a report of their findings when they start the system. 

 

Rob Ransome

Course Manager

Eaton Golf Club

20.03.2018.