Course Update - October 2019
21 Oct 2019
Posted by: Sarah Cross
Subjects: Course updates
Overall, the course has recovered from last summer's damage with small areas on fairways that need some remedial works. Members that have played other courses around the county have approached the green staff with nothing but positive comments on the condition of the course and consistency of the greens. The new 150-yard markers have been installed.
Green keeper ‘near misses’ continue to be a concern. We are a very busy course and a lot of planning goes into maintaining it as efficiently as possible. We try our best not to hold play up for any longer than necessary, but at times we do require a little patience from members.
The greens have been treated monthly with wetting agents and seaweed applications to retain moisture levels and improve overall health. The hot weather over the August bank holiday period did put them under stress and the recent verti-draining did not go as well as usual with some areas pulling up turf where they had been dry or under pressure from high foot traffic. The course continues to be under pressure with respect to competitions, but given how quickly we can restore the surfaces I feel there’s some improvement to be made on timings. We will be hiring a compressed air injection machine (Air2G2) that will help fracture the compaction in the greens beneath our normal aeration depths and aid water permeation.
The surrounds have been scarified, over-seeded and top dressed and will be treated with a slow release fertiliser. Further aeration will be carried out once the surfaces have knitted back together.
The fairways and some areas of semi-rough have received an application of slow release fertiliser in granular form. This will encourage recovery and assist with the germination of the spot treating over-seeding to be carried out over the next couple of weeks. Most of the fairways have recovered well from the damage caused by last summers prolonged dry spell. Treatments of verti-draining, slitting and Opico raking (grass harrowing tine machine) will be carried out to strengthen and improve the health. Sulphate of iron will be sprayed to deter worm casting and to discourage any moss invasion in our low light areas of the fairways. The new fairway mower that was delivered last week has been fitted with brush attachments to help keep the surfaces clean of castings and improve the quality of finish.
We have now started topping up the bunkers. The recent heavy rains have compacted many of the bunkers. This has provided us with a base to reinstate the appropriate depth of buckbricks white sand. Another 29 tonnes will be delivered this week. A new liner has been purchased to trial in the 3 front bunkers on the 13th hole and will be installed when ths surrounds are stripped and replaced with heather turf. Some bunker edges will require seeding/turfing to get them back into good condition.
There will be some preparation work in our ecology rough areas to increase and improve on our wild flower areas. Some areas will be sprayed off with total herbicide to stop further invasion of course grasses. We have received some really encouraging feedback from members with regards to these areas and will be extending them into pockets of what was once unsightly areas of scrub.
A slide is being produced informing members, in some detail, of what the green staff plan to complete this year and this will be displayed in the club house. This programme of winter work has commenced this week following the introduction of preferred lies. Tee boxes will be scarified, over-seeded and top-dressed and the greens will receive regular aeration to help keep them as dry as possible through the winter months.
The new practice net should be complete by the end of this week and the supplier has been very apologetic for the delay.
The irrigation system will be drained down this month and there is some work to be carried out whilst the system is dry. In addition, we currently have some fairways that struggle more than others to retain cover in dry periods so I’ll be looking into the viability of deploying travelling sprinklers for these areas next year.
New divot bags and frames have been deployed and I’d like to thank David Pike for manufacturing the frames.
Eaton Golf Club 21.10.2019.