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Head Greenkeeper’s Blog | August 2018

The weather in this country never ceases to amaze me, we have four very wet months to start the year then in May (quite rightly) we were praising the nice warm dry days and now we have shifted from one extreme to the other!

At the time of writing this blog we have had 49 days without any rainfall and 26 days have been above 25°C. It’s made life very difficult as the amount of moisture the plant is losing is up to 7mm per day and we can only physically put back 3mm per night, so you’ll see the lads out most days with hand hoses trying to soak the dry areas and keep the plant alive. The greens are taking priority but the tees are also being watered by hand. There is still no rain in the long range forecast so at this rate I can see 2018 going into the history books alongside 1976 as one of the driest summers on record.

Greens

  • Cutting only 5-6 x per week to relieve stress caused by the draught
  • Sprayed weekly with plant health & wetting agent mixes to help stress and retain moisture
  • Brushed once when the temperatures broke for a few days in early July
  • Constantly hand watered to prevent soil becoming hydrophobic and dry patch occurring
  • New irrigation sprinkler head installation continued

Tees

  • Regular tee marker rotation to spread wear
  • Key areas divoted to aid recovery
  • Surrounding areas kept tidy with strimming and weed killing where necessary
  • Hand watered 3 x per week to help with heat stress

Bunkers

  • All flymoed and strim edged
  • Sprayed with selective herbicide and growth regulator
  • Sand re-distributed around and added where required (Duke’s Course completed, Prince’s Course in progress)

At this point I would normally go on to write about the approaches, fairways and rough areas, but to be honest there is nothing to say as they have all been burnt out and taking hot mowers over them will only cause scorch marks and make matters worse.

Future Plan

Pray for rain!

In all seriousness we will continue to keep the greens and tees in the best possible condition throughout this drought. Bunkers will continually be topped up with sand. Greens sprinkler upgrade will also continue. As soon as the weather breaks and returns to normality we will be out verti-cutting and top dressing the greens, overseeding the tees and back to cutting all surfaces again.

If anyone wants to get in touch with me or my team regarding course conditions, recommendations or just to say hello please don’t hesitate to approach us out on the course or get in touch me.

Best regards

Ross Cook – Head Greenkeeper

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