Head Greenkeeper’s Blog | December 2018
This year’s weather has thrown up the most challenging conditions I can remember. We started with a particularly wet winter, which then turned into one of the coldest & wettest springs on record. Just when we thought we’d recovered, we then got hit with the driest & hottest summer on record. Surely Mother Nature had thrown all it had at us? But no… we are now dealing with higher than average rainfall for November/December. Who’d be a greenkeeper hey!
Rainfall & temperature statistics paint an interesting picture:
- Even though we’ve had the hottest summer in living memory, the average overall temperature for 2018 has been lower than the previous year.
- The long, dry summer presented drought conditions, but surprisingly, average rainfall has been 12% higher this year!
In summary 2018 has been 93mm (4 inches) wetter than 2017. The colder winter and spring conditions made conditions for growth and presentation very difficult. Then, the summer and autumn both being warmer, brings more problems with keeping the plant alive and preventing it being attacked by disease pathogens. All together a very challenging year but I’m very proud of what my team has achieved.
Next, onto the golf course itself and we have been very busy this Autumn with four bunkers renovated and ready for turf and one more under construction. We have also renovated two pathways on Duke’s 6th & 11th holes, with more planned for early 2019.
We have been very successful with our preventative disease management program, seeing very little scaring on the greens. We have also tried our best to keep the surface dry and firm by sarrell rolling every week and slitting every three weeks. The height of cut will remain at 5.5mm for the rest of the Winter, to help further protect the plant.
I’m delighted with the progress of our overseeding work carried out late October. This was in response to the exceptionally dry summer, which resulted in damage to large areas of the course, where the grass died off. While this will eventually recovery naturally, we have helped speed up the process to protect sensitive areas over the winter and ensure the course is looking at it’s best next season. The eagle-eye among you will notice areas where criss-cross patterns have emerged – this is new grass growing through the slits created during the overseeding process.
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 with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross Cook – Head Greenkeeper