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Head Greenkeeper's Blog at Richmond Park | Nov 2019

Head Greenkeeper’s Blog | Nov 2019

The wet weather we experienced in October has continued into November, with 94mm of rainfall so far this month. Despite the challenging conditions, we have worked hard to keep the golf courses in play and I’m pleased that we have continued to keep all 18 greens open on the Prince’s Course.

We use the winter months to carry out projects and improvements to the golf courses. So far we’ve completed the construction of several new pathways and renovated worn areas next to tees. Richmond Park Golf Course experiences high volumes of golfer traffic in the summer, which causes a lot of wear and tear in certain areas – we have started to renovate areas where we can to promote new grass growth throughout next year.

We have also removed the mulched woodchip on the bridges and replenished with fresh wood chip. We are continually sand dressing worn areas on the course, this will aid with removing surface moisture and preventing high traffic areas from becoming unwalkable.

You may have noticed that overflow car park now looks very differnent due to the removal of the old hawthorn hedge adjacent to the driving range bays. We will be planting replacement trees, which have been supplied by the Royal Parks.

There are several greens on the Duke’s Course that are still very wet, so we have been left with no choice but to introduce temporary greens on these hole. We are continually aerating these greens when we can to encourage them to drain, so we can get them back in play asap. As part of these efforts we recently brought in an Air 2 G2 machine, which forcibly breaks up compacted soil by injecting high pressure air 12″ below the surface.

Deputy Head Greenkeeper Ian Brown operating the Air 2 G2

Greens

  • 6 wet greens on dukes (3,11,12,13,15,16) and 2 on princes (5,8).
  • Dukes 3,11 & 12 being handcut once a week at 6mm as they are too wet to cut with the ride on mower.
  • 13,15,16 are cut with the ride on mower when conditions allow, otherwise they are also hand cut and we are monitoring daily if any of the 6 greens need to be on a temporary green. No temp green is planned for 5th princes yet, but will keep monitoring over the coming weeks.
  • Back left of 8 princes is wet but not enough to even consider a temp green, isolated aeration done on the wet greens but hammering in a 3ft road pin as deep into the surface as possible. We will continue to trial this work. Sarrell rolled all greens once a week and verti-drain the 6 wet greens on the dukes and slit to aid surface drainge.

Tees

  • Tees hand cut with a pedestrian mower as too wet for our ride-on machines.
  • Tees slit to depth of 5″to help with surface drainage.
  • All tees hand blown daily, markers moved and ropes checked.
  • Tees divoted twice a week.
  • New paths installed on princes 2nd & 5th, dukes 12th & 18th. Worn areas next to princes 12th & 13th renovated, overseeded and fertilised.

Approaches

  • Approaches cut a 14mm with TR3 mower.
  • Leaves blown daily by hand or with tornado blower.

Fairways

  • Fairways brushed once and slit to 5″ once to supress worm castings and aid surface drainage.
  • Cut with the AR722 rotary once a week when ground conditons permit.
  • Leaves blown off all fairways daily with tractor mounted tornado blower.

Roughs

  • Continue removing unwanted vegetation in the long rough.
  • Flail mower used as part of our annual rough conditioning programme (helps to thin-out the grass).

Bunkers

  • Bunkers weeded, flymo and strimmed to tidy up for the winter.
  • Bunker bike and hand raked weekly.
  • Leaves blown out daily. Broken or missing rakes replaced where needed.

Future plan

This winter our main focus will be on keeping the presentation levels on the course to a maximum and improving the finer details, such as removal of unsightly vegetation in rough, increased traffic management and clean course signage. 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 joshua.thorley@glendalegolf.co.uk

Best regards

Joshua Thorley

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