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Head Greenkeeper's Blog at Richmond Park | Feb 2020

Head Greenkeeper’s Blog | February 2020

I won’t need to remind you that the start to 2020 has been far from ideal, with forecasts of major storms and torrential rain becoming the norm. The unprecedented volume of rainfall has caused major maintenance challenges for most inland golf courses, but we are doing everything we can to keep the golf courses open. Hopefully Spring will arrive soon, along with some much needed drier weather! Thankfully, the courses will recover quickly when we eventually have a dry spell.

The Duke’s remains a 10 hole course, but we’ve managed to keep all 18 holes open on the Prince’s. The team has done a great job, to ensure we kept the surfaces as clean and dry as possible. While we are unable to carry our our usual day to day maintenance, we have been busy with project works including pathway construction and renovations of worn areas next to tees.

We have constructed new paths where necessary and have renovated areas where we can to promote new grass growth throughout next year. Paths recently added or improved are Duke’s 4th tee and extensions of the bridge walk-offs on 12 & 14 Duke’s.

We have renovated the woodland path enroute to the Prince’s 18th tee again, as the wet weather has really affected the ground conditions. The greens have again been under high disease pressure, but a timely application of fungicide at the beginning of January has helped the greens to remain disease free, despite the wet surfaces.

They greens are looking healthy and continuing to have a dense sward depsite the heavy rainfall and footfall, especially on the Prince’s. The temporary reduction of the Duke’s to a 10 hole course has given large areas of the course a much needed opportunity to recover from last summer’s wear and tear.

We sarrel roll the greens fortnightly (weather permitting), which will continually allow air into the soil profile to aid surface drainage and improve the plants’ health. We are continually sand dressing wet areas on the course, aiding with removing surface moisture and preventing high traffic areas from becoming decimated. We have cleared leaves and debris from the ditches around the courses. We have aerated the tees when the weather permitted, to help with surface drainage, which we have seen some results once the rain has stopped.

Future plan

Our main focus for next few weeks is prepare the courses for the forthcoming season. We will be completing the above project work and will start to shape fairways as soon as we can get machinery onto the course. While the conditions have been challenging, the courses have really benefitted from a reduction in footfall, so I expect them to be looking even better this summer!

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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