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Head Greenkeeper's Blog

June 2021

Hello again and happy summer! Finally the weather is playing ball – the rain dance worked!

We have had wet and warm conditions so if you’ve played recently then you’ve probably seen for yourself that this has made everything grow… and grow fast!

The tall blocks of fescue grasses have added some nice definition to the course, but we are still tweaking where we can so it doesn’t affect the pace of play. The fairways are looking stripy and the greens a whole lot greener, despite irrigation problems we have been having. Fresh bunker sand goes out this week too.

It’s a difficult task to keep up with all the mowing operations when you get spring growth in summer. Normally in spring we see rain, and temperatures of 15-22 degrees to cause growth, but we now have had some rain every few weeks followed by 24-28 degrees. Still, I’d rather have a greener growing course than a dry firm brown one, and we shall do all we can do keep it that way.

The only down side of all this growth is the yearly Poa Annua seed head growth on greens. Poa is a weed grass that invades all parkland golf courses and is a real pain. It’s the first to get disease, it’s the first to dry out, and the first to die off or produce seed to try to survive when stressed. You may have noticed some greens looking silver in the light, these are the Poa seed heads. They occur every year but normally in May. Due to April being wet and frosty everything is delayed by about a month.

The seed heads can cause slight bobbling and a slower roll. We are grooming these out and using growth retardants to slow them down, but soon they will pass when conditions change and they have all finished seeding.

Over the coming weeks into next month hand watering will commence. We shall try to steer clear of you while you’re enjoying your rounds, but sometimes the greens and tees need cooling off in such high temperatures. That may mean that our team will need to work around you whilst you’re playing golf. Please give us a loud shout of “fore” off the tee if that’s the case. I shall be encouraging my team to engage with you with a friendly smile and if you have any questions please ask us. We are full of passion and love – sharing our knowledge of the course, nature and helping users of our facilities receive an excellent playing experience.

June’s motto is actually going to be a quote all about the challenges with the weather I’ve faced so far to present a golf course of high standards.

“The way I see it, if you want a rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.”

And watch out for this week as more rain forecast – this will help keep the course green during these hot spells.

Enjoy your summer and don’t forget your sun cream.

Mike Budd

Head Greenkeeper