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Head Greenkeeper's Blog | January 2022 | Portsmouth Golf Course

Head Greenkeeper's Blog

January 2022

We hope this report finds you well and that you all had an enjoyable festive period and new year.  Let’s hope that 2022 brings us some normality back to our lives as we continue to navigate ourselves through the pandemic.     

The course in general has held up well since we last updated you all.  Most of you will be aware that we are currently operating on a reduced course as some holes have suffered from the recent rainfall and still remain wet under foot.  Having said this we have remained open throughout which is a positive enabling those winter games.   

The next two months are going to be a busy spell for the team as we work through our planned winter projects.   All of these projects are in preparation for the season ahead which we anticipate to be another busy one.  Please keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram page where we will update you on the progress of our projects.      

Greens 

The greens are in good health as we enter 2022.  Towards the end of last year we had a lot of disease pressure following the unseasonal mild conditions.  These higher temperatures along with wet weather provide the perfect climate for disease to thrive.  To combat the disease we applied at least two spay applications to all greens throughout the month of December.  This time of year we utilise windows of opportunity to cut greens as we dodge wet and frosty conditions, in addition to this with the recent weather being a little more pleasant we took the opportunity last week to slit all greens to help aerate the surfaces.  In March we plan to carry out some cultural work to our greens in the form of verti draining and deep scarification.  This will be followed by a heavy dressing of sand to prepare our surfaces for the season ahead.  The work in March will get some much needed air into the soil profile and help us to keep thatch to a controllable level.  These works can be a little disruptive but very beneficial in the longer term.     

Fairways / Rough

The growth rate this time of year for these areas reduces significantly.  As with the greens we cut when conditions allow which thankfully has been frequent over the past few weeks.  As the warmer weather arrives we will look to blanket spray all fairways, tees and green surrounds to remove unwanted weeds.  We will apply this application when we see the daisies appear, this is usually a good guide for us to get maximum results.  We have also recently sent our new articulator deck away for a further two decks to be fitted.  This piece of machinery is used to cut the rough and will return with a wider cutting coverage which is a big positive for the team.  This time of year also allows us to service our fleet of machinery with the use of specialist contractors.      

Tees

As most of you are aware we continue to rest our grass teeing areas and make use of mats for the winter period.  We appreciate the mats aren’t the best surfaces to play off but your patience is appreciated as we soon commence maintenance works on the grass areas.  Last week we took delivery of a machine that will enable us to hollow core teeing areas which we will follow with a top dress and seed.  This should invigorate the surfaces for the forthcoming season.  It’s what’s underneath the surface which determines what we see on top.  We look forward to seeing the results of this invasive process.

As mentioned in our previous report we also plan to level and returf the 7th and 8th teeing area.   We are pleased to say that the tools and turf are ordered for this project and we plan to commence this in February.  Let’s hope the weather conditions are favourable for us.   

Whilst having the machine here we will also hollow core and top dress the green on hole 12a.  This green will be hollow cored and potentially spiked and scarified before April.  We can then let this green recover and return the area to a practice hole for the summer season.  Following the summer season we can then return to having the hole as a par 3 for our winter course set up.  We appreciate your patience here.  

With the recent frosty conditions please be assured that we do brush and grit mats first thing in the morning.  In extreme frosts we may take the decision to temporarily move the tees to grass areas whilst the thawing process takes place.           

Bunkers

We have just taken delivery of our first 20 tonne of bunker sand which will go out onto the course in due course.  We have another delivery of the same amount planned for late February to add to this.  This sand will go into bunkers that are most in need once sand levels are assessed.  In addition to this we plan to repair the bunker to the left of the 11th hole and the one to the right of the 13th.

Projects 

In addition to the work above, the team will also visit some smaller projects around their day to day duties.  This time of year provides the perfect opportunity to complete these. 

  • 6th pond – We have now started to remove the tall shrubs and reeds that were impeding on tee shots late last year.   The area will look alot tidier and reduced to ground level where possible.  
  • Bank in front of 6th tee – This bank has been cleared and reduced to ground level. 
  • Leaf Collection – After hiring a machine for two weeks most leaves were collected.  The team now manually uses blowers to keep on top of this work as and when required.   
  • Tree Works – After the completion of phase one we have more tree works commencing next Monday.  These works relate to our original survey that ensures our trees are healthy and in a safe condition.  As previously stated any tree removal will be based on the criteria above, no healthy trees will be removed.  You will see the arborist team working their way around various areas of the golf course.  As always we will keep disruption to a minimum.  
  • Signage – We appreciate that some golfers, especially those new to the course sometimes struggle to navigate themselves around the golf course’s layout.  We will soon carry out a small audit and place signage in areas that have been mentioned. 
  • 7th hole ditch – After the removal of the sleepers we will remove the rope and bring this section back in as a grassed area.   

We plan to have all projects complete for the end of March so we have a busy period ahead ! Thanks for taking the time to read our latest report, we look forward to updating you in the coming weeks. For updates in the meantime please follow our social media pages where we will keep you updated on our project progression, our pages can be found below.       

https://www.facebook.com/PortsmouthGolf

Instagram  – @portsmouthgolfcourse 

Twitter – @portsmouth_gc 

We’re recruiting ! We currently have roles for the following positions – Assistant Greenkeeper, F&B Supervisor and Kitchen Supervisor.  Please email portsmouthgolf@glendalegolf.co.uk for more information if any of these roles are of interest.      

For those that don’t know Portsmouth Golf Course celebrates its 50th Birthday in 2022.  Please keep an eye on events that we have planned for this special occasion.  Here’s to a great 2022.   

Team Portsmouth 

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