Greenkeepers Report October 2019

Greenkeepers Report October 2019

Dear all

I am happy to say that the bunker drainage project has now been completed. We have installed new drainage, bunker liner and new sand to the bunker left of the 1st green and the two on the 14th green. We needed to remove the top edge of the bunker and lay the liner under it, then relay the turf back on top. This means the edge of the bunkers is unstable so I have roped the bunkers off and they will all be GUR until the edge has knitted back to form a stable edge.

I have left an access point to the bunker between the rope so you are able to remove your ball, but please be very careful walking into the bunker to prevent damage to the edge. I have created an access point with the prospect of repairing this at a later date if necessary.

Leaving the bunker GUR will also allow the rain to naturally consolidate the sand and we shall top the levels up at a later date before they come back into play.


We have also vertidrained the greens this week, this is where we solid tine with a 13mm tine to a depth of 7”, with 2” spacing. This is essential this time of year, especially with the rain we have had as this will help the water drain from the surface deeper into the soil. This will ensure the greens stay drier for longer and therefore create a better playing surface. It also helps to get air into the soil, drying the soil and also creates air flow to the roots and subsoil increasing the soil biology, bacterial biology and helps to reduce thatch (built-up organic material within the soil).

For your information in 2018, we had 26mm of rain in September and 51mm in October, a total of 77mm. This year we have had 75mm in September and so far, 127mm in October, a total of 202mm!

You can see from this that the course is becoming worn in areas and vertidraining the greens will go part of the way to help keep the surfaces drier, they have already firmed up and look much better and healthier for this work being done.

We have also vertidrained the tees and will continue to do the approaches, once this is all completed, we shall do all of the greens and tees on the Acorn course.


Next construction projects

Next week I shall start our next construction projects which shall be to remove the bunkers on the 16th and 13th green along with the 3rd left fairway bunker.

The 16th bunker is extremely unsightly and is hidden behind the large leylandii trees from the tee.

The 13th bunker creates a very narrow approach to the 13th greens, especially with the Out Of Bounds on the left. When you are on the fairway the right-hand side of the green is protected (or blocked out) by the large oak tree as well. We do not wish to make the area completely flat and make the approach too straight forward, so we shall add some mounding so aiming right of the green will still have some jeopardy as the bounce will be unpredictable.

The fairway bunker left of the 3rd is hidden from the tee and almost impossible to land in as it's hidden behind the leylandii trees, also if your ball is going that way you will be in the rough anyway so the bunker doesn’t play any specific part in play.

‘Normal’ jobs

The cold weather has started and the leaves are beginning to fall so we shall also start blowing and collecting leaves, this normally continues until Christmas so please be patient with us.

We have also sprayed a second fungicide which will act as a preventative against any turf disease. I am very pleased to say that our greens are very healthy with NO disease, the first year for this time of year for at least 4 years!!

Last year we were struggling with Rapid Blight and other turf diseases from early September despite spraying 3 applications of fungicide and many other treatments. With the investment and commitment from the hotel management, we have changed from using borehole water to mains water, changed the greens feed program to incorporate more organic and more natural products which has resulted in disease-free and healthy greens using fewer chemicals. I personally am very happy with the conditions of the greens and hope this will continue throughout the winter, putting us into good shape for 2020.

I shall try and keep you updated with further going ons, but if you have any questions please feel free to come and have chat with me, I’ll probably be either on the 16th or 13th bunkers!!!



Paul Hathaway

Head Greenkeeper