Our summer has certainly been in full swing over recent weeks, fantastic but challenging for the greenkeeping team. Irrigation is required daily throughout this spell of warm weather to all close mown surfaces and maintaining the system to provide this level of water input is a full-time job for at least two members of the team.
When irrigating greens, aprons and tees we are looking to maintain both presentation and turf health wherever possible, although greens require particular attention. The firmness of the green surface has a direct correlation to soil moisture content and managing the input of irrigation to provide sufficient water availability for the plant but still maintain a firm surface that will not suffer from pitch marks requires daily checking. Hand watering with hoses is essential through these times.
When irrigating fairways we are working to full capacity which is barely enough to maintain life on the sandy sections of the course, a strong contrast to the high water availability down on the clay soils of the valley which are showing both strong growth and colour with little irrigation.
Our upcoming maintenance work in the next fortnight will involve renovation of the greens and aprons through aeration, top dressing and overseeding. In addition to this work, we will be undertaking a dedicated programme of aeration and topdressing to fairway and carry areas that cause us problems in the winter and spring when we have heavy rainfall. The driving range area will also be receiving an intense programme of topdressing and aeration.
Finally, we have been working with our shepherds to maintain ongoing maintenance of our long rough and wildflower areas. Our aim through this work is to thin the heavy grass and promote biodiversity across the site.
See you on the course.