As summer slips away our days are becoming shorter by the day and temperatures are dropping. We are seeing changes in growth rates

August proved to be consistent with previous years regarding rainfall with well over 90mm falling across the month including a few quite heavy downpours causing a few issues with bunkers.


We took a different approach for greens renovation from previous years by integrating our bentgrass overseeding into the topdressing applications. Following hollow coring we applied two applications of topdressing to fill the core holes using a sand/seed mixture.

Ensuring that the holes were completely filled allowed the existing turf to knit over quickly and we saw the first signs of germination of the bentgrass seed six days after it was applied.

Our sand input was heavier than the last two summer applications with over sixty tonnes being applied to the greens. The key factors that have ensured that recovery was prompt, a combination of both management technique and seasonal conditions which is of course why we choose to do this work in August, are:

  • Soil temperatures are relatively high in August therefore we have strong growth from the existing sward and fast germination from the introduced seed.
  • Application of a fast-acting fertiliser just before the work commences ensures that the
  • Sward is growing strongly when we need it to, if we wait to apply this fertiliser until after the work is underway, we will have a lag time on recovery.
  • Applying sufficient topdressing to ensure all core holes are filled completely will allow the grass to knit across and heal more quickly.
  • Rainfall is far superior to irrigation and August never fails to provide!


Our hole set-up has been the topic of conversation for some time as it is different to most other clubs but there is a clear reason for each of the elements which have been decided upon to make your putting experience as best it can despite the restrictions that COVID has brought.

  • The white retaining ring is set in place to reinforce and preserve the hole edge. It is set between 3 & 4mm below the turf surface to not impede the ball.
  • Astroturf disc is in place to allow you to lift your ball our by hand without having to touch the flag stick. It is set at 30 – 35mm below the turf surface which is two thirds of a ball diameter.

I have been asked many times about the lifter type options and as such I have asked around my colleagues at other golf clubs for their feedback on these. From these discussions there are three points to consider with these lifters:

  • Our flag sticks are a heavy gauge (5/8” as opposed to standard 1/2”) and by adding the lifter tube we are increasing the diameter of the flagstick, consequentially you have a smaller hole.
  • The base plate often catches the hole edge on both lifting and lowering, creating damage to the turf.
  • There is a high incidence of breakage, particularly on the ones with a wire lift handle.

Every option out there for setting up holes and cups through this time is a compromise and I am sure that if we used a different system, we would encounter problems. Our system is aesthetic and predominately performs very well. I have taken the time seek feedback and set up the system so that it works for you. Oh, and remember that just because a ball gets a sniff of the hole there was never a guarantee that it would drop.


All hazards have been defined with herbicide spray which gives us a long-term boundary solution. The number of stakes on the course has been reduced to reduce clutter on the course. All stakes are placed at locations that are prominent to provide visibility of the hazard, they are simply indicators. Please use the permanent line to when ruling on all lie in hazards.

Pitchmarks on Greens

The incidence of un-repaired pitchmarks is currently at the highest level that I can remember. It is worth noting that 80% of our rounds are currently being played by our members and their guests.

See you on the course.

Jaey Goodchild

Head Greenkeeper