May and June have seen solid summer conditions with scant rainfall and periods strong, easterly winds, particularly through May. These winds have compounded the drying effect of sunshine.

One heavy downfall of rain did take the edge off things in the middle of June but either side of this we are still deficient of rainfall and irrigation is taking the responsibility for moisture inputs.

On the greenkeeping front focus has been on preparing the course for summer events, particularly the PGA National Championships at the end of July. Late May saw a great opportunity to deep aerate the greens with micro tines for the final time before the event season, timed perfectly to capitalise on spring root growth and provide tine holes to encourage deep rooting which offers the turf an easy way down to soil moisture deeper in the rootzone.

Following on from this and key to consistent surfaces, has been careful moisture management of the green surfaces. First, our aim is to create as consistent as possible moisture content across all greens and offer as close as possible to the same hardness and give on each green.

Second, our aim is to achieve just to right amount of moisture in that surface to allow shots to hold but also allow the speed to be increased to a desirable pace for playing on. Challenging given the rate of evaporation we get on hot, windy days.

With greens we are maintaining a regular regime of rolling to keep the surface smooth and firm without reducing the height of cut too much. Keeping the height of cut a little longer does give the plant a buffer when times are stressful, more leaf equals more opportunity to produce energy.

Finally, a note on course care; make use of the bunker rakes when you play from a bunker. Our small team can only do so much to prepare the course for your round.

See you on the course.

Jaey Goodchild
Head Greenkeeper