Friday, June 9, 2017

Well not the greatest forecast for the long week end and the rain is starting to fall as I write this.  We have had quite a dry spell though which is normal for this time of year but then again the opposite can be said as over the years as the Ladies Champs have endured some pretty ordinary weather over the years.

A bit more preparation on the temporary greens this week with more to come over the coming weeks in readiness for seed sowing in July.  The goal is to have a little more couchgrass to come through than last year as the greens were starting to stress towards the end.  For several months there are 50 putting greens under care so the less stress the better.

I start leave today and am heading to the US of A and first port of call is Florida where I will be visiting golf courses to look at their TifEagle management techniques, much to Michelle's horror!!   It is renovation time over there as summer has just started and that is just what I want to see.  I will be visiting the Naples area and West Palm Beach and speaking of weather, they have had between 8 and 14 inches of rain this week so hopefully it will all be gone by the time I get there.  Both areas have a very similar climate to ours and TifEagle is the dominant choice of grass on greens there.  One course I will visit replaced their 14 year old TifEagle greens this time last year with TifEagle again and another course has greens that are 18 years old.  I am most interested in the one year old greens to see how they are performing compared to Coolie Tweed's.

The courses are left in the very capable hands of assistant Simon who has been in that role for 16 years so knows the courses exceptionally well.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Some glorious late autumn weather this past week but winter certainly arrived on Thursday June 1 with a biting cold breeze.  It still got to 20 degrees so compared to the southern States we can't complain.

The dews early in the week were very heavy and with no wind around stayed on the ground all day.  The amount of water in the dew is almost enough to irrigate the turf. 

1W fairway still dewy @ 4.30pm!

Preparation of the front nine West course temporary greens started this week with the first lower mowing and scarifying.  A couple more mowings and a core and they will be ready for planting in early July.  

And so it begins..... 

The new TifEagle greens are very well poised to enter their first winter season.  All hybrid Couchgrasses that are used for putting greens are susceptible to disease during the winter but with a good preventative application and some judicious fertiliser application the greens are ready for it.  This can be evidenced by the strong root growth at the moment which sees the roots out the bottom of the hole changer which means there is 8 - 10 inches of roots on them which is exceptional.

Roots on 18W green!!

The courses have been subject to a huge amount of play recently particularly with the beautiful weather and the turf in good health leading in to winter, but it still doesn't mean that course care by players can be forgotten.  I think I might start a campaign as mentioned the other week of "leave the course as you would like to find it"!!  Here are a couple of bad examples from this past week;
Pitch marks 3W green

Divots in mid 3W tee