Despite the course being closed due to government-enforced restrictions, significant work continues on our course to ensure that it is ready for the return of golf. Hollow core aeration of the greens was scheduled for September 2020 but it was decided to take advantage of the enforced closure and bring the hollow coring of greens forward to ensure that members are not disrupted unnecessarily again later in the golfing season. In doing so, no major disturbance of our greens will now be necessary until some time in Q3 2021.
The greens were cored with half inch tines at 2 inch spacing’s. Having removed the cores from the surface, the greens were top dressed and brushed to back fill the holes with sand and it is expected that circa 60 tonnes of double washed sand will be applied to the greens within the next week. Test results from November 2019 recorded organic matter levels of 7% in the top 20mm which represented an 18% increase on the previous year. Much of this increase can be contributed to an extremely wet summer and autumn in 2019, therefore the coring is critical to remove organic matter from the profile of the greens and decrease levels down towards the target range of 3% – 4% in the top 20mm and below 4% in the profile between 20mm – 40mm.
The cores will be used over the coming days and weeks to help repair damaged turf around the course. One of the downsides of no golfers on the course is a significant increase in the wildlife activity. There has been a noticeable increase in crow picking and rabbit damage across the course in recent days. The course team are working hard to remain on top of these issues and repair damage as it occurs but nothing will beat golfers being back out on the course.
In addition to regular mowing, all treatments continue as planned as grass still requires nutrient inputs, particularly now as the main growing season kicks in. It is our intention to have the course presenting really well when members return to golf and ensure the course is as pristine as possible for the main golfing season ahead. Extensive repairs are also being completed to the irrigation system to help protect the playing surfaces during what will hopefully be a great summer for golf.