Contributed By: Tom Carew, Course Superintendent
The last two months have certainly been very busy on the golf course and the drought this summer has created plenty of work.
Once the rain arrived on the 2nd week of August the grass certainly started to grow very rapidly. The growth for the month of August was certainly very strong especially in the rough where we had to cut some areas twice a week.
With the dewy mornings and wet grass, the rough did become quite untidy. This was solved with the use of the blower behind the tractor. Golfers don’t like the blower out as it can be very loud, but it is a necessity to keep the rough clean.
The drought during the summer months certainly was very stressful for all greenkeepers throughout the country. Especially the clubs whose irrigation system may have been not fit for the weather we got in 2018. Craddockstown golf club certainly struggled we lost plenty of grass on tees and collars. Our greens also struggled as our automatic irrigation system was not working. So we had to water greens manually at night and during the early mornings. In fact, we ran out of water for two days, which was a bit of a nightmare!
Thankfully the rain arrived and with soil temperatures so high, the grass just took off!
- Weaker tees and approaches were fertilised to improve grass density and colour.
- Fairways were sprayed with some nitrogen and magnesium to aid recovery
- Greens were also fertilised and sprayed with seaweed and iron
This month was all about repairing any areas where we lost grass, especially on collars and around bunkers. This work will also be ongoing for the next few weeks.
The greens were overseeded the last week of September. This was carried out using a dimple seeder. We went in three directions across the greens. One dummy run and two passes. We go at high rates to increase the percentage uptake. We then drag matt in very slowly after each pass, this also helps to drag the seed into the holes. We top-dress and follow up again with the drag matt. It can be a slow process. We normally do 20 greens in two days assuming golf is quite and the weather conditions are good. So we should see a strike in the next 10 days. We then raise the height of cut on the greens to protect the new seedlings.
Temporary greens come into play during the frost in Craddockstown. We started to prepare these in the last week in September. We normally put them on the approaches where possible.
Dar golf are currently putting in a new green and new section of fairway on the 4th hole. This work will be ongoing for the next few weeks. Plus we are adding new tees and a new layout for the 5th hole. These holes needed to be realigned as there are a number of houses been built in an adjoining property.