The driest June we have had in 8 years at The Duke’s with only 27mm of rainfall which along with temperatures in the mid 20′s saw us needing the use of hoses/sprinklers on the fairways for the first time since 2006. This also saw us using the irrigation more than usual with the tees in particular drying out and in need of irrigation. The greens have not been drying out too much due to the application of wetting agent and regular hand watering of any dry patches, with only a few high spots drying out.
The greens aeration programme has gone well for the first part of the year with us being slightly behind plan by completing 14 of the greens (half greens), this operation will now go on hold till the end of July when the aim will be to have all the greens completed by the end of September.
The height of cut on the greens is currently 4mm which will be dropped to 3.75 in July. The greenspeed has been tough to get quick this year due to the amount of seeds the annual meadow grass has been producing. The greens have been verticut twice to thin out the seeds and although the greens have been pretty smooth and true to putt on they have not been as fast as we would like them to be. During the summer months we will continue to top dress the greens every 2 weeks.
The approaches have been verticut which has taken out a lot of the lateral growth, the aim is to create a surface which can be putted from more easily if you are on the fringe of the green. They are currently being mown at 10mm.
The tee’s are also being mown at 10mm and were fertilised with a 9-7-7. The tee’s will also be sprayed with growth regulator following from the success of this product on greens and fairways.
The fairways have been receiving some good feedback from players, The top-dressing programme we have been going through for the past 4 years is showing a significant improvement in the surface of the fairways. In addition we have now started spraying the fairways with a growth regulator which has the added benefit of standing the grass upright providing a nice lie to play from.
Selective spraying for weeds has also been carried out this month targeting the clover in the fairways and rough, and the thistles in the long rough areas.
Other jobs ongoing this month have included installing the cartpath yardage markers and fairway kirby yardage markers every 25 yards. The coloured dots on the tee markers have also been refreshed.