Hi folks thanks for joining me.

As you would expect from a Scottish summer, July has seen a mix of different weathers! Generally dry with a few very heavy downpours but luckily nothing compared to what we had to deal with in Inverness at the Scottish Open. Maintaining the bunkers can be a challenge when we have heavy rain however they certainly look fantastic when the sun shines!

The course is looking great at the moment. We have had many compliments from some of our long standing members which is great to hear but we always aim to improve.

Courtesy of Elmwood College we welcomed four French work experience students for three weeks, they were a great help this month. The students were training to work in The Alps as ski instructors/mountain rescue etc. and in the summer months they work in landscape areas. Their placement on The Duke’s taught them about landscape presentation as well as giving them a chance to improve their English (which was already better than my French).

The greens are putting really well and looking good. We continue to spray them with a mix of growth regulator/liquid fertiliser as well as top dress every 2 weeks. We mow the greens at 3.5mm and apply a light application of an 8-0-16 fertiliser.

This month we started our summer aeration program, greens 10 to 14 are hollow cored. We core half the green at a time which allows us to leave the pin so the golfers still have a good surface to putt on while we have a chance to carry out essential maintenance on the other half. Traditionally this task is carried out in the autumn but by doing it in the summer months we get really quick recovery. Most importantly the new seeds germinate much more quickly in the warmer temperatures which then allows more time for the new seedling grass to mature before the cold temperatures of winter.

We have extended the spray of growth regulator and liquid fertiliser onto our approaches which has really helped their appearance, combined with being mown every two days the surface quality has improved considerably.

The tees have been fertilised with a 23-2-10 product which should last the remainder of the season before an autumn/winter fertiliser will be applied.

The fairways are cut at 14mm. We have received many compliments regarding the condition of the fairways this year which, once again is really good to hear, but as ever we aim to improve so we have been selectively hollow coring, top dressing and over seeding some areas of the areas that receive heavy traffic.

August and September are always busy months for us not only for the amount of golfers playing but also because we aim to carry out as much maintenance before the temperatures start to drop in October. With that in mind we will continue to aerate the greens on 1-8 as well as aeration of wear areas on fairways’.

PGA Professional at The Duke’s Ayden Roberts-Jones has added his latest installment from his series of golf lessons on to our YouTube page. This week Ayden demonstrates the correct foot position for the perfect set up. I really do recommend having a look for some easy to follow advice.

Speak soon