Willkommen zu The Duke’s, St Andrews
Hello everyone thanks for joining me on The Duke’s green keeping blog.
After 3 times the average monthly rainfall for August fell in the first 10 days of the month we are getting back to normal again and the waterproofs have finally dried off!
Last week we hosted a group of German green keepers and club managers for a visit arranged by the Royal and Ancient. The purpose of the visit was to discuss and compare maintenance techniques and environmental attitudes. One of the most notable differences between the German courses and The Duke’s was our approach to long rough management, here at The Duke’s we allow the course to develop a more rugged look showcasing the beautiful, natural Scottish terrain while the golf courses in Germany opt for a much more polished look, trimming the rough much more frequently. Another key difference is the variety of grass species used, with a different climate to Scotland, German course use alternative grasses with different maintenance techniques.
My German is a little rusty but Carolyn Hedley from The Scottish Golf Environment Group produced some pretty impressive foreign language skills when welcoming the group. We hope they had a worthwhile trip, I certainly found the visit to be very interesting. Thank you to Steve Isaac from the R&A for arranging the visit.
As I mentioned in my previous post we have now started our hollow coring/over seeding of greens 1 to 8. As you can see from the pictures below we are working on half a green at a time which allows the golfers to play on the other half with minimal disruption to their game. We are solid tinning to a depth of 200mm with 10mm tines then following behind with 12mm hollow tines at a depth of 50mm. The sand is then spread and brushed in by hand with large brooms. So far we have found this method to be successful as we can achieve not only the core aeration, over seeding and top dressing but also some deep tinning in the same operation. As you can see from the images this operation can be rather disruptive to the surface so combining the tasks in one process allows for minimal scarring and disruption to play.
As you can see from all the little lush green dots in the photo below the greens that we cored four weeks ago are now back in play with good germination of the seed.
This week we lose one of our seasonal staff, Scott Wells who will return to New Zealand after spending the summer with us. His home golf club Queenstown Golf Club will need him as they prepare for their summer season. I am sure we will hear from him again when the rugby world cup starts in a few weeks time if Scotland take on and defeat the All Blacks!
If you would like any more information on the work we do at The Duke’s or if you would like to enquire about tee times and golf lessons then please do leave me a comment.