Monthly Report: August
With August now behind us we are looking forward to September. The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be held on the Old Course, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie and always creates a great buzz around the town. This year two of our team will assist at Kingsbarns for the week, hopefully Jon and Steven will have more luck than Craig and I had at Castle Stuart this year!
August started as a pretty wet month for us with 3 times the average monthly rainfall falling in the first 10 days and a total of 162mm falling in the month. Not great for us but I am sure the pro shop must be doing a roaring trade on umbrellas and waterproofs!
Further to the visit from the group of German course managers earlier in the month we also had a visit from Vanje Drasler, course manager from Diners Golf and Country Club in Ljubljana. Vanje was part of a team visiting from Slovenia with Elmwood College, an interesting tour and chat around the course. I discovered that while her course in Slovenia closes for two months in the winter Vanje will work at both the Olympic Club and Pebble Beach in California! Good luck to her and her team preparing her course for the European Ladies Amateur Championship next year!
Last Sunday The Duke’s hosted a breast cancer charity day with our members, for a bit of fun we attached our Saltire flags to bright pink flagsticks for the day. They looked pretty outrageous and our members loved them!
We continued our summer aeration program, greens 1 to 8 were 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. After 2 weeks the greens are now back in full play with the new seed coming through well.
Daily mowing and rolling can create a seal over the surface making it difficult for air and water to penetrate. To address this issue we needle tined the greens twice in August with 5mm tines, this process causes next to no disruption to the surface but allows air and water in through the surface.With the wet weather and colder temperatures we will be raising the cutting height slightly to protect the grass which will ensure that it is healthy going into winter.
As I have mentioned before we tend to leave The Duke’s with a natural, rugged look however we have spot treated some areas of unsightly rye grass in the approaches by seeding with a more desirable grass. The rye grass grows very long and leggy which does not cut very well and does not look as particularly attractive, especially so close to the green surface.
The fairways have now received a granular fertiliser which will allow the fairways to develop a wonderful green colour and encourage good grass coverage heading into winter. If the fairways are weak and thin in winter they can appear very wet and poor to play from. We still mow the fairways at 4mm; next month we will start top dressing them again with sand to assist with drainage, provide a better playing surface and improve the soil to allow more desirable grasses to flourish.
THE MONTH AHEAD:
This month we will be concentrating on presentation even more than normal as there can be more grass clippings and leaves lying around due to colder wet weather, we have to make sure playing surfaces are kept clear. We will also begin to prepare our winter greens in anticipation for the frosty months ahead. These areas are in the fairways near the greens so they be hollow cored, top dressed, over seeded and fertilised to ensure they are a good surface.
Just a wee reminder to check out Ayden’s golf lessons over on our YouTube page. This week Ayden moves away from posture and explains how to position the ball for a desirable flight.
It’s been great speaking to you, as always please do let me know if you have any questions regarding our green keeping activities.