Your golf course

Sorry it’s been a while since the last blog, we’ve not had much to tell you about through the winter months. Nutrition and aeration on the greens have kept them playing well all winter. Renovations went well, we double scarified (-10mm) to remove organic matter, we then solid tined using 12mm tines to s depth of 100mm, this was followed up by around 15 tonnes of medium coarse top dressing. This was all brushed in using our power brush. Recovery has been very good, with good reports coming back regarding the putting surfaces. We are alternating between cutting and rolling greens on a daily basis. This is because the greens have yet to start growing strongly enough to warrant cutting more. This time of year is an absolute nightmare for greenkeepers, cold nights followed by windy days are not good, throwing in the odd warm day, the grass doesn’t know where to come or go!! Hopefully with the temps rising this weekend, soil temps will warm up and the grasses will kick off. Like last year the greens will be following a programme using products mainly from https://www.terralift.eu/ , i have chosen to go down this route because it’s a more organic way to go, trying to get the soil to work on it’s own to create a healthy rootzone that can build up natural disease suppression rather than banging on fungicides on regularly. Fungicides do a great job in stopping fungal disease (fusarium) but whilst stopping the disease they all kill any healthy bacteria in the soil. We have the soil tested every year to ensure we are going in the right direction. Base saturation is a test to show how well the soil can keep hold and utilise nutrition. Poor base saturation will mean fertiliser being wasted and having a shorter life span.
2017 soil results
2018 soil results
The greens were very good throughout last year, in my opinion we had only one bad week, the first week of June. We got done by the sun and wind during the bank holiday weekend. Going down the more organic route is a way that golf will have to go. This year the EU has withdrawn the licence for two very effective fungicides, they withdrew one the year previous of another effective product. Going more au natural has helped us, in the previous 2 seasons we have only used 3 fungicides, some years previous to that we had used 6!!!! at roughly £750 a go!!! https://www.greencast.co.uk/news/product-update/propiconazole-based-fungicides-be-withdrawn-eu-use
As you will all be aware a lot of our time since Christmas has been spent on the new driving range. This will be opening this Saturday. Please only enter the bays from the back, keep off the seeded area. I believe members will be receiving 25 free balls per day for the short game area . Unfortunately i am going to finish on a negative. The amount of pitch marks found on a daily basis is very very frustrating, the greens are in good condition, imagine how much better they could be if all the pitch marks were repaired within seconds of being created. Please keep trolleys away from green, surrounds and in between bunkers. We have had two sad incidents in the last week, firstly a visitor took a chunk out of the 12th green and then on Monday someone walked straight through an area that had just been soil/seeded. Please remember, this is your golf course, the more time we have to spend on repairing unnecessary tasks the less time we have to spend on positive things. Also when you go to other courses, treat them like you would like visitors to treat our course.
Near the 4th green
Thanks for reading, please follow us on twitter @ashtonleagreens, this will give you daily reports on the state of the course and updates of what we are doing. We also have a facebook page, search for Ashton and Lea greens. Please like the page and ask your golfing friends to like the page, make them aware of the good things we are doing and producing. Any concerns or opinions on what we are doing please contact us directly on greens-ashtonlea@hotmail.com. Thanks, Mark Shuttleworth ,(Deputy Head Greenkeeper)
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4 thoughts on “Your golf course”

  1. Fully support & endorse Bernard’s comments and yes repairing pitch marks isn’t hard and everyone should take those extra few seconds to ensure our greens remain in the excellent condition your hard work has given us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gents,
    The transformation in work methods and continual efforts to improve our existing practices is a credit to you. Habitual methodology is being replaced, where necessary, with tried and tested new and improved techniques built around a proven program, with a little bit of help from Mother Nature, less player infidelities and stable funding everything should only continue to improve. Fantastic to witness your efforts and skills being demonstrated with the best A & L many long standing members can ever remember. Keep it going guys.

    Like

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