The only right way to start this blog is with a couple of thank you’s from the greens team. Firstly to the board of directors and General Manager at the club that kept all the team together during lockdown, where nearly all courses in the area used the furlough scheme, our directors had the foresight to use the time to invest and push the course forward. All this was done with our safety paramount, making the team happy and relaxed.
Secondly, the backing we received from the members was incredible. It is a lot easier to do your job in these strange and troubled times when you know the membership is 100% behind you. Thank you, it made our lives during them 8 weeks stress free.
Anyway, it wouldn’t be a greens blog if I didn’t have a moan about the weather. Since lockdown started we have had around 30mm of rain (10 weeks). This is coming of 6 months were we averaged 4mm A DAY!!!!!!
The average rainfall for the previous 15 years in May is 61.5mm, this year we had 7.4mm. This has meant we have had to change our usual cultural practices on the greens. Usually we would be cutting daily by now, currently we are alternating between cutting and rolling. If this wetter weather continues this weekend we will go back to cutting daily.
We have been putting water on the greens nearly every day to keep them alive. Just a few facts about how we irrigate and the system,
- Our tank hold 36,000 liters of water, this is used daily.
- We are running the system for 5-6 minutes per green.
- Our irrigation system is around 30 years old.
- It takes the tank 16 hours to refill, so can only be used once per day.
We are on our 2nd applicaton, 3rd going out this month of wetting agent. This is applied primarily to prevent dry patch and ensure that every drop of water that goes on the greens is used and doesn’t run off the surface. It also maintains a uniform surface, so there isn’t soft and hard spots.
In my previous blog I had put that we was going to target wet areas on some greens. There has been no chance of that so far this season due to the weather. I’m uncertain how much of this will be done this season due to how busy the course will be. You can have the best plan in the world but the past 10 weeks has blown a hole in that!!!
Anyone who’s played recently will notice we have installed around 500m of new paths on the course, we’re really pleased with them, we will see the benefit next winter.
The height of cut on the tees will be reduced next week, if we had lowered them during last month there would be no grass left!!! The height on the fairways has another 2mm to come down also, but this will be only be done if the weather allows.
Working on the course over the past month it is good to see nearly everyone sticking to the rules. Please use the ball remove contraptions on the flags please, i’m seeing a lot of people using their hands to retrieve balls. Also DO NOT walk or drive over the new path edges that have been soil/seeded.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading, Mark Shuttleworth ( Deputy Head Greenkeeper)