september 2020 update

Greens renovations have been completed now and recovery is well underway. Firstly the greens were scarified -8mm, this brought out around 1 trailer load of debris. On the Wednesday we hollow tined using 12mm tines, going down 2″(50mm). We took 12 trailer loads out of the greens. Over 35 tonnes of sand has been brushed into the holes/ surface and 70kg of bents grass seed sown. You can see the new growth already. Because of the stress this causes to the grass plant we have raised the height of cut to 5mm, this will help combat some of that stress. We have put a feed on but will also be putting further soil conditioners on next week, this will aid the recovery, help keep the greens firm going into winter and also help keep disease away. We have had a couple of meetings regarding the winter programme, this is near to being finalised now. The aim is to level up 3 tees and sort out an area of the 6th tee that has sunk a little, we will also look at opening up the trees so we can use more of the left hand side of the 6th tee. Some more path work improvement will take place, mainly raising the 7th path to the fairway to stop it flooding. We are also enquiring about draining the left hand of the 12th fairway, this will depend on cost and ground conditions. There is also a lot of tree work that needs to be done, removing dead trees, low branches and a few trees that are not indigenous to the area. We have had a couple of complaints about the course recently mainly regarding as to what the greens staff actually do and how we have done less this year than previous. This has upset and annoyed all the greens lads, as we have worked as hard this year like we did in any previous season. Briefly, the greens get cut every day , usually 5;30am-8;30am. Tees/fways/surrounds all get cut minimum twice, like every year previous. The rough gets cut all week, because of how much of rough there is it takes all week, the only way around it is growing more long rough therefore making the area we have to cut smaller. The weather plays a big part of how the rough plays, usually the complaints about he rough start mid may, this is usually when we have the first decent amount of rainfall during the warmer temps. This season we had 23mm during the whole of April/may, no moisture for the grass to kick off, now we have had 100mm+ for the last 3 months with decent temps the rough does not stop growing. Because it takes us all week to cut it some areas at the weekend have had 3-4 days growth. We are looking into purchasing a new rough machine, keeping the old one, and maybe another machine to cut in between the trees, this should hopefully speed up the process. The greenstaff would also like to grow some areas longer, this would also speed up cutting. Another massive problem the greens staff see with people looking for their balls is that you have no idea how far the ball has gone. We see people looking for balls 30 yards further than where the ball actually landed. Please pay attention when on the tee so you have a better idea as to where your balls have gone. Unless you work outside you would not know how much an impact the weather/ rain has on your plans/work. The difference between a dry cut compared to a cut when it’s wet is like night and day. The summer of 2018, (June/July/Aug) it was dry 49% of the time, with Thurs/Fri being dry 62%/42% of the time. Compare this to 2020. It has been dry 29% of the time, Thurs/Fri dry 15%/23%. Why do these figures matter? Thurs/Fri are the main days we cut to present the course for the weekend. Not getting a dry cut makes a massive difference, absolutely out of our control. We have had 152mm more rainfall in the period than 2018, 58mm more than 2019. Wednesday/ Thursday when cutting rough have both been wet 85% of the time, 2018 was 62%,38% wet. Massive differences. 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 for reading, Mark Shuttleworth ( Deputy Head Greenkeeper)

14 thoughts on “september 2020 update”

  1. Mark and all. The course has been fantastic this year in spite of the many challenges you’ve faced so thanks for all the hard work put in every day. You’re right re golfers keeping an eye on their balls more and if longer rough well off line helps cutting let’s have it.

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  2. I would just like to add my support to the positive comments made by fellow members. You will indeed always get the moaners, usually because they are looking for excuses for their own mistakes! Rest assured the majority of us recognise the great job you do, in often difficult conditions. All members should appreciate that without you guys there would be no playable golf course. Keep up the great work 👍

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  3. There are always those golfers who can’t see the wood for the trees!!
    Since lockdown ended I have played three times a week and have always seen the green staff at work. You are doing a great job and it is reflected in the quality of the whole course. Well done all of you and thank you from one very satisfied golfer

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  4. I think we all appreciate the work you do Mark! The course looks great whatever the weather. Those that complain don’t see you out at 5.30 in the morning. I love the communication and the Greens Blog – we could do with more of it! Please keep on keeping us informed.

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  5. The greens are the worst they have been in the 4 years iv been here. Bobberly and slow, other than the calvert were they we fast and true. (One weekend) The over runs on the greens look like its the first time some one has ever cut a green. The rough should never take a week to cut but does not help when the blades are not down on the machien and not cutting like a few of us have seen and the bits clearly missed. Bunkers that need to be plowed, shoveled and raked so the sand is leavel all over not some deep spots and lots of spots were there is none at all. Tees are like a blind man had the task of making sure they were leavle then only cut once a week to show willing.

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  6. The greens are the worst they have been in the 4 years iv been here. Bobberly and slow, other than the calvert were they we fast and true. (One weekend) The over runs on the greens look like its the first time some one has ever cut a green. The rough should never take a week to cut but does not help when the blades are not down on the machien and not cutting like a few of us have seen and the bits clearly missed. Bunkers that need to be plowed, shoveled and raked so the sand is leavel all over not some deep spots and lots of spots were there is none at all. Tees are like a blind man had the task of making sure they were leavle then only cut once a week to show willing.

    Like

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