Showing posts from May, 2019

Aeration Monday

You may ask why punch holes and add sand just when the greens was becoming good. Well there’s a long and a short answer and anyone who knows me knows which one I’m going to give!. Try not to fall asleep on me πŸ˜΄πŸ˜‚ We will be performing several tasks and each one has its benefits long term. The good news for you is that summer aeration mainly consists of smaller holes more often and less sand more often, together with good growing conditions means a speedy recovery and great surfaces fast. The team will be verticutting, cutting, sarrel rolling then applying approximately 5 tonne of sand bringing our total this year to 65 tonnes. The following day an application of wetting agent, seaweed, humid acid and liquid aeration will be applied. Below is a description of what each process is and why we are performing each task. Verticutting The verticut units are like mini knives spinning vertically removing debris, standing up lateral growth, removing seed heads, leaving a seed bed to help f

New greens iron. Rolling and the benefits.

Today we received our latest addition to our fleet, a new greens iron. Big thanks to the golf committee for helping in the cause and justification, and a big thanks to Ben Watkins our Business Manager, Justin Carpenter our Grounds Committee Chairman and the trustees for choosing to invest in what will prove to be an invaluable tool. There are a lot of benefits from rolling the putting surface the obvious ones from a golfing stand point are a little extra speed, smoothness and trueness, but the benefits for the club extend beyond trying to achieve a double digit stimp reading. We can achieve speed without needing to cut everyday saving wear and tear on a £27000-£30000 machine and transferring it to a less expensive mechanically simple unit, potentially saving money on fuel powering a bigger unit, wear on cylinders and bottom blades which need sharpening regular and saving servicing costs to a machine not accumulating a lot of hours use. Rolling or ironing also has benefits from an ag

Maintenance HUD and it’s importance

I know these posts are coming quick and fast and that’s half my eagerness for change and the fact that I want to be open about how I will make my decisions for our greens. For those that are bored now the posts will slow I promise πŸ˜†.  I use spreadsheets to record my data around what’s happening with our greens, after all they are alive and change daily so why not record changes. The idea of a HUD is not new and I first came across this from Jason Haines, a superintendent from Canada, or genius as I like to think of him. You may have seen some past tweets with snap shots from my HUD displaying certain bits of information. My maintenance HUD is short for heads up display and gives me all my separate spreadsheets and data in one place. The information displayed are weather forecast, growth potential, precipitation, disease pressure, grass clipping volume, ideal growth vs actual growth, soil PH, soil temperature, growth potential, greens firmness and more, all of which I can use to

5th green soft

I’m sure most of you have recognised how soft and squidgy the 5th green has become over last year or so and now the loss of turf quality has become an issue. A number of things are to blame, excessive organic matter (OM) or thatch build up as you May know it. This is likely caused through excess Nitrogen and lack of sand topdressing (see growth rates graph below) b) the pines to the left of the green causing a lack of light and a lack of air flow, c) gravity allowing rain and ground water to follow the natural land and drench the back and left of the green during heavy rainfall, and d) poor or worn irrigation sprinkler heads supplying poor uniform distribution that actually drench the back of the green in minutes and don’t supply enough to the rest of the green in that time.  Below are my plans to eradicate this problem and bring this green inline with the rest of the course in-terms of OM and firmness. As you will see we have started this work already, not in the order I would have c

My secondment

As many of you will know by now I have been given secondment to lead the ground staff at the Phoenix. I’ve been working at Phoenix for 19 years now and I’ve applied for the job as Head 2 or 3 times in those years. I learned most of my modern green keeping practices from Graham Pickin who in my opinion is the best Head Groundsman Phoenix has ever had (until now 🀣). Joking aside I learned a lot from Graham and put together with my studies in the HNC Golf Course Management I have developed a modern approach based on efficacy, efficiency and quality without needing a massive budget, perfect for Phoenix. You will soon see I use a more scientific approach to my decision making, I prefer fact and I believe past guessing and lack of knowledge has caused a few greens to suffer. This blog is to update all the members on our targets, achievements, our success and failures hopefully Past failures that need amending. Now unfortunately due to some past failings Im down on staff so don’t expect m