April was a little cooler than normal with regard to average noon temperatures (11°C). Total rainfall was 31mm. Winds were variable in direction although more northerlies than usual, light to fresh generally with a maximum of 20 mph. Fortunately the cold easterly winds off the north sea, commonly associated with this period were not persistent this year, although soil temperatures were slow to rise following the cold winter. Slight frost was experienced on four occasions.
WORK ON THE LINKS
Early in the month certain tees were hollow-tined, over seeded and top-dressed as were worn or trafficked areas round the course including flood damaged areas on the island and 18th fairway following scarification. Re-shaped fairway sections were similarly treated. Hollow-tining was also carried out in semi-roughs on the 9th and 10th holes and the 18th tee to fairway walkway. Hydroject aeration was applied to certain weaker greens or green areas involving the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th 9th and 11th holes with wetting agent added. Hydroject work continued from last month on fairways.
The main turf nursery was cleared prior to upfill with sand excavated from the 10th hole working area on The Burnside Course. The area was prepared in the usual manner and turf was laid near the end of the month to re-stock.
Bunkers were trimmed and floors cultivated as required whilst sand topping-up was carried out to certain wet bunkers.
Greens and approaches were top-dressed during the month along with green surrounds, recently re-laid tees and “Hogan” tees. Top-dressing also followed hollow-tining and overseeding work on the course.
The slow growth meant mowing progressed cautiously, with greens being mown 3 times per week by the end of the month. Greens were brushed on several occasions and verti-cut along with approaches and surrounds in the middle of April. Rolling was a common practice on greens during the month. Fairways were brushed prior to mowing and coarse areas of rough were cut using the J. Deere rough cutter or strimmer as required.
Hand watering on greens was carried out locally as required as was watering on new bunker-faces. The automatic system was tested and zone 9 (18th hole and putting green) failed. The main fault was traced to the relevant translator in the pump house. Sprinkler-heads were trimmed around generally and spray arcs adjusted as required, Drinking fountains were re-established on the courses during the month as usual.
Turf repairs were carried out to the waterlogged areas on the 10th and 11th holes as well as adjacent to the new bridge at the 11th tee following burn wall finishing work.
Greens, approaches, surrounds and many teeing grounds received a wetting agent spray during April. A micro-nutrient mixture was applied to greens in the middle of the month.
Liquid fertiliser applications were made to walkways, certain green surrounds and higher parts of fairways and contained nitrogen, seaweed and liquid iron sulphate. Some trafficked areas received a dressing of TX10, a mild organic fertiliser. A spring fertiliser (16-0-16) was applied to greens at the end of the month whilst approaches and surrounds were treated with an (8-0-0) standard fertiliser mix. Hogan tees, new turfed tees along with previously re-turfed areas were sprayed with liquid nitrogen with a fungicide added as a preventative treatment.
Total weedkiller was applied to around shelters, on service roads, along the edge of the public putting greens, bridge approach matting and in the maintenance yard as well as in front of the hotel and the path to the practice nets. Weed and grass growth was removed manually from the burn wall.
Miscellaneous work carried out in April included cleaning out ditches, the door step at 20 Links Parade, fence post replacement on boundary lines and removing debris at the salt-marsh from previous flooding.