June was a fine month with light winds more easterly than usual. Rainfall was lower than normal, 26 mm for the month, while average noon temperature at 17 º C was typical.
July was a much wetter month with a total rainfall of 75 mm. Average noon temperature was slightly up on June at 17.5 º C and winds were predominantly west – south west, light to fresh, while humidity was higher than usual.
WORK ON THE LINKS
Solid tining, using star tines was carried out on high parts of fairways, teeing grounds and flood damaged areas in June. Hydroject aeration involved trafficked areas generally, the re-laid section at the start of the 18th fairway and overseeded parts of fairways. Several greens were hydrojected also in June.
The usual bunker maintenance procedures carried on, which included light cultivation of bunker floors as required as well as methodical stone removal and sand shaping. Re-laid turf on bunker tops was watered as required and a light nitrogen fertiliser was applied to these areas in June.
Selective weedkilling continued in June on green and tee surrounds, fairways, walkways and certain roughs, mostly in the form of spot treatments.
Total weedkiller was used around the Hotel, Starters’ Box and Public Putting Green perimeter.
Greens top dressing was carried out in conjunction with approaches and surrounds as usual in June with a final light greens application in early July commensurate with the growth and turf density prevailing. The top dressing programme, like other treatments was geared obviously to peak the course for the Seniors Open and included a light top dressing on “Hogan” tees and low areas of fairway and fairway extensions, especially following selective verti-cutting. Top dressing on main teeing grounds commenced at the end of the month.
Occasional overnight irrigation was required mainly during June although localised hand watering was much preferred in targeting requirements on greens in particular along with re-laid turf on bunker tops and the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th greens etc. Sprinklers and control valve boxes were trimmed round as required.
Hand mowing on greens commenced at the end of June in the build up to the tournament, although hand mowing had been carried out earlier to suit events and whenever other priority procedures were covered. Low areas on fairways were often mown using triplex machines as was the “island” fairway on the 17th hole. Rolling on greens was a common procedure and included softer approaches nearer the Seniors. Green approaches and tight surround areas along with fairways were brushed prior to mowing in the build up to the tournament which in the aforementioned areas was carried out in one direction (i.e. tee to green) in our usual fashion for such events.
A preventative fungicide treatment was applied to greens in early June, primarily as a forerunner to a fairy ring control programme. Subsequent sprays followed in conjunction with wetting agent, which included fairways as required. The re-laid section at the start of the 18th fairway was treated for dollar spot control.
The nematicide Eagle Green Care, a garlic derived product, for the control of nematodes, was again applied on greens 1, 2, 7, 9, and 11, where soil sample analysis had identified numbers above threshold.
Weak spots on greens (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 16) were aerated and overseeded in the usual fashion during June.
Weaker greens, in particular those which were overseeded received a light application of the organic fertiliser TX10 in June. Certain weaker areas round the course received this treatment also. In early June greens received a summer fertiliser mixture comprising ammonium sulphate, dried blood, hoof and horn, iron sulphate and seaweed meal, a commonly used mixture applied
at 1 oz / sq yd. Green approaches and surrounds were sprayed with a tank mix of liquid ammonia, liquid iron and liquid seaweed. The re-laid area on the 10th walkway and 12th fairway also received liquid nitrogen.
Minor Turf Repairs
A few small turf repairs were carried out to the 2nd green and tee in June along with one or two bunker top repairs.
A number of conditioner treatments were applied to greens in particular through June and July, including green approaches and surrounds, teeing grounds, higher parts of fairways and weak areas of turf generally.
Applications comprised of liquid nitrogen, seaweed, liquid iron, wetting agent and a phos-form mix (a phosphorus based product with trace elements). These products were combined to suit turf needs over the two months along with a periodic water conditioner (acidifier) spray as required.
The protected landing areas on the 7th, 11th, 15th and 18th holes along with the short 3rd hole arrangement were in operation from the end of June and proved successful in controlling further divot damage in the relevant fairway areas. Nearer the event, the protection fences on the course were removed and have since been replaced. Turf protection rope was strung across tournament reserved teeing areas on the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 18th tees for the practice days. The 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 18th greens on the Burnside Course were roped off at the same time. The Buddon Course team prepared the practice range facility which included nine target pins on the 2nd and 18th fairways, five pins on the 18th green and seven on the 1st green.
Final tournament preparation centred on mowing repetition and lowered cutting height combined with rolling on greens. All playing surfaces (i.e. approaches, fairways, semi-rough) were mown in one direction (tee to green) daily. Target green speeds of approximately 10.5” were met, although the trueness of ball roll came in for the most praise from the players. We would have preferred the greens to have been a little firmer, however ball reaction was consistent between approach and green.
Environmental work carried out during June and July included burn and ditch clearing; application of Timbrel on young broom; burnt gorse chipping at the 15th hole, Burnside Course; and clearing up loose grass on spectator routes in the rough.
The wooden bridge at the 1st green on the Buddon Links Course was repaired where necessary prior to the Senior Open.
Sensitive heather areas were duly protected from spectator or vehicle movement during the event and protection fences, although in need of adjustment, have been replaced.