LINKS SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 2011
February was a typical month, although mostly cloudy with a near average noon temperature of 6.5° C. The vast majority of the 61 mm of rainfall came in the first half of the month while slight frost was experienced on only five occasions. Winds were generally from a westerly direction light-fresh with a short spell of easterlies In the middle of the month. Good progress was made to winter works projects through the month, particularly in the latter half.
WORK ON THE LINKS
Several bunker revetments were carried out during the month and included:-
1 on the 1st hole right hand side
2 on the 2nd hole right hand side
4 at the 6th greenside
2 at the 8th green right hand side
1 on the 17th hole left hand side
1 at the 10th greenside left hand side
18th Fairway – Raised Section
A band of turf about 12 - 15 metres wide was cut and lifted across the width of this fairway from opposite the corner of the burn on the right hand side just short of the first bunker across to a mound on the left hand side of the hole. The purpose was to raise this section of fairway to restrict any future burn flooding to the lower section at the start of the fairway and prevent flood water from covering the remainder of the fairway and bunkers which has been previously experienced.
A proportion of fairway turf was used to cover the renovated fairway area short of the 17th green as the turf there was seriously inferior for purpose. Remaining turf was laid out.
Existing topsoil was stockpiled on site and sand from Pro Centre excavations was driven in to form a low softly contoured ridge with appropriate curvature. Topsoil was replaced and the area prepared for re-turfing. Most of the turf came from the right side of the 1st fairway which is planned to be cut out to the left side, extending the battery as the intended line of play. Turf was replaced on the removed area from the turf nursery as this will provide a suitable semi-rough or rough replacement.
Minor Turf Repairs
A few smaller repairs were carried out including one on the semi rough to the right of the 17th hole and in the trees to the left of the 9th. Turf repairs were also done at the burn edge on the 18th hole.
Shallow, surface slitting was carried out on greens in the middle of the month.
6th Hole – Left Hand Side
The section of rough adjacent to the boundary fence in the early part of this hole was removed as planned. This turf was of very poor quality and therefore not re-used. Underlying silty soil was removed to the sand base and fresh sand was bought in followed by root zone covering. The usual firming and raking was carried out before turfing over with nursery turf.
Services to New Pro Centre
A three metre wide strip was cut across the public putting green, behind the 18th green and on in front of the 1st tee towards the new building to allow the excavation needed for the required services. Following the installation of gas, water and fibre-optic conduit, the trench was back filled. Green staff prepared the track and replaced the stacked turf accordingly.
Greens and approaches were brushed and cut at 5.5 mm and 7 mm respectively at the end of the month. Greens were also rolled during the month.
Top Dressing Fairways
Fairway sand top dressing commenced at the end of the month, followed by the usual brushing in.
Other work carried out during the month included brushing low fairway areas, rolling new turfed areas, driving dune sand to the yard and pumping water from bunkers.
Greens were cut at 5.5 mm early in the month and rolled as required. Green approaches along with winter greens were mown at 7 mm later in the month.
Roughs and walkways were slit tined to a depth of 6” – 7” early in the month. Verti drain aeration was applied to tees and walkways using ½” tines.
An iron sulphate dressing was applied to tees and later in the month a lighter dressing was applied to greens.
Bunker revetments carried out included:-
1 at the left hand side on the 7th hole (bunker head lowered).
1 at the left hand side on the 13th hole (bunker head lowered).
2 on the 13th fairway right hand side.
Turfing was completed around the lowered bunker heads at the 16th green.
15th Tee Project
Turfing was completed round the edges of this extended tee and the rear pathway was prepared. Turf was laid and covered with a plastic mesh pinned to the underlying turf. This is intended to improve turf wear tolerance and is a trial installation.
The high winter water table was further aggravated by some heavy rains in the first half of the month, resulting in standing water which was thereafter pumped from the 4th, 6th, 8th and 12th fairways as well as several bunkers.
Screening Dune Sand
Further quantities of our own dune sand were screened in the compost shed for use as fairway top dressing, recently carried out, and bunker topping up purposes.
Buddon Links Course
3rd and 18th Tee Development
Some additional turf was removed from the rear of the 18th tee to allow for tee bank formation. Sand was transported using 2 hired 6 ton dumpers to combat the awkward access at the targeted elevation. Approximately 1,000 tons of sand was used on top of the established base formation. Access arrangements, include pathways, on the seaward side (18th) running alongside the double tee and down the front (3rd). A suitable path from the right hand side of the 17th green to the rear of the tee is under construction. Root zone mix was transported to cover the tee (approx 6” in depth) and following the usual preparations turf was laid over the tee table. An additional path across the front of the tee was established as the main access to the 3rd tee section. Irrigation pipework was rearranged to cover this new raised teeing area and sprinklers installed.
The only bunker revetment carried out in February was at the 15th green approach.
Tees were slit tined to a depth of 6” whilst fairways were similarly aerated to a depth of 4” using the Ryan Renovaire outfield spiker.
An iron sulphate dressing was applied to moss affected greens at 2nd, 4th, 7th and 8th including the practice tee.
10th / 13th Greenside Bunkering
This development was completed with the rough turfing in the area between the new bunkering arrangement.
A new 1st tee site was cleared of turf and levels made up with root-zone material prior to the usual preparations. The remaining turf on the original 1st tee was used to cover the area.
Rear of 11th Green
This previously waterlogged area to the rear of the green was prepared and subsequently turfed over.
Greens were brushed and cut at 5.5 mm near the end of the month and rolled as required.
Rearranged pipework and sprinkler locations including control valve installations were carried out at the 15th tee, Burnside Course and to the left of the 1st and 6th fairways on the Championship Course. The new 1st and new 3rd / 18th tees on the Buddon Course were similarly adjusted to suit.
Very little environment work was carried out during the month but did include, on the 1st of the month, cleaning out bird boxes and removing brambles from the gorse cleared areas on the links along with any remaining loose gorse collection.
John S Philp