LINKS SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT FOR APRIL 2011
April was a much drier month then normal with a total rainfall of only 7 mm. Winds were generally light, westerly until the last few days of the month when an easterly flow prevailed. Average noon temperature was 13° C which is near normal, although a couple of degrees higher than in recent years. The clement weather provided no interruptions to maintenance procedures on the course whilst it also resulted in a greater need for irrigation than normal for the month of April.
WORK ON THE LINKS
Hydroject aeration involved greens, newer tees, high spots on fairways as well as traffic routes during the month. Low sections on the 7th, 11th and 14th fairways were deep hollow tined and back filled with dry sand. New turf on the 3rd and 11th fairways was tined and top dressed.
Greens, approaches and tees were top dressed during the month as were the fairway extensions on the 1st, 4th and 6th holes and new turf on the 1st, 3rd, 11th, 17th and 18th holes. Turf joins in returfed areas on the 16th and 18th holes were also top dressed.
Greens, approaches and surrounds along with teeing grounds received a spring fertiliser comprising the usual nutrients. Greens were treated with a light organic liquid feed earlier in the month, while fairways were sprayed with a liquid nitrogen and liquid iron mixture. Walkways and other trafficked areas were sprayed with a mixture of nitrogen, potash and manganese. A spring fertiliser (14-0-10) along with a wetting agent was applied to the previously seeded-out rough between the 1st and 18th holes and the new turf on the right hand side of the 1st and the left hand side of the 3rd hole was dressed with an 8-0-0 turf tonic. Areas previously treated with the ryegrass control product ‘Rescue’ received the organic based fertiliser TX10.
The stripped turf nursery next to the lake at the practice ground was re-stocked with fescue turf from ‘Inturf’ as was the northern section of the ‘greens’ nursery adjacent to the 12th hole.
Greens, approaches and some newer tees, including ‘Hogan’ tees, as well as new turfed areas on the 3rd, 11th, 17th and 18th fairways all received wetting agent treatment during April as required, in certain cases with liquid nitrogen added. Greens were sprayed with a water conditioner in the latter half of the month, mainly to counter the alkalinity of the bore hole water in use in the dry spell of weather. An initial spray of a Primo-Maxx and micro-nutrient, top growth control programme was carried out to greens at the end of the month.
The fairway extension areas of the left hand side of the 1st, 4th and 6th holes were verti-seeded with the usual fairway fescue mix in the middle of the month. A few other local areas were hollow tined, seeded and top dressed also.
Selective weedkilling application commenced towards the end of the month with spot treatment to the fairways and white tees. Growth retardant was applied in the rough around the trees to the left of the 10th hole whilst total weedkiller was used around the Starters’ Box area.
Mowing / Rolling / Brushing
Mowing frequencies increased through the month along with a gradual lowering of cutting heights on greens in between the various other maintenance treatments. Greens rolling and brushing was carried out in conjunction where deemed appropriate and hand mowing took place as the situation arose. Greens were lightly verti-cut at the end of the month, and the usual strimming work was also underway during April.
The dry, relatively mild conditions necessitated irrigation particularly to re-turfed areas as well as main playing surfaces especially in the latter half of the month. Hand watering was common in conjunction with overnight automatic irrigation. Sprinkler repairs and decoder replacements were carried out as required by the irrigation engineer and new trainee, Duncan Cairnie. Drinking fountains were brought into operation along with pipework adjustments outside the new refreshment shop. Fibre optic conduit pipe was also pulled in as required to link the new service supply at the east end of the Public Putting Green to the Burnside Starters’ Box.
The green staff attended a seminar arranged by Barenbrug, the Dutch seed breeder, held in the Carnoustie Hotel on the 14th of the month which was most informative.
A few minor repairs were finished off early in the month including a flood damaged area adjacent to the 4th tee and rabbit scrapes generally.
Aeration work focussed on verti draining walkways, weaker areas and sections of previous flood damage. Sections on the 14th and 18th greens were mini-tined near the end of the month.
Spring fertiliser was applied to greens, approaches and teeing grounds as well as re-turfed areas and weaker sections in roughs. Green walk offs and tee to fairway walkways were treated as required as was the previously seeded area to the right of the 10th hole.
Greens and approaches were top dressed in the first half of the month along with the
re-turfed 13th fairway area and 15th rear tee. Bunker heads were also top dressed as was the matting leading up to the 15th tee, which included rubber crumb.
The wetting agent ‘Revolution’ was applied to greens as part of the monthly programme. Seaweed liquid was also applied to greens and approaches while ‘Osprey’ wetting agent granules were applied to bunker heads.
Overseeding / Planting
Overseeding was carried out on the 4th winter tee and a few other worn areas. Marram grass was planted on the 15th tee bank following the removal of the grow covers.
Overnight watering and local hand watering was carried out as required, similar to the other courses. Greenside sprinklers were trimmed round and low ones raised accordingly.
Mowing / Rolling / Brushing
Greens were rolled and brushed in conjunction with mowing, which increased in frequency during the month. Roughs were also brushed and mown and greens were verti-cut at the end of the month.
Buddon Links Course
Solid tine aeration was carried out on greens and the 6th, 7th, 9th and 14th fairways by way of verti-drain and Toro Procore equipment. Green approaches were also pencil tined.
3rd / 18th Tees
Pathways to this tee development were completed and surfaced with road metal and quarry dust whilst bankings were turf revetted as required. Mounding was formed to close off the existing rear exit from the 17th green followed by seeding out and some marram grass planting. Grow covers were placed on the high north facing bank.
Spring fertiliser was applied to greens, tees and approaches in the usual manner. Previously re-turfed fairways were fertilised (6, 7, 9, 14). Greens were sprayed earlier in the month with a liquid nitrogen and iron mixture. The organic fertiliser TX10 was used on walkways around greens and new turf areas.
Top dressing was carried out on greens, approaches, all new turf areas and the practice tee.
Minor Turf Repairs
Turf repairs were carried out behind the 17th green, adjacent to the 6th tees and on the rear of the 2nd tee following diesel spillage from the Senior Open which necessitated root zone removal as well.
Liquid seaweed was sprayed on greens in addition to the monthly application of wetting agent.
Overseeding was carried out on the 5th, 9th, 10th and 17th greens, following solid tining to one half of each green, completed with top dressing, brushing and rolling. Certain smaller thin areas from previous ‘Rescue’ treatment were also seeded following hand forking to create surface openings.
Mowing progressed as per the other courses with greens verti cutting, carried out selectively i.e. 1st, 18th, 7th, 8th and 15th initially. Fairways were brushed prior to mowing and roughs cut as required.
Bunker maintenance was carried out as normal, including sand shaping and face blowing. Relaid turf around bunkers was hand watered as required.
Mr R Taylor, Mr M Ebert and Mr J Koster carried out a full day visit on the 20th of the month as arranged covering the area of the two new proposed holes including the practice ground. Relevant reports are forthcoming. Test holes at the practice ground were filled in thereafter.
Environmental work was again limited during April although some young gorse bushes were planted in the carry from the 9th Championship tee. The burn wall was hand cleared of moss and weed in several areas whilst the unsupported grass banking on the 3rd and 4th holes of the Burnside Course was strimmed. The trees planted to the right of the 13th hole on the Buddon Course were also strimmed around at the end of the month. The pile of chippings in this area was removed to the main courses material arisings stock pile.
Mr N Christie, our provider of N.P.O.R.S. certification training (National Plant Operators Registration Scheme), carried out the necessary safety awareness and digger operational skills training and testing for successful candidates, M Reynolds, A Pickard and C Salvin. We now have 17 staff members certificated operators of our two 180° diggers and fork lift.
John S Philp