LINKS SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT FOR DECEMBER 2011
December was a decent month certainly compared to last year, generally cloudy, with winds again predominantly westerly. Gale force south westerly winds were experienced on both the 8th and 28th of the month. Frosts were prevalent on 12 occasions and average noon temperatures were near normal at 6.5° C. Total rainfall for the month was a little below normal at 35mm.
December was a short month as usual due to seasonal holidays in the final week and the courses were closed for two days (20th and 21st) due to rain water lying over frozen ground.
WORK ON THE LINKS
Fairway Top Dressing
Fairway top dressing continued early in the month when fairways 2,3,5,7,9,10,14,16 and 17 were completed, followed by the usual brushing in.
Verti-drain aeration during the month involved walkways and traffic routes using 1” solid tines while lower lying fairway areas were verti-drained using ¾” solid tines. Greens were slit-tined towards the end of the month.
Bunker revetments during the month included:-
1 at 6th green left hand side
1 at 12th approach left hand side
1 at front of green 13th hole.
Grow covers were fitted to certain new bunker faces where appropriate.
Minor Turf Repairs
A few minor turf repairs were carried out during the month including the removal of disease scars on the 9th and 13th greens.
Liquid Iron Treatment
Greens and green surrounds were sprayed with liquid iron during the month.
17th Fairway Level Adjustments
Following completion of turf removal, silty soil excavation was carried out, while decent re-usable topsoil was stock piled at the start of the fairway. Sand was driven in to raise levels, particularly on the left side of the work area. Sand was also required on the right side of the fairway to match up to the raised burn wall (1 block). Following topsoil replacement and rotavation, where required, and the usual firming, a cover of fresh root-zone was applied over the area as needed. Raking over was carried out in readiness for turfing over.
The old (1985) irrigation water storage tank was carefully dismantled following emptying. The concrete base was broken up and removed and the underlying pipe work uncovered. A new sewage waste pipe leading to the septic tank was installed. The fusion-welded 10” pipe connections from the remaining tank feeding the pump house are scheduled for installation.
Miscellaneous jobs carried out included greens rolling, re-shaping bunker sand, salting service roads, paths and bridges and removing the fence round the turf nursery next to the practice ground lake.
Bunkers reveted during the month included:-
6th fairway right hand side (2)
7th greenside right hand side (1)
3rd green front (1)
18th greenside right hand side (2)
Burn Bank – 3rd Hole
Turfing on the burn banking above the stone filled gabions was completed early in the month and the boundary fencing was replaced.
The bunker on the 8th fairway was infilled and turfed over as arranged during the month.
Teeing grounds were verti-drained using ½” diameter tines while the semi roughs to the 6th hole were verti-drained with 1” diameter tines fitted. Fairways were slit-tined to a depth of 4” with the Ryan Renovaire aerator.
Miscellaneous jobs carried out during the month included screening sand, spreading salt round the Starters’ Box, car park and service roads, cut and roll greens, blow pine needles from the 3rd, 5th and 16th greens and place new, mobile framed tee mats at the 9th, 14th and 16th tees.
BUDDON LINKS COURSE
Bunkers revetted during the month included :-
7th greenside (3)
9th greenside (2)
Drainage Works and Ditch Clearance
The concentration of course work during December was on drainage installation and ditch base excavation to improve water flows.
Ditches bases on the 5th, 6th and 12th holes were lowered to suit appropriate runs using a laser, while trenches were excavated for wavin-coil drainage-pipe installation across the 10th approach and southwards to run into the ditch behind the 13th green; across the front and across the rear of the 9th green, both of which were connected to the previous 6” main pipe installation running down through the trees to the left of the 7th hole and on alongside the 8th tee.
Miscellaneous jobs carried out included; shaping sand in bunkers, building tee-mat frames, blowing debris from certain greens and cutting and rolling greens.
Gorse was cut back around the 1st and 15th greens; right hand side of the 7th and 9th holes; left hand side of the 8th; the 12th carry; around the 12th and 17th greens; at the 5th tee and right hand side of the 6th hole and left hand side of the 12th all on the Championship Course. Broom growth was strimmed close to ground level in heather banks on the 8th. 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th and 15th holes on the Burnside Course.
A number of trees were blown down on both the 8th and 28th of the month. These included three to the left of the 9th hole and three behind the 9th green / 10th tee as well as a large branch from a pine behind the 13th green, all on the Championship Course. Several fallen trees were cut up to the left of the 16th hole on the Burnside Course while fallen trees on the 6th and 7th holes of the Buddon Course were cut up and removed also. Lower limbs of birch trees on the 7th hole along with degenerate gorse behind the 8th tee were removed on this course. All arisings from such work were chipped or logged in the usual manner.
John S. Philp