LINKS SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 2012
February was a fine month with a predominantly westerly airflow mainly light to fresh and only 8 overnight frosts all in the first 2 weeks of the month. Average noon temperatures were a little up on normal at 7.5 ° C and rainfall was low with a total of only 20mm for the month. Burnside and Buddon Courses were closed on the 5th, 6th and 9th of the month due to ice over frozen ground.
WORK ON THE LINKS
The drainage installation at the start of the 7th fairway was completed early in the month.
The burn wall adjacent to the 11th tee to fairway walk-way was raised by two kerbs to match the 10th approach side of the burn. Turfing to the wall was completed following sand infill.
Some “heads” were required on the 3rd green approach and divot scars were similarly repaired on landing areas at the 1st, 3rd and 7th holes. The section of access road running in front of the 10th tee was turfed over as was the track in the gorse to the left of the 5th hole.
Mounding - Left Of 10th Walkway
Following final sand cover this separation mounding from the 3rd green Burnside was turfed over with fescue turf.
Greens were slit-tined followed by rolling whilst the new turf laid on the 7th fairway was mini-tined, top-dressed and rolled.
Greens were brushed, cut and rolled twice during the month while green approaches and winter greens were mown once. Tees were mown as required and roughs were brushed.
Grow covers were removed from bunker faces during the month and sand topping-up progressed on re-built bunkers. The two bunkers at the 9th greenside were filled with the trial sand mixtures as agreed.
Fairway sand top-up dressing was carried out in the second half of the month with certain fairways receiving an additional dressing.
The unusually dry weather for February resulted in the need for hand-watering on re-turfed areas generally.
Ditch crossing bridges on the 2nd, 5th and 6th holes were repaired as required.
Turf Conditioner Treatment
Granular wetting agent and seaweed was applied to bunker faces and tops along with repair patches and “heads” as required.
Gravel was used as a ditch base covering to suit new levels on the 2nd, 3rd and 5th holes.
Tees were dressed with a mixture of ammonium sulphate, iron sulphate and seaweed. This lawn sand mix was applied to higher parts on fairways and around the 16th green. A 4-6-8 organic based fertiliser was used on trafficked tees, bridges, approaches and new turf on the 3rd and 18th fairways.
Turfing was completed at the beginning of the month on this re-modelled teeing area and irrigation control valves and boxes installed accordingly. A line of MP rotator sprinklers were installed on the green walk-off towards the tee at this time.
Greens were solid-tined with 8mm pencil tines during the month while verti-drain aeration included certain walkways and fairways using ½ ̎ solid tines.
Bunker revetments during the month included
One on the 2nd green approach
One at the left hand side 3rd green
One on the left hand side 4th fairway
One on the right hand side 12th fairway
The irrigation installation running to the right of the 17th green, adjacent to the 17th green on the Championship Course, was updated with new smaller sprinklers with restricted throw to suit this narrow separation strip of turf. The two remaining bore hole meter chambers were constructed on the 5th and 17th holes.
All fairways were top-dressed with our own screened dune sand followed by brushing-in as usual.
Greens, green surrounds and teeing grounds were cut during the month as well as the new turf on the fairway. Greens were rolled on several occasions.
3rd Green – Rear Right Repair
The flood prone dip to the right rear of this green was raised following silty top-soil removal and suitable sandy replacement. The coarse turf to the base of the adjacent mound was replaced also.
BUDDON LINKS COURSE
Mounding – 5th Greenside
This mounding was re-shaped before turfing over with fescue turf in the first half of the month.
Turf repairs included turfing along the walkway edge of the previous sand extraction area in front of the 18th tee and the irrigation track on the practice tee where pipework and sprinklers were re-adjusted following the Huxley Tee Turf installation.
Greens and winter greens were cut and rolled during the month.
The main aeration work during the month was the verti-draining on greens using 8mm pencil tines, followed as usual by rolling. Par 3 walkways were verti-drained also.
Bunker maintenance involved the usual blowing of faces and general tidying in conjunction with topping-up with a bunker sand mixture from our sand supplier H. King – Kilwinning.
The main focus during the month along with environmental work in the early part of the month was ditch excavation and associated pipework.The ditch track was excavated at the 8th hole running alongside the 8th green and on to meet the ditch next to the service road at the corner of the practice tee. The first 50 metres or so was piped using 300mm reinforced pipe backfilled and turfed over. The remaining section was left as open ditch and the side walls were turfed over with turf revetments formed where necessary. This work proved to provide a much better outlet to the ditch running alongside the railway than the alternative going under the service road near the gas sub-station.
The ditch behind the practice tee and either side of the gas sub-station was cleared out to appropriate base levels.
The pipe running under the service road at the 12th green walk off was lowered to suit lowered ditch level and two concrete pipes were installed at the ditch crossing close to the 6th tees leading into The Championship Course.
Further routine environmental work was carried out in the first 10 days of the month due to the frosty conditions.Gorse was coppiced on the 1st, 8th, 11th, 12th and 17th holes on The Championship Course, the 6th, 8th, 12th and 15th holes on The Burnside Course and the 6th, 13th, 8th and 11th holes on The Buddon Course.
Broom was strimmed back on the 14th hole of the Burnside Course and round the Buddon Course generally.
14 dead trees were removed from the 6/7/16 triangle on The Burnside Course as was the overhanging limb to the rear of the 13th tee. Blown trees on the 6th and 11th holes of The Buddon Course were cut-up and all arisings were chipped at the skip site close to the western boundary.
The spoil heap was tidied up and suitable access road re-established alongside.
The chipping site opposite the 13th tee on The Buddon Course was cleared and planted-up and this chipping site relocated to the sand storage area near the spoil heap.
Log stacks were placed at the 7th hole.
All bird boxes were cleaned out early in the month.
John S. Philp