LINKS SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT FOR MARCH 2012
March was an excellent month with record noon temperatures (12.5° average) and very low rainfall of 12.5 mm for the month. Winds were again light to fresh predominantly westerly. The last week of the month was abnormally warm and sunny with temperatures near 20° C.
WORK ON THE LINKS
A spring fertiliser mix containing a 6:0:12 compound fertiliser, seaweed and bone meal was applied to all greens with weaker greens also receiving an application of an organic based 5:2:8 fertiliser.
Due to the warmer weather cutting regimes were more frequent and intense that would be normal for March with the greens also being brushed prior to mowing on 3 occasions to refine coarser growth. Rolling took place on 3 occasions.
A light top dressing was applied in the middle of the month and the monthly conditioner program of wetting agent and organic supplement was commenced.
Approaches & Surrounds
These areas were aerated using ½” cross tines and the approaches received a spring feed.
Weak walk-offs were mini-tined & top dressed, with recycled rubber crumb also being applied to these areas to help improve wear tolerance. These walk-offs were also fed with a nitrogen/seaweed mix.
Weak, trafficked and new turf areas were midi-cored & top dressed as well as being aerated with the hydro-ject.
Divot scars remaining from last season were filled with soil & seed prior to the start of the new golfing season.
Mossy tees received an application if iron sulphate and the 12th Ladies/Green tee was hollow cored.
All tees were top dressed towards the end of the month.
The rough behind the 16th green and either side of the 18th fairway received an application of 12:0:9 fertiliser. The Rolawn roughs either side of the 9th received a similar application before being hollow cored and top dressed.
· Large areas of Sea Lyme were strimmed and raked up
· Winter traffic routes were verti-drained
· The rough over the ditch at the left of the 4th hole was sprayed with the graminicide “Rescue” to help control agricultural grasses prior to any wild flower seed being sown
Sand was shaped and stone picked.
Newly built bunker faces were hand watered regularly
New turf patches
All newly turfed areas were fed & top dressed and were hand watered regularly.
The area to become a turf nursery at the left of the 5th hole had the vegetation removed and used to create a screening mound and to fill in the road which used to run alongside the gorse further back the hole. This area was then levelled off.
Ditches were cleaned and the burn wall at the 10th, 17th & 18th was pointed with cement where required.
Fence repairs were carried out as required, Astroturf edges were tidied up and irrigation sprinklers were trimmed and raised as required.
The 3 remaining fuel tanks at the maintenance facility had protective brick walls built around them.
John Imlay officially opened the bridges he donated on the 10th hole on March 12th.
Scottish Greenkeeper Conference
Craig Boath, Mark Reynolds, Stephen Sutherland and I attended the Scottish Greenkeeper Conference in Dunfermline where we listened to some excellent presentations including one on the development of the golf ball from John Philp.
Bunkers were trimmed and faces brushed in the usual manner followed by sand shaping after sand topping up where required.
Some ryegrass patches were “headed out” on the 3rd green early in the month and rabbit scrapes were plugged as required. Following the usual preparations, the filled in bunkers on the 7th and 13th holes were turfed over.
The only bunker revetments carried out in March were the pair on the right approach to the 6th green.
Aeration work during the month involved star-tining fairways and green walk-offs. Trafficked areas generally were mini-tined.
Greens were top dressed during the month as were re-turfed patches, the re-laid 14th tees along with the 5th and 6th fairways, followed by brushing in.
All playing surfaces were mown as required during the month which amounted to more often than normal in the prevailing fine weather. Greens were rolled regularly and roughs were brushed while the burn bank was strimmed as required.
Greens received a dressing of Ammonium Sulphate and certain weaker greens were treated with the organic fertiliser tX10 in addition. The new turf on the 13th fairway along with certain tees and other turf patches were also dressed with an organic based fertiliser (6-4-8). A lawn sand mixture was applied to all tees.
The turf wetting agent, Revolution, was applied to greens to commence the summer monthly programme, as per the other courses. An alternative product ‘Dispatch’ was used on approaches with liquid seaweed and liquid iron added.
The growth retardant, Primo Maxx was applied to greens as an initial treatment to be carried out 3weekly through the season.
Miscellaneous jobs carried out during March included driving dune sand to the compost shed, screening sand, processing divot mix, trimming round sprinklers, turfing round bore hole meter chambers, setting up equipment, filling ground down stumps with compost and seed and hand watering. Remaining divot scars were filled on all courses in the last week of the month,
BUDDON LINKS COURSE
A preventative insecticide was sprayed on greens as a precaution against lestherjackets.
Verti-drain aeration using 8mm tines continued on greens, approaches and winter tees all followed by rolling. Green surrounds were mini–tined and top dressed.
Greens and approaches were top dressed followed by matting in.
The turf wetting agent Revolution was applied to greens as per the other courses and later in the month greens were treated with an iron sulphate dressing.
Bunker maintenance was carried out as usual allied to sand topping up where required.
New Bunker – 14th Fairway
The new bunker to the left of the 14th hole was constructed during the month with some low contouring connecting to the existing mound beyond.
Minor Turf Repairs
Turf repairs were completed on the 1st tee and a bunker face was repaired on the 16th fairway.
Greens, approaches, tees and fairways were all mown as required during the month with certain greens rotary brushed prior to cutting. Greens were rolled regularly. The ‘Amazone’ flail mower was used to cut rough in the area of the new holes construction.
New turf areas were watered during the month as were greens when required. Sprinklers were checked for operation and arcs adjusted as needed.
Certain greens received a fungicide spray later in the month for fusarium control.
Young trees were planted in the 6,7,16 triangle behind the 4th tee on the Burnside Course and behind the 9th green and alongside the 10th tees on the Championship Course, all taken from excess within the 2nd hole plantings on the Burnside.
The spoil heap to the left of the 6th hole, Burnside, was shaped in preparation for a May sowing and low growth was trimmed from the willows on the 5th hole. Several stumps were dug out from within the 6,7,16 triangle and ground down stumps to the left of the 9th hole on the Championship Course were turfed over.
Trees were removed on the ditch line to the right of the 12th hole on the Buddon Course within the new holes development. Similarly gorse wes cut back in the area of the new 12th fairway. Arisings from clearances were initially chipped but subsequently were gathered due to the volume of material. Marram sprigs were planted within the previous sand excavation area in the 18th carry Buddon, as well as to the right of the fairway bunkers on the 7th hole and on the new mounds to the left of the 10th carry on the Championship Course. Reeds were cleared from the pond behind the 4th green Buddon and the adjacent “beach” area was cleared of weeds and mossy growth. Sections of Barry Burn on the 5th and 17th holes, Burnside Course were cleared of the usual bottom weed, watercrowfoot which has developed early this year due to the warmer than normal temperatures and low water levels.
John S. Philp