LINKS SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT FOR APRIL 2012
April was a poor month and a complete contrast to March. Following the record high temperatures at the end of March we had snow on the 3rd of the month resulting in a morning closure of the courses! Average noon temperatures were down 4° on March at 8.5°C and total rainfall of 101mm was 8 times the March figure of 12.4mm. Winds were variable, light to fresh and sunshine hours were lower than normal.
WORK ON THE LINKS
The greens were Hydro-Jected (water injected aeration) with added seaweed at the beginning of the month and received only bespoke feeding to weaker areas to help encourage growth during the cold weather.
Greens were double verti-cut and were brushed on 3 occasions to help refine coarse and prostrate growth.
As there was very little growth in general, cutting was only required 3 to 4 times per week with rolling often taking place in substitution.
Approaches & Surrounds
These areas were all verti-cut as required and trafficked areas were mini cored and top-dressed.
Selected weaker areas were fed and the wetting agent and conditioner program commenced.
Fairways received a blanket spray of Ammonia and Iron with weaker areas and bumps also receiving an extra feed without the Sulphate of Iron.
Bumps and weak areas were Hydro-Jected with wetting agent added.
Newer turfed areas were top-dressed.
All tees received an application of a granular fertiliser and the Hogan tees were verti-cut as required.
Weak and trafficked areas were fed with a compound, low nitrogen fertiliser.
Hard bunker floors were rotovated to loosen them up.
· Irrigation pipe was ploughed into new turf nursery at 5th hole and other minor irrigation repairs were carried out as required.
· Commercial turf was laid on nursery next to practice ground and behind the Golf Centre. Seeding work also took place around the Golf Centre.
· Trafficked areas around the course were midi-tined as required.
· Public putting green was solid tined, top dressed, fed and was verti seeded as required prior to re-opening.
· Plastic Grass-Crete was laid on top of turf at gaps in fences behind and in front of 6th tee, this will prevent these areas from being worn down to the soil each winter by foot and machine traffic.
· Golfers car park behind the Hotel was cleaned up
The wetting agent dispatch was applied to higher spots on fairways whilst breaker curative or alternative product was applied to tees. The monthly application of Revolution was carried out early in the month.
Greens were solid pencil-tined during the month and fairways star-tined. Approaches were
midi-hollow-tined followed by top-dressing and brushing. Certain walk-offs and bridge approaches were similarly treated. Rubber crumb was applied and brushed in at bridge approaches. Walkways round the course were verti-drained and fairway high spots hydrojected. Certain greens also received hydroject aeration.
Greens were top-dressed in the middle of the month followed by the usual brushing-in and mowing. Re-turfed bunker heads were also top-dressed.
Various areas received a spring fertiliser dressing during the month. SSD (8-0-0) was used on green walk-offs and a 12-0-9 fertiliser was applied to certain walk-ways, the new 14th tee and recently re-turfed fairway areas on the 6th and 13th fairways. Newly turfed bunker heads were sprayed with a liquid fertiliser (12-0-7) combined with liquid seaweed. Greens received a 4-0-8 fertiliser late in the month.
The top-growth control product Primo-Maxx was applied to greens as part of a summer programme on the 13th of the month.
Selective weedkilling commenced with spot treatment in roughs.
Minor Turf Repairs
Worn-out turf was replaced beside winter mat positions as required and rabbit scrapes were plugged as required. Gorse stumps to the right of the 4th hole were removed and turfed over.
Greens brushing, mowing and rolling was carried out according to the slower than normal pick-up in growth. Strimming was undertaken round the course generally including round sprinkler heads. Fairways, tees, green approaches and surrounds were mown weekly and semi-rough and selected coarser full rough areas were mown at the end of the month.
BUDDON LINKS COURSE
Greens and approaches were top-dressed in the first half of the month.
The 2nd tee required renovation following divot damage from The Dunhill in the main and to a lesser extent The Woman’s British Open last July. The tee was deep scarified using the Graden machine, hollow-tined and overseeded followed by top-dressing.
Bunker maintenance involved brushing new faces, trimming as necessary and sand shaping in the usual manner.
The monthly wetting agent treatment with Revolution was sprayed on greens in the middle of the month.
Fertiliser (4-0-8) was applied to the greens and approaches whilst tees were dressed with a (14-0-10) fertiliser. Previously re-turfed fairways, i.e. 7th, 9th and 14th were treated with a (12-0-9) product.
Solid pencil-tining (8mm tines) was carried out on greens, green approaches, surrounds and walkways towards the end of the month. Greens were power brushed along with approaches followed by mowing in the second half of the month.
Greens and approaches were lightly verti-cut towards the end of April. Mowing and rolling was carried out according to conditions throughout the month. Semi-rough and certain rough areas were mown at their respective heights late in the month and strimming was undertaken generally.
Dr Bob Taylor made his annual visit on behalf of the R & A at the beginning of the month.
On the Championship course young gorse was planted around the new turf nursery at the 5th hole and on the burn banking behind the compost shed. Further Marram grass planting was carried out to the left of the 5th hole and on the mounds to the left of the 10th.
Young saplings were re-planted on the 6th, 7th & 16th triangle on The Burnside Course.
Further stump grinding was carried out in this area and some Scots Pines were planted on the 17th hole close to the service road junction at the 6th tees.
On The Buddon, gorse was cut out next to the service road to the left of the 11th hole along with some lower tree branches in preparation for the re-routed core/path service road. A number of pines were removed to clear the site for the new 12th green. Further gorse clearance was required to the right of the new 12th hole line and all cuttings were stock-piled for burning.
Glyphosate was sprayed over the required areas within the new hole locations after mowing while soft rush was strimmed back as required to deter birds. These areas of rush are targeted for transplanting into wetland areas within the development.
3 members of staff attended a sustainability seminar at St Andrews which included general waste recycling.
John S. Philp