Wednesday 24th September 2012

September was drier than average which allowed playing conditions on the courses to be firmer and faster than at any time throughout the season. There were some strong winds at the beginning of the month which meant some of the seeding on the new holes wasn’t as successful as hoped for as seed was blown from some of the more exposed areas. There was also some heavy rain towards the end of the month which meant some localised pooling of water around the courses especially on the 3rd/4th holes of the Burnside.
September saw the commencement of some of our autumn renovation work, such as scarifying and seeding, across the courses but primarily on the Burnside and Buddon Links as with the Dunhill Links taking place in early October the Championship can’t really be touched.
The drier weather along with the slowed growth allowed us to raise the height of cut on greens to allow for better rooting development without compromising playability.
The greens received their usual monthly spray programs of wetting agent, seaweed and growth inhibitor and received a very light top dressing in the middle of the month. Weaker areas were fed as required and the hydro-ject was used on similar areas.
Other work
·        Approaches & surrounds were top dressed
·        Weak landing areas were fed to aid divot recovery
·        Barry Burn and ditches were cleaned as required
·        A selective graminicide was sprayed in roughs as required to control rye grass and Yorkshire fog
·        Young broom was sprayed with Timbrel as required to kill it of
·        Sand in bunkers was shaped up
·        The bunker at the LHS 14th green was revetted to have it looking more presentable for the Dunhill
Greens were pencil tined whilst the approaches were aerated with slightly larger cross tines. Pearlwort on greens were sprayed with a selective weedkiller and growth inhibitor was sprayed on greens as per normal.
Other work
·        Cutting back thick roughs and collecting grass
·        Tee’s slit tined
·        Removing weeds from burn
·        Shaping bunkers
·        Trimming round irrigation sprinklers
Greens were verti-cut prior to the commencement of the deep scarification work along with over-seeding and top dressing.
Tees were verti-drained, clover around course was sprayed as required and the ditch in front of the 14th tee was cleaned out.
New Holes
1st Golf completed their work on the new holes by the end of the month and in my opinion to a very high standard. The seeding took place at the beginning of the month in difficult windy conditions which meant that some exposed areas were required to be oversown by ourselves towards the end of the month as some seed had been blown away.
In general most of the seed, especially on the fairways, has germinated, is establishing well and is increasing in density. Because of the windy weather greenstaff were also required to apply water manually to ensure an even coverage and reduce the risk of run-off that would wash seed away. This was also vital to aid in the germination of the new seed.
The new green on the site of the old turf nursery looks well after being turfed by the greenstaff and is now being cut at the same height as the rest of the greens and has received a couple of top dressings to help smooth it off and keep it firm. Once the approach and the rest of the fairway are turfed in November the hole will be complete and weather permitting should be ready for play in the early part of next summer......fingers crossed!
Other work carried out on the new holes by greenstaff  also included lowering the bumps on the second part of the current 12th fairway, revetting culverts in ditch crossings and preparing a patch on the junior practice area for seed.
Both the Championship and Burnside courses received visits from Richard Windows of the STRI to carry out testing on the greens as well as a general course overview. Both courses received very positive reports and it is testament to years of good work along with the continued support of the committee that these results are possible.
We still have targets though and will be striving to improve where possible such as increasing fescue content and managing organic matter levels in the soil profile.
Sandy Reid
Links Superintendent
17th Oct 2012