After another cold 2-3 weeks at the start of the month the warmer weather eventually blessed us with its presence in the latter half of May. Despite the cold start to the month growth was quite even and a good shower of rain every few days supplemented the sunlight that occurred on the dry but cold days. The last 2 weeks of the month have seen temperatures increase considerably and again with some welcome rain has seen the growth become more vigorous on all surfaces.
WORK ON THE LINKS
Prior to the onset of proper growth it is our aim to encourage growth where necessary to cope with the increased traffic and allow us to produce consistent surfaces of good standard. This is achieved by bespoke feeding, brushing, top dressing, careful water management and by ensuring our cutting and rolling regimes are adjusted to suit.
In May month we give careful consideration to the playability of the roughs throughout the 3 courses as it starts to grow properly. It is standard practice for us to cut some intermediate rough and leave it thereafter so that it can still produce seed heads, this is what gives a links course its definition. There are some areas of rough though that we need to cut more regularly, these are areas where the quality of the grasses is not so fine or where growth is just very thick. We are very conscious of finding the correct balance of ensuring that the pace of play is acceptable without compromising the challenge the golfer expects and the definition of each hole.
The turf conditioner programmes continued as normal on the greens and they were also top dressed and hydro-jected. Cutting frequency increased with hand cutting and/or rolling being fitted in as much as practical to help produce good surfaces whilst keeping heights up which is good for the health of the sward.
Tees: Hydro-jected and top dressed with the Hogan tees being mini cored and over-sown also. Selective weed killing commenced.
Surrounds/Approaches: Traffic routes and walk-offs fed; wetting agent applied
Fairways: Bumps and weak areas sprayed with mix of fertiliser, seaweed and wetting agent, one fairway per week top dressed.
General: Removing weeds from burn, shaping sand in bunkers.
The greens along with the walk-offs were hydro-jected and were lightly fed and top-dressed whilst the monthly conditioner programmes continued.
Tees, fairway bumps and walkways fed. Areas of new turf were mini-tined and top-dressed. Timbrel applied to control growth young broom.
The 15th, 17th and 18th fairways were widened slightly in odd areas so that areas of thicker rough can be encompassed during routine rough cutting.
Greens were fed, top-dressed and sprayed with wetting agent, seaweed and sulphate of iron. The purchase of new hand mowers has allowed more frequent hand cutting on the Buddon Links where suitable and possible.
· Walk-offs and weak tees were cored, over-sown, top-dressed and fed as was the practice green.
· New tees were top-dressed
· Weed killing commenced on tees, approaches and fairways.
The re-located 12th green opened for play at the start of the month and is performing very well.
The two new holes have been receiving intense treatments including feeding, over-seeding, rolling and top-dressing. Greens, tees, approaches/surrounds, fairways and semi-roughs are now all being cut regularly with heights decreasing as and when suitable and now look proper, well defined golf holes.
In general the new seed is doing very well, at this stage the greens still need to thicken a little but we are confident that this will be achieved by end of the summer.
· The work to restore the burn wall and bridge at the Burnside Car Park commenced and is near completion.
· We built 3 small bunkers on the entrances to the town at the request of the Carnoustie Community Council.
The Championship Course received its spring agronomy visit on behalf of the R&A and the Burnside received its spring visit as part of our subscription with the STRI both from the agronomist Richard Windows. Both courses received very favourable reports, it is a great credit to the input from all concerned and it is something both the greenstaff and the organisation can take great pride in knowing that the work we are carrying out is producing good results. There are areas we still need to improve on however and we will be looking to make further gains going forward.
Six men completed training and testing in various forms of Pesticide Application (Spraying) whilst 10 of the greenstaff completed a refresher in defibrillator training.
Retirements and Appointment
Eric Watson, our Maintenance Engineer of 25 years retired at the end of May with his replacement, Sandy McCubbin previously of Monifieth Golf Links, now in position.
James Riddell retired after 36 years service on the Links; he is however staying on as a seasonal through the rest of the season.
7th June 2013