Friday 26th March

Course back to full summer circuit today.

It's been a busy week with all the guys preparing the course for the start of the season.

A new member to the Championship staff this week is Craig Kerr(brother of Stuart), Craig will be here as a seasonal worker from now until the end of October.

Jobs going on this week were raising an area at 16th hole and re-turfing.

Spreading fertiliser on all tees(roughly same mix as greens except no 3:10:5 fert).

Greens sprayed with wetting agent (Revulotion).

Flymo and strimming tee banks, ditches and hairy bunker faces.

Our sprinkler system is not fully up and running yet, so sprinklers have to be put on manually and only two at a time due to pressure. Certain fairway sprinklers were raised up so they are flush with the ground around and fertiliser put on the greens and tees was washed in.

This week saw the return of the trailing Hydroject out on the fairways injecting water and wetting agent into fairway bumps and winter traffic areas.

Today, all the summer course furniture went out, bunkers raked, holes changed and any worm casts around the surrounds switched.

At last the contractors have managed to open the bridge at the 10th.


Tuesday 23rd March

This week, the new season starts on Friday.

Bunkers are raked.

The burnt gorse at 16th is cut down and chipped.

Today, we put out a home-made lawn sand mix on the greens and approaches/surrounds.

A bit of dew first thing so we took that off using the dewies.

The mix included: sand, seaweed, iron and ammonia.

This was put out with tractor and Vicon spreaders.


Monday 22nd March

A bit late but here's the links report from February:
February was another cold month with average noon temperatures barely reaching 4C. Winds were light commonly from a north easterly or north westerly direction. Overnight frosts were common and were experienced on 15 occasions. Total rainfall for the month was 58mm.
With frosty conditions prevailing, winter greens were again in use quite often during the month. A good deal of environmental work was carried out along with bunker rebuilding, minor repairs and bridge work.
2nd fairway - 3
2nd green right hand side - 1
3rd fairway - 4
3rd greenside - 2
6th green left hand side - 1
7th green/approach - 2
9th green right hand side - 1
12th approach left hand side - 2
A light dressing of iron sulphate was applied to greens, Hogan tees and other mossy tees along with certain high spots on fairways.
Light sand top dressing was carried out on fairways 3, 7, 11, 15, 16, 17, and 18 during the month as weather dictated.
Greens were brushed and cut at 5mm height of cut during the month.
The hollow to the right of the 18th green beyond the bunker was slightly raised before re-turfing with suitable turf. Several areas where gorse had been removed were turfed over during the month and turf on the high section of the 2nd white tee was undercut. Turf was replaced at the bridge left of the 10th approach.
The vehicle bridge to the left of the island on the 17th hole was raised following decking removal. The supporting burn wall was increased by 2 blocks on the fairway side and one on the roadside before bridge structure replacement. The structural raising will minimise flow restrictions in future flood periods. A certain amount of decking was removed from the bridge to the right of the 18th green to allow for supporting wall repairs to be carried out. The new bridge at South America(10th/11th) has at last been re-established with the pouring of the concrete deck on 1st March. The gabions were recently put in place on the south bank of the burn adjacent to the bridge. Tarring of the service road on either side of the bridge remains for completion along with stonework on either side of the decking.
Our remaining stock of Tay sand for use in the bunkers was screened during the month.
A good deal of environmental work was carried out in the month, concentrated as usual on gorse/broom management. Gorse cutting back involved work on 1st, 9th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th holes.
Heather turf was laid on the right hand side of the 8th hole.
Sea lyme grass growth was cut well back behind the 1st green, 15th green, around the 2nd green, right of the 5th green and behind the 11th green. This work is continuing in other areas where sea lyme exists i.e. 18th roughs.
At the end of the month, play was restricted on certain holes due to the excessive water lying on frozen ground following rain on 24th and 25th.


Friday 19th March

Apart from the strong winds today, this week has been really good weather-wise.

On Thursday, we continued on the bunker shaping and we also brushed and cut the greens and approaches( greens cut at 4.7 mm and approaches/surrounds at 7.5mm). Verti -drain work was on-going on the walkways. The guys also managed to lift and level off the left half of the 5th tee.

At the sheds, there was a presentation from Andrea Talkenberg from a company called Punctus. This was a talk on golf course management software.


Today, we installed a spectator bridge over the ditch between the 6th hole of the Buddon and the 7th hole of the Championship.

This was made up of wooden sleepers and an astroturf mat. Other jobs today included : verti-drain work, changing holes, brushing and cutting the tees(tees cut at 7.5mm) and turfing jobs.

Next week will see us bring out the chipper again as we had a case of vandalism one night this week. Resulting in a block of gorse bushes being burnt at the 16th hole.


Wednesday 17th March

Our main focus this week on the course was to get all the bunkers(113) shaped up and back into play for the start of the season.

All of the bunkers on the Championship course consist of Tay sand. Years ago we were able to get this sand through a company in Perth, who dredged the sand from the River Tay. Unfortunately, they no longer do this so we now have to save as much sand from the bunkers as possible. We pull the Tay sand to one side, add our own dune sand to the base and then recover with Tay.

Guess who?
By the end of the day the guys have only the 17th and 18th holes to do(10 bunkers), which is pretty good going.

The sand hole where all the dune sand is kept.

Other jobs this week include: Verti-draining winter walkways.


Friday 12th March

A change in the weather this week, with temperatures getting up to as high as 10 c. Just a slight touch of frost on Monday but apart from that very warm at times. This week we had a visit from Richard Windows from the S.T.R.I, who took soil samples from 3 of our greens for analysis, and there was a meeting with the organisers of The British Seniors Open.

Jobs this week included :

Re-levelling the 6th white tee.

The turf is lifted from the tee and set on polythene at the side of the job, the ground is rotovated and the earth is levelled out using the lute.

We check for any low or high areas on the tee using the aluminium bar and spirit level. We push the soil about with rakes, adding compost(mixed sand and peat) here and there until level.

Once the area is level the turf goes back down.

As the irrigation is not up and running yet, we give the turf a good soaking with the help of the sprayer.

Taking all the grow sheets off of the bunkers.

As you can see from the picture below, the grow sheet gives the turf that extra help in the colder months.

Spraying the greens.

The sprayer was out twice this week. Monday we sprayed Dew Clear on the greens and on Thursday we sprayed a Floratine mix.

All the roughs were brushed from green to tee.

The bridge and wall at 18th green was repaired after all the flood damage.

A teeing area, half-way down the left side of the 3rd fairway was prepared and turfed. This will be used in the last few weeks before The British Seniors Open to give the fairway a rest.

We also made a start to rubbing compost into the joins of newly turfed areas. This helps the turf knit together and stops any joins drying out.
This week we said goodbye to Stuart Griffiths, who is leaving to takeover as Head Greenkeeper at Blair Atholl Golf Club, Perthshire.

Stuart leaves with all our best wishes.


Friday 5th March

Hard frost on Thursday and the pins stayed on the winter greens.

It was back on the gorse management and it was off to another flood damaged bridge, this time at right hand side of 18th green/approach.

By the end of the day, the frost had come out enough for us to lift the rest of the turf on the 2nd tee and we were able to scarify the whole area.


The frost was now down to a slight crust on the greens this morning, so we were able to put the pins back on the main greens. Holes were changed and bunkers raked.

The rest of the guys all went to the 2nd tee, where we added compost to low areas on the tee through the means of a spirit level and a long aluminium bar. Once the area had been levelled off, tramped and raked we were able to put the turf back down.

A great effort by all the guys

Next week we plan the same for the 6th white tee.