May was a variable month with noon temperatures ranging from 8º C - 25º C and slight frost experienced on four occasions. Winds were generally light to moderate mainly from the west or south west with some northerlies flung in! Some heavy rains arrived in the early morning of the 23rd and 30th in particular and the monthly total was 54mm (the majority of which fell on these two occasions). Average noon temperatures were close to normal at 13º C.
WORK ON THE LINKS
Mowing intensities increased on all courses, which is normal for this time of year, as growth rates improved albeit rather irregularly. Other routine maintenance practices i.e. bunker maintenance, tee marker movement, hole changing, spring / summer aeration treatments, weed killing etc tied up the majority of man hours particularly on the Burnside and Buddon Courses.
Weaker green walk-offs and tee to fairway walkways were either solid tined or hollow tined. Hollowed tined walkways were back filled with rubber crumb and sand while aerated green surrounds were overseeded and top dressed. The early part of the 7th fairway was hollow tined along with many bunker run-ins, traffic routes and the newly laid tees at the 2nd and 6th holes. The water damaged area on the 11th fairway and new turf either side of the 18th green were also hollow tined. Flood damage on 11th, 17th and 18th fairways was again tined and overseeded. All tined areas were followed up with top dressing. Hydroject aeration encompassed greens, and drier teeing grounds, incorporating wetting agent. Pencil tine aeration to fairway high spots commenced at the end of the month. The re-laid 3rd tee was solid tined early in the month.
The selective weed killing programme continued targeting the usual weeds, i.e. daisy, dandelion, plantains, clover and pearlwort, on all areas as required.
Mowing intensities increased in all areas with greens coming in for daily mowing through the month. Greens, approaches and surrounds were lightly verti cut twice during May in addition to rolling and brushing as required. Low lying fairway areas were also verti cut along with the “island” fairway section on the 17th hole and teeing grounds generally. “Groomer” units were used on the greens near the end of the month and hand mowing was introduced at this time.
A nitrogenous fertiliser (8-0-0) was applied to teeing grounds early in the month while some weak spots on greens received a light dressing with tX10 (5-2-8). Fairways were sprayed with liquid nitrogen, liquid iron and wetting agent. Bunker run-ins and traffic routes generally also received a spring/ summer fertiliser.
Greens were top dressed in the middle of the month following a light verti cut. Recently re-laid tees and bunker heads were also top dressed during the month.
Green surrounds and new re-laid tees were sprayed with a mixture of wetting agent and seaweed while a special micro-nutrient mix with phosphate and manganese was applied to greens on two occasions. The penetrant, Aqueduct was applied to weaker green areas on the 1st, 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 16th in the first half of the month.
Rebuilt bunker faces were watered with the addition of Aquaroot pellets in the applicator gun. In addition to wetting agent, these pellets contain humates, a bio-stimulant which enhances root development, nutrient uptake and water retention.
A garlic based product was applied to several greens for nematode control later in the month.
Hand watering was carried out as and when required as was overnight automatic irrigation to playing surfaces and seeded areas.
The usual bunker maintenance procedures were carried out during the month.
Overseeding work involved the sections of gorse clearance on the 17th hole following burning as well as hollow tined and flood damaged areas on the course.
Minor Turf Repairs
Turfing to the new bridge at the 11th tee on either side of the approach road was completed while repairs were carried out to sections which received the ryegrass killer, RESCUE on the 7th, 10th and 18th holes.