Friday 26th August 2011

Another great week of weather

Last week after the seeding, we rolled the greens after cutting them in the mornings to try and smooth the surfaces even more. By the weekend the greens were rolling good.


Saw this on the news and reminded me of our Links Cat.

Really wild.

On to this week, approaches and surrounds were top-dressed. Ditches were cut and cleaned out and a start was made to cleanng out the burn.

Our monthly wetting agent programme was due on the greens and conditions were perfect for a change!

Next week we start to prepare the course for The Craw's Nest Tassie

The Tassie as the abbreviated version is popularly known has grown into an institution where amateur golfers return to Carnoustie year after year after year. First played for in 1927 it is limited to 351 golfers (or other number determined by the Links Committee) whose handicaps must be 18 or below.

In January of 1927 a meeting of influential local golfers took the decision to introduce an annual open amateur tournament to be called the Carnoustie Corporation Trophy. Two months later the organising committee adopted James Wright's (the designer of the last 4 holes on the Championship Course) proposal to name it instead the Craw's Nest Tassie, honouring the fanciful notion that the town's name had been derived from "Craw's Nestie".

The Tassie itself a solid silver drinking bowl decorated in Celtic pattern was crafted by Messrs Crabbe and McKenzie, jewellers and silversmiths of High Street Carnoustie at a cost of 100 Guineas. The designer was Murdoch McKenzie. The business operated in the town from 1912 until 1935 when it was moved to Rothesay. Murdoch died there in 1954.

Amongst the first years 124 competitors was Joshua Crane of Brookline USA, the originator of the abstruse system of rating golf courses on a handicap basis weighing up the terrain, hazards etc. He measured Gleneagles at 84.6, Sandwich at 83.8, Muirfield at 83.5 and the Old Course at St Andrews at 71.8. The first event was won by a local Mr Alexander Mann, an ex amateur champion of India who defeated Mr Len Nettlefold who was at that time the amateur champion of Australia.

Up to 1931 the Tassie was held in June but the date was switched to September with a view to increasing the number of players from England. The number of entries exceeded 200 for the first time in 1935 with 206, and rose to 396 in 1966, then 454 in 1969.

The Tassie is now always played for in the 1st full week of September each year and one of it's early participants the aforementioned Mr Crane who loved the event so much he donated several trophies to the Carnoustie Golf Club which are still competed for today. Alongside the Tassie is the Maulesbank Trophy a much younger event given its introduction in 1933.

The week begins with 2 qualifying rounds, one on the Championship Course and one on the Burnside Course. From the starting field the top 64 combined scratch scores are then drawn to play matchplay through the week for the Tassie on the Championship Course. The next 64 nett scores compete for the Maulesbank Trophy in matchplay on the Burnside Course. For those who did not qualify for either, then there is the consolation sweepstakes on Wednesday and Thursday with prizes available. By the time Friday arrives simple bounce games are played by all those who are not competing for either of the 2 trophies.

The whole week is one of cameraderie and the local clubs open their doors to the competitors and provide evening entertainment, everything from comedians to quizzes to karaoke. This is why Tassie entrants have been coming back for years and in some cases decades on end. Currently regular competitors are coming from all parts of the United States, Sweden, Holland, Spain and the UK.


Saturday 20th August - Links Superintendent Report



June was a changeable month with a variable airflow and light to fresh winds. Average noon temperatures were near normal at 15.5 ° C whilst total rainfall was a little above average at 68 mm.

July was a wetter month still with a total of 92 mm. An easterly flow was dominant during the month, mostly light. Average noon temperature was on the low side at 16.5 ° C.


Championship Course

Ecologist’s Visit

Mr R Taylor from S.T.R.I. carried out his annual ecological visit on 6 June and his report has been forwarded.


Selective weedkilling continued over the two months in particular to certain roughs, fairways and bunker tops. Total weedkiller was used around the Starters’ Box, Hotel and Public Putting Green.

Golf Centre Site Work

A good deal of man hours were involved in preparatory work and subsequent turfing around the new golf centre in both June and July. The mounding on the west side of the building, encompassing the disabled access to the viewing platform, was laid in early June and included sea buckthorn and marram planting and grass-crete plastic pathway sections. Turfing continued along the front of the building, followed by the original 1st tee and the east and south sides as far as was practical in conjunction with the build for The British Women’s Open. Quarry dust was also placed as required around the Media Centre. The gas main supply trench from the 1st tee towards the Golf Centre was also turfed at this time.

Bunker Repairs

Minor bunker wall repairs were carried out on greenside bunkers on the 5th and 7th holes.


Further fairy ring control treatments were carried out in June and July using asoxystrobin both as a blanket spray and selectively in conjunction with wetting agent.

Greens were sprayed with a preventive fungicide, Instrata, in the middle of July along with a dew control product, Dew Clear.

Top Dressing

Greens were top dressed twice during June with a further light dressing in the first half of July. Green approaches and surrounds were top dressed early in June. Previously extended fairway sections (i.e. 5th, 6th and 7th holes) were hollow-tine cored, overseeded and top dressed in June.


The usual intense summer mowing regime involving hand mowing of greens whenever possible continued through both months to playing areas with the inclusion of fairway verti-cutting at the end of June. Local areas of coarse grasses were strimmed accordingly.


Certain greens were solid-tined early in June whilst all greens received hydroject aeration with liquid seaweed added in early July.


Bunker floors required cultivation on a number of occasions following heavy rains during the two months. Sand topping up was carried out as required.

Greens Rolling / Brushing

Greens rolling / brushing was carried out in conjunction with mowing as required.

Conditioner Treatments

A number of turf conditioner treatments were carried out over the two months, primarily to greens which included wetting agent, liquid iron, a range of micronutrient products, including liquid seaweed, as well as a dew control product and water conditioner application in June.

Green approaches and surrounds along with walkways , relaid turf areas, fairways and teeing grounds were sprayed with a tank mix comprising wetting agent, liquid iron and liquid nitrogen when appropriate. Any localised ‘stressed’ patches of turf on greens were treated with a specific wetter, Aqueduct, early in June.


The top growth retardant, Primo-Maxx was applied twice in June as part of the ongoing programme.


Certain weak areas including walk-offs were fertilised early in June.

Greens received a summer fertiliser treatment in the middle of June with the usual ingredients of dried blood, hoof and horn and iron sulphate. New turf on the 11th and 18th fairways were given a light dressing of an 8-0-0 fertiliser while the greens nursery was covered with 14-0-10 fertliser application. In the third week of July, certain weak spots on greens were sprayed with a liquid nitrogen and micronutrient mixture.

Women’s British Open

The course was prepared for this main event of the year in a very similar manner to last year’s Seniors Open. Tournament mowing arrangements and general course set up procedures were trial run on the Wednesday and all went smoothly through the event. Back up equipment from Toro suppliers Lely came in very useful and the staff performance was exemplary and even extended to manually hauling a search buggy out of the Barry Burn.

Burnside Course


Greens were solid tined early in June followed by teeing grounds late in the month and approaches in early July. Drier greens were pencil tined while selected greens received hydroject aeration at the end of July.


Selective weedkilling continued on tees, fairways and semi rough areas as required. Total weedkiller was applied round the Starters’ Box, the Maintenance Buildings and Burnside Car Park.

Finishing Work – New Tea Shop

The ground was prepared around the new building following building clear up. Sand was imported to provide suitable levels and the areas prepared in the usual manner prior to turfing over. Steps at the northern end of the building were installed to combat the difference in existing levels and gravel was spread in the adjacent soak away area.

Bunker Maintenance

Bunker maintenance followed the usual pattern with faces blown, edges trimmed, and sand shaped as required. Bunker floors were loosened accordingly following heavy rains in both months.

Top Dressing

Greens were top dressed in late June as were fairways following brushing and mowing.

Conditioner Treatments

Greens were sprayed with wetting agent, liquid seaweed and liquid iron on both months. Approaches were treated with wetting agent and liquid seaweed in a similar fashion. Tees were sprayed with wetting agent in June and July.


Most fairways were sprayed with a seaweed, nitrogen and potash product in June.

Certain weak areas including the new 15th tee received a fertiliser dressing while greens were treated with the organic based fertiliser TX10. A 14-0-10 fertiliser was applied to the rough on the right side of the 18th hole.


Approaches were verti-cut during June and greens in the middle of July.

Marram Planting

Marram grass was planted on the 15th tee bank.


The 3rd hole was closed on the 7th and 8th of July following heavy rains. Standing water was subsequently pumped back into the burn from the area yet once again.

Overseeding Greens

During the closure week at the end of July, greens were solid tined, overseeded and top dressed followed by the usual brushing in.

Buddon Links Course

Top – Dressing

Greens were top-dressed twice during June in the usual manner.

Turf Repairs/ Planting

The re-routed irrigation pipeline which now goes round the Golf Centre was tidied –up and turfed over. A flood prone area in front of the 9th green was raised slightly and re-turfed following the introduction of fresh sand. Sea buckthorn was planted behind the 11th green and marram grass was planted in the new mounding behind the 17th green.


Greens were pencil-tined in both months followed by rolling. Drier tees were similarly treated.


Certain “half-greens” involving the 16th,9th,10th,6th and 5th were tined and overseeded followed by top-dressing during July. The practice tee was similarly renovated as required.


The weedkilling programme continued with clover the main target in playing areas including the practice ground.


The mowing regime was in full force throughout both months as normal. Rolling and brushing was carried out in conjunction as required and greens were verti-cut in June.


Greens were sprayed with fungicide in late July for disease control.


A 12-0-9 fertiliser was applied to the 2nd tee and previously relaid fairway areas early in June.

More recent new turf areas were treated with TX10, an organic based fertiliser.


Bunkers were affected by heavy rains as per the other courses requiring bunker floor cultivation as the weather dictated.

Localised Flooding

Standing water was pumped from local areas on holes 6, 7, 9, 10 and 14 on more than one occasion.

Conditioner Treatments

Wetting agent was sprayed on greens as was a tank mix of liquid seaweed and liquid iron towards the end of June.

‘Rescue’ Treatment

Patches of ‘Yorkshire Fog’ were treated with the gramminicide ‘Rescue’ on certain green collars in June.

Temporary Arrangement

The first hole was closed from the 4th of July and from the 11th, the 16th hole was split into two to provide 16 holes up to the tournament week.

Environmental Work

Environmental work included ditch clearance and spraying Timbrel on mare’s tail on the left hand side of the 6th and 18th holes. The burn wall was cleaned and the base cleared of weed on the 17th, 18th and 1st holes.

John S Philp
Links Superintendent


Wednesday 17th August

I must keep the blog up to date. I must keep the blog up to date

I must keep the blog upto date. I must keep the blog up to date
I must keep the blog up to date. I must keep the blog up to date
I must keep the blog up to date. I must keep the blog up to date
I must keep the blog up to date. I must keep the blog up to date

Lets re re-wind back to the week of the Ricoh Women's British Open. The days in the lead up to the tournament week were very hot, so hot we were out hand watering the greens in the morning and at night.

With no course closure the week before the tournament, all the guys were in on the Sunday afternoon/evening.

The whole course was cut and we continued the same cutting pattern over the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and right through the tournament days.

Tournament tee's handcut Toro 1600's

Other tee's cut with Toro 3250's one direction

Fairways cut with direction of play

Approaches/surrounds cut with 3250's again cut one direction with play

Greens cut with Flex 21's and rolled with Smithco rollers

Each night and morning fairways were divotted and any divots removed.

You could n't really ask for any better weather until the Thursday morning, a little bit foggy when all the guys arrived to start at 4.30am.

It soon lifted when the sun decided to show through, just in time for the opening shot.

No real problems through the event, just one TV buggy in the burn!!

A great effort again by all staff from all three courses.

Also a Thank You to helpers for the week

Gavin and Joe from St Andrews.

After all that nice weather, last week it was back to the weather we all know and love RAIN!!,

and it was torrential. So far this month we have had 11 days of rain at a total of 139.6mm

A lot of bunkers flooded as well as fairways. We even had to close the course one day.

Coring took place on heavy trafficked areas and where stands were, they were then seeded and top-dressed.

Bailing out bunkers and squeegeing wet fairway areas were the main jobs.

On to this week, overseeding the greens.

We made a start on Monday using the pedestrian Toro 648 Procore with a solid 1/2" tine. Once opened up Fescue seed was spread along with seaweed and ceramic dust. Green rolled(to stop rutting) then top-dressed with sand, brushed in then drag matted in and then rolled again.

1,2,3,5,7,8,12,13,16,17 +18 greens all seeded on the Monday and the rest finished on Tuesday before the rain. Good going.

Other jobs on this week are trying to dry the wet bunkers out by adding more sand.