Thursday 29th September 2011

Dunhill week is here.

Unbelieveable weather this week, so hot and not a breath of wind. Course record might be under threat. Even the flags are under threat as young Barry romped through one with his Toro 1600.

It was nt just the weather that was odd, Dangerous Jimmy was not so dangerous this week.

Getting darker in the mornings now, 6.30am starts this week.

Pins ready to go.

Looks like another great day.
Thank you to all the guys from Elmwood College who helped out this week on the divot squad.


Friday 23rd September 2011

Dunhill prep week

Due to the R and A Autumn Meeting at St Andrews, most of the contractors are were over here setting up the course. By yesterday, all the tee boards, score boards and posts for spectator walkways were out.

Divot squad are ready for another busy week.

Who is hiding in the rough?

Dangerous Jimmy cleaning out ditches, watching out not to harm the Yellow Bartsia.

A visit by Richard Windows and Jay Dobson of the S.T.R.I was also on this week.

Richard and The Godfather checking firmness, whilst Sandy measures trueness and Jay assesses green speeds.

Odd jobs such as repairing bunker damage were also on the list this week as we prepare for the Dunhill. Another top list of pros again for this years event.


Monday 19th September



This August was the wettest I have recorded in my time at Carnoustie with a total rainfall of 148 mm, 130 mm of which fell in the first 10 days. Sunshine hours were below normal and winds were light predominantly westerly. Average noon temperature was 15.5° C, a little below normal. Flooding issues resulted in courses closure on the 7th with subsequent hole closures on the Burnside and Buddon Courses.


Championship Course

Tournament Tidy Up

The usual post tournament tidy up procedures were carried out which included brushing and aerating spectator routes, minor turf repairs at T.V towers and tentage areas as well as debris clearance.

Operation Pollinator

Craig Boath and myself attended a seminar at Elmwood G.C. regarding this new project designed to create valuable new habitats in out of play areas on golf courses to help address the serious decline in bumble bee and other pollinating insect numbers in the U.K. (There has been a 70% decline in bumble bee population in the U.K. over the past 40 years with three species on the verge of extinction).


The intense rainfall during the first half of the month resulted in further pumping of water, mainly from bunkers in the west half of the courses, in conjunction with pushing standing water from playing surfaces as required. Many bunker floors were subsequently cultivated on several occasions followed by topping up with fresh sand as needed. These procedures were common to all three courses.

Fairy Ring

A fungicide application in conjunction with the turf surfactant Revolution was carried out on greens as a fairy ring control measure early in the month using the Hydroject machine.


The back tee on the 1st hole, 18th walkway and the re-turfed strip in the Public Putting Green were hollow tined, the 1st tee being overseeded and dressed at this time. (Grandstand position).


Greens were overseeded with the usual fescue mix from Barenbrug in the middle of the month following solid tining with ½” tines. Subsequent top dressing included seaweed meal and a soil amendment product along with the usual sand application and brushing in. Greens were rolled before and after proceedings. The damaged ground to the rear and east of the Golf Centre was overseeded and rolled during the month.


Hogan tees along with the 14th Ladies tee were dressed with a “homemade” fertiliser mix comprising dried blood, hoof and horn, ammonium sulphate and iron sulphate early in the month.

Greens Mowing

Hand mowing on greens was limited due to circumstances, so Triplex mowing, combined with brushing and rolling was the order of the day during the month. Groomer units were used on two or three occasions at the end of the month.


Total weedkiller was used on remaining areas at the Starters’ Box, hotel and practice nets while spot treatment of selective weedkiller was carried out to fairways and certain green surrounds.

Top Dressing

The turf nurseries were sand top dressed late in the month.

Turf Conditioner

The Primo-Maxx programme on greens restarted on the 17th of the month while tees were sprayed with a mixture of liquid iron, wetting agent and liquid nitrogen along with the new turf on the 18th fairway and the greens nursery. Green surrounds and approaches were sprayed with a tank mix of wetting agent, liquid seaweed and liquid iron and greens with the monthly wetting agent (Revolution) spray combined with liquid iron and organic micro-nutrients. A similar mix with liquid seaweed added was applied to the practice putting green.


Irrigation work on the course was limited to trimming round fairway sprinklers and valve boxes.

Selective Rough Treatments

The “Amazone” flail mower was used to cut down sections of coarse rough and involved a large area behind the 16th green, the left hand side of the 4th hole and areas on the 7th hole. All cutting were collected in the hopper and removed from site.

Burnside Course

Top Dressing

Greens were top dressed in the middle of the month followed by the usual brushing in and rolling.

Pump Hire

A 4” pump was hired from S.L.D. to help clear flood water from the 3rd and 4th holes early in the month. Standing water was also cleared from the 6th, 8th 9th and 12th holes in particular.


Aeration work during the month concentrated on hydroject treatment on greens.


Greens were sprayed early in the month with a fungicide mix to control disease development.

Bunker Maintenance

The normal bunker maintenance was carried out during August including additional bunker floor cultivation and sand to topping up as required.


A summer fertiliser (8-0-0) was applied to the returfed area on the 13th fairway as well as worn tracks on the 1st and 18th holes. The organic based fertiliser TX10 was used on the putting green.


Greens maintenance involved the usual daily mowing allied to brushing and rolling as required.

Turf Conditioners

Greens received their monthly wetting agent application with liquid seaweed and liquid iron added to the tank. Wetting agent was also applied to tees.


The installation of flow meters for our six boreholes was ongoing during the month; three have now been installed. Greenside sprinklers were trimmed round as required.

Buddon Links Course


The left hand half of the 7th green was overseeded in the usual manner.

Turf Repair

The divot damaged area on the 1st tee used at the Women’s Open was returfed early in the month. The damaged irrigation valve behind this tee was repaired also.

Pumping Water

Standing water was pumped from several fairways, green approaches and bunkers in the first half of the month, similar to the other courses, including the practice ground.

Top Dressing

Greens were top dressed and matted during the month.

Bunker Maintenance

Bunker maintenance involved floor cultivation as per the other courses, including sand topping up as required.

Turf Conditioner

Greens were sprayed with a liquid seaweed and liquid iron mix in the middle of the month followed by the monthly application of wetting agent at the end of August.

Fairway Verti-Cutting

Fairways were brushed and cut prior to verti-cutting and debris collection using verti-cut units loaned from St Andrews fitted to our fairway mowers.


Brushing greens and approaches allied to greens rolling were included alongside the usual mowing regime in greens preparation during the month.

Environmental Work

Environmental work in August focussed on cleaning out ditches and sections of the Barry Burn. The invasive Himalayan Balsam growing in the burn beside the 11th tee on the Championship Course was cut down and removed.

John S Philp
Links Superintendent


Friday 16th September 2011

Well, the weather for Tassie week ended not too bad after all the rain and wind.

The GB&I Walker Cup team had a good workout on the course. I am sure the stiff wind at Carnoustie maybe helped them retain the Walker Cup.

Pine needles picked up from the 9th fairway and Dangerman blowing them off the 10th tee for the Tassie competitors.

Sandy makes sure the pins are extra tricky for the semi-final and final.

I managed to get up on Saturday to Royal Aberdeen.

The course looked amazing. Well Done to Robert Patterson and his team.

Back to Carnoustie and a really windy and wet start to the week.

A lot of guys on holiday this week so it was a depleted team. Sandy was off so i had a new wingman, Dangerous Jimmy. A wet area at the 14th walkway was our first port of call. Poor soil underneath was not letting water drain away. This area was dug out and backfilled with sand then returfed.

Other jobs on were sand injection on tees with the Graden


A start was made to putting up all the scoreboards and tv towers for the Dunhill. I am sure by the weekend they will all be up.


Wednesday 7th September 2011

Tassie week is here and so is the normal Tassie weather.

Above pictures are before the torrential rain and high winds!!

At the tail end of last week, we made a start to cutting down thick rye-infested areas in the rough.

These areas will now be scarified, treated with the selective graminicide Rescue and then overseeded.

Back to previous overseeding on the greens, you can now see on weak areas just off the green that seed is coming through.

This week

Greens hand cut and the usual mowing everyday of all areas for the Tassie.

Only one day of rolling so far due to the high wind forecasts.

Holes changed everyday.

Today, we have special visitors to the course in the way of GB & I Walker Cup team, i am sure the windy conditions will set them up nicely for Royal Aberdeen at the weekend.