LINKS SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT FOR AUGUST 2011
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.
WORK ON THE LINKS
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.
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.
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.
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.
The turf nurseries were sand top dressed late in the month.
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.
Greens were top dressed in the middle of the month followed by the usual brushing in and rolling.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greens were top dressed and matted during the month.
Bunker maintenance involved floor cultivation as per the other courses, including sand topping up as required.
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.
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 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