Tuesday 13th December 2011

Although mostly cloudy, November was milder than usual with an average noon temperature of 11.5 °C.  Slight frost was experienced on only 2 occasions and winds were generally westerly with an easterly flow dominating the second week of the month.  Rainfall was a little below normal at 47mm

Championship Course

The mild weather conditions meant for good progress in the “Winter Works” programme and the two week course closure was fully utilised.

Aeration work focussed on verti-drain treatment firstly on greens using 8mm solid tines with medium heave followed by green surrounds, teeing grounds and certain roughs using 13mm tines.  Near the end of the month verti-draining was commenced on walk-ways using 19mm tines.  Access routes to the works on the 7th hole were verti-drained on completion.

Bunker Revetments

A good number of bunker revetments were carried out during the month and included the following:-

2 on the 2nd fairway right hand side
1 at the second greenside right hand side
1 on the 3rd fairway (central at ditch)
2 on the 4th fairway right hand side
1 at the 4th greenside right hand side

5 on the 5th hole
1 on the 9th fairway right hand side
2 at the 9th greenside
1 on the 10th fairway left hand side
2 at the 10th greenside left hand side
3 on the 14th fairway left hand side
1 on the 18th fairway right hand side (Miller’s)

7th Hole Re-Positioned Bunker / Fairway Section Raising

Work commenced at the start of the month lifting turf in the area of the new right hand bunker position in conjunction with the adjacent poor fairway section.  Re-usable turf was stored nearby while most of the fairway top-soil was stock-piled on site.  Clean sand was transported to the site to raise levels (8"–10") whilst the new bunker was constructed and surrounding contours merged into the adjacent mound.  The inner bunker head was lowered and the original bunker position infilled to suit before turfing over.  The salvaged top-soil along with fresh root-zone mix was spread over the raised fairway section which was re-turfed with material from the 17th fairway along with the salvaged turf from the site.


The 9th green was top-dressed at the beginning of the month following the scheduled hollow-tining.  At the end of the month conditions allowed for a commencement to fairway top-dressing involving the 1st, 4th, 11th and 15th fairways, followed by the usual brushing-in.

Iron Sulphate

A dressing of iron sulphate was applied to greens and approaches in the middle of the month.


Greens received a fungicide application during the month with liquid seaweed and a dew prevention product added to the tank.

Turf Repairs

Several turf repairs were carried out during the month.  Rye grass was “headed” out from the 1st , 2nd and 15th green surrounds, whilst Yorkshire fog patches were similarly replaced on the 12th and 13th greens.  Turf repairs were undertaken in the hollow to the right of the 14thgreen and on the track to the right of the 17th green.  Patching was also carried out at certain bridge crossings.

Imlay Bridge / Raising Burn Walling – 10th Hole 

Work continued to complete the new bridge with coping stone and the laying of stone slabs on the walking deck.  Walling was also completed by the end of the month on the vehicle bridge on the left had side of the hole following the laying of a 6 inch concrete screed on the decking.  After the removal of the existing turf along the front and right side burn bankings of the 10th approach sand was driven in to raise these banks as arranged.  Two layers of used kerbs were laid to raise the right side walling to suit the bridge and new banking heights while one layer of blocks was laid on the 10th fairway side of the burn wall, again to suit new surrounding levels.  Following the usual preparatory work suitable turf was re-laid to cover the raised bankings.  Work on the fairway side of the burn is ongoing with the aim of removing the poor quality existing turf and raising the low lying section therein, to allow flood waters to return to the burn effectively.

Island Fairway – 17th Hole

Turf from the start of this fairway was cut and removed, some of which was used at the 10th approach.

18th Greenside Flooding

Flood water from the burn overflow was pumped from the left surround of the 18th green on Monday 28th of the month.  Silt removal was also required from greenside bunkers.

Visit to King’s Quarry- Kilwinning and Royal Troon

Myself, S. Mitchell, C. Boath, P. Atkins, G. Lowe and S. Kerr visited King’s Sand Quarry at Kilwinning, our top-dressing sand suppliers, on the 17 of the month, for a tour of their very impressive facility.  We then went on to visit Royal Troon, which was a first for the staff present, where we were shown round by Course manager Billy McLaughlin.


Greens and approaches were verti-drained during the month followed by rolling.  A start was made to verti-draining walkways at the end of the month.  Greens were slit-tined also as were the 12th and 15th fairways.


Fungicide was applied to greens in the middle of the month as a preventative measure.

Iron Sulphate

Greens were treated with an iron sulphate dressing at the end of the month.

Bunker Revetment

The only bunker revetment carried out in November was that in the middle of the 12th fairway.

6th Fairway – Raising and Re-Turfing

This work on the 6th fairway section nearest the greens was the main concentration of the workforce during the month.  Re-usable turf from the area (1300 sq mts) was laid out for future requirements.  Some poorer turf was re-laid behind The Golf Centre and on the burn bank at the 3rd hole.  The existing dark layer was excavated to clean sand and was placed in a low section within the adjacent tree plantation, awaiting future finishing for a prospective wildflower sown out area under the “Operation Pollinator” project. Following base rotavation clean sand was drive-in to raise the area some 7"–10" above original levels.  Following the usual firming and shaping seaweed meal and pre-seeder fertiliser was raked into the surface prior to turfing over at the very end of the month. 


Greens were hand cut and rolled as required to fit in with verti-drain and aeration during the month.

3rd Hole – Bridge and Banking Re-Instatement

The bridge decking was laid on the strengthened railway line understructure which has been repositioned nearer the cycleway/ service road than before.  6' wide concrete decking was used in the restructure.  The existing silty soil was removed from the banking and clean sand brought in prior to turfing over with turf salvaged from the 6th fairway job.  Finally the boundary fence was replaced.


Bunker Revetments

Bunker revetments during the month involved the following:

2 at 3rd greenside
2 at the 8th hole left hand side
3 at the 16th greenside
1 at the 18th green left hand side

Bunker Maintenance

Bunkers were tidied and sand shaped as required during the month.


Greens, tees, fairways and walkways were slit-tined during the month.

Bridge Replacement

The bridge at the front left of the 8th tee was refurbished with new timbers early in the month following ditch clearance work alongside the tee and beyond.


Greens were brushed, cut and rolled as required during the month

Course Drainage Developments

There was a major concentration on ditch clearance and drainage pipe installation through the month. The ditch running alongside the 6th hole is currently under excavation to establish suitable base levels as is the extension behind the 6th green and alongside the 13th hole. The ditch to the left of the 7th hole which started some yards behind the 8th tee was developed southwards through the trees and up alongside the 9th green. 6" perforated pipe was laid in this trench, gravel backfilled and sand capped. A lateral using 4" pipe was laid in across the 9th green approach. A similar pipe was installed across the 10th green approach which was run alongside the 10th green surround mounding to an outlet into the cleared out ditch behind the 13th green.

Environmental Work

Environmental work carried out included gorse cutting to the left of the 6th hole, Burnside Course, and gorse chipping. Heather brash previously cut and collected from the Buddon Course was dried on a heated tunnel before screening to produce “cleaned” heather seed for future courses use.

John S. Philp
Links Superintendent