Friday, 10 August 2018

 All go this week with preparing both the courses for their Gents and Seniors Opens
 We are continuing to spike the surfaces on the greens to aid water penetration into the soil profile
 After we spike we will brush, cut then turf iron to smooth the surface off for play
 Another application of wetting agent to the greens
 Both courses are starting to green up after the rain, so we have carried out more cutting to keep things neat and tidy
 We are carrying on with our light top-dressing of sand to the Craighead course greens then watering in
 We have marked off the areas on the tees on the Craighead course and gave them 2 heavy top-dressings of sand to improve the surfaces for the British Ladies Senior Championships in September
 Our new short game area is coming on nicely with just 1 bunker to fill with sand and build road at rear to finish off this project ready for opening on the 28th of August
 new road at rear of short game area, this will really finish/tidy up this area
 We have replaced all the surrounds on our tee sprinklers on both courses to tidy them up and re-level them
With having the British Ladies Senior Championships in September, we have had to install ducting for electric cabling to the bottom of our car parks for the R&A portacabins etc

Friday, 27 July 2018

 Can't beat being out first thing in the morning setting up the courses for play
 With the dry spell it has allowed us to catch up on some house keeping jobs, edging/weeding round the 1st tee starters hut on the Craighead course
 Another job was to re-fill and seed then heavy top-dress our recent drainage lines on hole 2 of the Craighead course
 This week seen us start to get signs of disease on our Craighead course greens called Take all patch, so we spiked the playing surfaces to help open the top 25mm up in the profile, sprayed a wetting agent/seaweed then applied a fungicide, hand drenched the greens then applied a liquid fertiliser/iron to aid in recovery
 Spraying fungicide after cutting
 Drenching the greens with wetting agent
Our wild flower area on the driving range has been a success this year again even in these dry conditions

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Water, water and more water

 It looks like this dry spell is here for a while longer, which means we have been out hand watering greens and tees most days plus the automatic irrigation system on at nights

 The far end on the Balcomie course is really struggling for water as it's the further part of the course away from the pump house so water pressure is lower due to the distance plus with the system being old it will have small leaks in the pipelines
 With both courses fully booked this week with visitors due to the Open being at Carnoustie Links we have been starting at 4am to allow the staff to complete their tasks to keep ahead of play
 Courses really burnt out, so playing fast and firm
 With the reduction on cutting it has allowed us to catch up on divoting landing areas and small jobs that we struggle to get to at this time of year
 I was very lucky to get picked to go on a trip to Chicago to see the TPC John Deere run Classic course and play in the Pro am, it was great to see what is involved behind the scenes to run such an event and what goes into preparing the course in their climate
 We also got shown round the world John Deere headquarters

Thursday, 5 July 2018

 This week was the start of our Club Championship over both courses, so attention was on preparing both the courses especially the greens for this

 We applied a light top-dressing of sand to both courses greens this week then a water in, this is to help keep a smooth surface and reduce thatch levels without interrupting the golf at this busy time
 The grow in of our new short game area is coming on really well
 With the continued dry spell with have applied wetting agent to our tees to help water penetrate into the profile
 Then alight water in, other tasks have been hand watering high spots on greens and surrounding areas to keep the grass plant ticking over
 I was lucky enough to get a tour with The BIGGA central section up at Carnoustie Links on the Championship course prior to The Open, great to see all the work that the guys have done to present the course in such great condition

Friday, 22 June 2018

 Great definition on both courses

 Watering in of top-dressing sand
 We are still out with hoses and sprinklers to dry areas
 The Craighead course greens were verti-cut/cut then a light top-dressing of sand which we are trying to do once a week
 The old Well at hole 16th on the Balcomie course getting some TLC

 The new short game area is coming on well, with the green getting it's first roll
 We are starting to shape the cutting around the new green and bunkers
 Heavy top-dressings of sand will continue to improve all the surrounding areas and merge the new area in with the existing area
 We have been brushing the greens before cutting to help lift lateral growth to give a better cut, especially on the Balcomie course as these are old traditional greens
 Thanks to Les Rae for having us up to look at the Environment projects etc they carryout and coastal erosion issues they face at Montrose Links