Friday 17 November 2023

Storm damage

Sunday the 29th October saw very high tides and  driving winds off the Sea, which has caused coastal damage/mess on holes 2,4,5,14 & 15 of the Balcomie course 
Seaweed washed up along hole 4 
The big clean up begins, hole 5 was the worst affected with actual salt water and sand etc washed over the fairway 

In the last 4 weeks we have had over 150mm of rain, which is making it hard to carry out planned work, but hoping this will help dilute any salt from our grass areas from the storm 
With the amount of rain, we have been out fixing tee paths and bunkers that have been getting washed out 
Seems funny that we are watering our 5th fairway with all the rain we have been having, but we are trying to dilute the salt content from the storm damage and hopefully this keeps the grass alive 
On days that were ok, we got back to our planned work of solid tining the Craighead course greens to 150mm with a 12mm tine to help drainage and air movement 

bunker work has started on the 1st bunker at green 11 on the Craighead course 
the 9th fairway bunker on the Balcomie course has been rebuilt 

Our driving range project has started, the plan is to move the existing outside mat areas and add a level area in front to play off turf for any tournaments we hold going forward 


Tuesday 24 October 2023

We have been raking and cutting then collecting the grass from our 3.5" roughs to help thin these areas out on the Craighead course 
In the last 3 weeks we have been hit twice with adverse weather and storm Babet 
We have made a start to cutting and collecting deep rough areas on the Craighead course 
The Craighead tees and walkways have been deep solid tined to 175mm to relieve compaction and help air & water movement through the profile 
We have carried out extra aeration work to the Craighead greens this Autumn to help reduce thatch levels, this consisted of mini-coring, verti-cutting, sand injection and heavy top-dressing 
Mini-coring on green 11 and deep solid tining on tees 12 of the Craighead course 
Greens being verti-cut then cut before sand injecting 
Greens being blown and cleaned up 
Sand injection machine, this machine injects over 0.5 tons into the profile per green 

Then the greens were brushed in to help fill in the core holes 
Then another 1 tons of top-dressing sand applied to each green and brush in 
We have now completed deep scarifying all the tees on the Craighead course 

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Checking moisture levels before deciding how much irrigation to apply, this helps us reduce the amount we use and concentrate on the drier and high spots 
We have purchased a new rake for raking our 3.5" roughs & deep rough areas to help thin these areas out by ripping into the base of the plant 
We have applied a low rate of slow release fertiliser to the Craighead fairways to aid recovery from the Summer, this fertiliser will work away through the Autumn/winter months depending on temperatures
Fairways greening up with the application of fertiliser 
With it being so dry, we took the chance to re-cement damaged areas on our burn floor on the Balcomie course 
Staff setting up for the SGU event last week 

This week seen us start our aeration work to the Balcomie course greens & PG's, firstly we mini-hollow cored to take out thatch and allow the greens to breathe 

Then the greens were cleared of the cores, double verti-cut to clean the surfaces up and take out more thatch 
then double cut 
Then spiked and seeded 
The spiker creates lots of holes for the seed to go in, plus the coring holes is ideal for the seed, then at the rear of the seeder is a brush that helps brush the seed into the holes too
Then we applied 2 tons of top-dressing sand to each green to fill all the holes/cover the seed, smooth off the surfaces and help dilute the thatch levels  
The sand was slowly drag matted into the surface in different directions 
Then the staff very slowly rolled the surface to smooth them off 
Very little disturbance to the ball roll considering the work carried out, hopefully the greens will be back to normal playing conditions in 2/3 weeks time 
Then we watered in the sand & seed, we need to keep the seed damp for it to germinate, in the next few days we will apply a low rate granular fertiliser to aid recovery and help with the seed germination 

Monday 4 September 2023

The Balcomie course greens have been sprayed with liquid fertiliser & wetting agent 
Greens being cut in front of play 
The weaker fairways on the Balcomie course being watered to help the seed germinate 
We have been out with the drone taking pictures of the staff setting up the courses 

The Craighead greens have been mini-cored to help reduce thatch levels & firm up the surfaces, this also allows better water & air movement through the profile 

Once the greens were mini-cored & cleaned up they were then lightly verti-cut to take more thatch out the surface 
The amount of debris from each green 
There is very little disturbance to the surfaces once they have been cut & turf ironed 
The Craighead surrounds have been fertilised to aid recovery from a very busy season 
Our wildflower area next to the putting green has worked really well and looking great with all the colours, this is such a benefit to insects/bees & butterflies etc 
In the same area as the wildflowers, the banking has been great attracting sand martins to nest this Summer 
We are starting to get digging from badgers on our 11th tees on the Craighead course and other areas over the site 
We are spiking,seeding and sanding areas where we have been hit by a disease called Take all patch on our greens, this is ongoing to aid recovery