Sunday, 5 July 2020

 The reduced greenkeeping team are doing a great job in keeping up with the essential maintenance over both courses etc
 Both courses have really greened up since the rain which has really helped reduce the stress on the surfaces, but in turn has made the greens surface speed lower due to the extra growth, so if we have manage we will turf iron after cutting to help increase the speed
 All surfaces are now growing harder due to the rainfall and heat in the last couple of weeks

 Our wildflower area on our driving range is starting to bloom
 We have managed to cut and set up our driving range just in time for it opening on Monday 6th July
 Same with our short game area & PG's all ready to be opened on Monday 6th July
 With having a reduced staff it's been very difficult to carry out any work to the bunkers over both the courses, but we have managed to cut and clean all the bunker faces, rake and weed all bunkers apart from the newly built bunkers from the winter and these will stay G.U.R until further notice but all other bunkers will be back in play from Monday 6th July, we are hoping to fully rake the bunkers once a week
We have turned the Craighead course hole cups back to the correct way and have added foam to the bottom of the pins to see how this works compared to the cups being upside down, this should help reduce balls bouncing back out the hole

Saturday, 27 June 2020

The courses are starting to green up since the rain, this will help reduce the stress on all the playing surfaces from the 11 weeks of no rain
The reduced Greenstaff are doing a great job on keeping up with essential maintenance to the main playing surfaces during this pandemic 
Early morning watering of greens & surrounds, our irrigation system mostly works between the hours of 10pm and 5am as this doesn't affect any maintenance or golf, lower temperatures so less evaporation of water during the night plus usually calmer winds so better water coverage to all playing surfaces
Most of our cutting has been reduced to about 50% each week apart from our greens which are being cut every day, thank you to the members for being patient and understanding during this pandemic as we are not at the usual course standards
 watering in of fertiliser and wetting agent products on the Balcomie course greens
 All greens over both courses & PG's have had an application of wetting agent and fertiliser applied
When we get a chance we have been making headway into getting bunkers ready to be put back into play by weeding, cutting faces and raking and shaping the sand, this is a very slow process due to the reduced staffing levels at the moment
Any newly rebuilt bunkers from the winter will be getting the same treatment to tidy them up but these will stay G.U.R until we get the chance to dig the sand out, re-shape the bases then add fresh new sand 

Friday, 5 June 2020

 Both courses are now really starting to turn brown and playing as they should a true Links
We have reduced cutting even more to reduce stress to all playing areas until we receive some rain. we have only had 17mm of rain since the end of March
With the reduced cutting it's allowed us to concentrate on hand watering of high spots on greens and certain weaker tees, also we have had sprinklers out on our 1st fairway to help this area, fingers crossed for some rain 💧to help us through

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Fantastic both courses back open

 Great news both courses are back open to limited play now
 This week was to get all the main playing areas cut for the opening on Friday, we are still on reduced staffing for the courses, please bare with us through these times 

 Growth has slowed down due to the drought we are in, we have only had 12mm of rain since the end of March when lock down started
 We have been out hand watering high spots on our greens mostly on the Craighead course this week and next week we will start on the Balcomie course

We have applied a wetting agent, low rate of liquid fertiliser & seaweed to our greens & PG's over both the courses to help them in these very dry conditions
 After the applications were applied they were watered in to make them more available to the plant and less chance of scotching in these very dry & warm conditions
 Getting the greens ready for the opening, you can see the high spots starting to dry out
 2 weeks ago we sprayed a low rate of a selective herbicide to kill off a weed called Pearwort which is working well on the Balcomie course greens
More spraying of wetting agent, this product helps water penetrate into the soil profile much quicker, which in turns helps reduce water run off and much better use of our water
Sticking to the Government rules all tee furniture, ball washers, benches etc have been removed and we have roped off the entrances to the storm huts
 We have temporarily leveled off the 7th tee path on the Balcomie course to make safe for golfers to use, this project will now be completed in the Autumn when we get more staff back, but the newly turfed tees are in play
We have placed our newly built recycling bin in pride of place on the 7th tee path where the bench will get placed once lock down is over
When we get a chance we have been painting the Balcomie tee markers ready to go back out

Friday, 22 May 2020

 This week was the Craighead course greens turn to be solid tined to a depth of 150mm to relieve compaction, allow better air and water movement through the top of the soil profile 
 When cutting tees on the Craighead course we have removed our grass boxes from the mower to allow the clippings to return to the surfaces due to applying a slow release fertiliser 2 weeks ago
 Ongoing cutting of most of all the playing surfaces at a reduced frequency due to limited staff
 The newly turfed 7th tees on the Balcomie course getting their weekly cut ready for when the courses open to be played off
When we get a chance we are seeding and top-dressing any turfed areas from when the new Balcomie course irrigation system was installed
 Ongoing in-house upgrades of old/worn sprinklers, saddles and swing joints on the Craighead course
Our newly GPS'd completed irrigation maps for both our courses have pride of place in our new pump-house
 We have installed anti-slip pads on our new steps onto the newly built 7th tees on the Balcomie course, the path has still got a lot of work to be done before this project is finished but the tees will be in play when the courses reopen
 Cutting of our short game area green after it was heavily top-dressed 2 weeks ago, this whole area is just over 1.5 years old and is maturing really well and is a great asset to the club
 We are seeing great results from our rough management program of cutting and collecting the roughs over both our courses in the Autumn/winter months to help thin these areas out for the wildlife and playing of golf, this will be an ongoing maintenance each year

Friday, 15 May 2020

The Balcomie course greens were sprayed with liquid fertiliser and a reduce rate of a selective herbicide due to a weed called pearwort, so this should check the pearwort and any daises that are emerging
 Also we carried out aeration work to the Balcomie course greens, PG's & short game area green by solid tining them to a depth of 150mm to help open up the surfaces which will help aid water etc into the profile during this very dry spell, we have only had 5.5mm of rain in the last 2 months
very little disturbance to the playing surfaces, once the greens are cut & rolled you will hardly see the holes
 The weaker tees on the Craighead course have been fertilised with a slow release fertiliser to help thicken up the sward for the season but without giving us a spurt in growth
 with the very dry spell continuing we have been irrigation every day to give the playing surfaces a little water
 The new Balcomie irrigation system is working really well and the water coverage on the surfaces is now so much better even in light winds
Any new turfed areas like bunkers that were built in the winter we have been putting out a sprinkler to help keep the turf alive which will allow these areas to knit in better
 Any small irrigation issues on the Craighead course has been fixed and upgraded to help improve this irrigation system to work more effectively and efficiently 
Ongoing cutting of all the main playing surfaces is going well but at a reduced frequency than normal  due to the reduced staffing levels and no play yet
 At last we have manged to get our driving range cut, this was not cut for 5 weeks due to staffing levels, you can see the growth we are getting
The tees over both courses are only being cut once a week instead of twice a week and you can see the growth we are getting just now, but can see the growth slowing down slightly with this drought we are in. please all stay staff and the courses are ready for play when we are allowed