2. august, 2017
Course Report Autumm 2017
As I write this, my team are busy repairing the damage on the courses from the torrential rain on Sunday, which washed out all our bunkers and gravel pathways. The bunkers have been repaired but the work on the pathways will take a little more time.
Normally I complain that the summer has been too dry, but you will not hear me say that this summer. The last few weeks have been quite challenging, with around a total of 80mm of rainfall in weeks 29 and 30.
These difficult weather conditions have given us two main challenges: –
Density of the greens and increased grain
Dollar spot disease on the fairways
The greens have become a little dense owing to the frequent rainfall, and humid high growth conditions. In these conditions, the leaf retains more water, and therefore is thicker, resulting in a more visible grain.
These conditions, combined with our greens having an element of slope, encourages grain to develop. During the last few weeks, we have experienced more grain on the greens than we usually do.
Many of the measures for removing grain and reducing density are in place however we choose not to undertake probably the most effective way, verticutting. Unfortunately, on our greens this process opens space on the surface for moss and for poa (undesirable grass type) and we therefore choose that at certain times the health and smoothness of the greens is more important that the speed.
This week we are focusing on maintenance procedures that will help reduce this grain, which will in turn increase green speed. The procedures include double cutting, more brushing and grooming of the greens. On a positive note, the greens are very healthy and we not have experienced any of the take all patch disease that we normally have at this time of year.
At the end of week 29, the fairways were affected by dollar spot disease. Dollar spot is a small patch disease which occurs during wet humid conditions, and appears to be getting more common. This is the third consecutive year that we have had this disease, and although it is unsightly, there is no real long term damage to the courses. Due to pesticide restrictions in Denmark, there is no chemical treatment available.
Our maintenance approach has been to apply more nutrients to the grass, to grow the disease out, which is already proving to be successful. Fortunately, this disease did not spread to our greens, as bent grass is fairly resistant to this disease. If you would like to learn more about dollar spot, then I would recommend looking at the following link: – https://www.greencast.co.uk/dollar-spot
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, I am very optimistic that we will have good course conditions until the winter arrives. A major benefit of the winter Graden work is that we will not need to complete any Autumn renovation work in October this year. This means that we will not require the three day course closures as in previous years. We will not need to hollow tine and sand the greens, we will however, be continuing with our normal micro tining, and light topdressings on the maintenance days. Extensive renovation work will not be required. The result of this will be we will keep a good surface until the very end of the season.
We have begun to make our winter plans which will include the continuation of the tree work started last winter, with the continued focus on increasing playability of the golf courses.
Hopefully the wet July has not impacted your summer plans too much, and I am hoping for a good second half of the season so that the greens-team and I can deliver the golf courses to the high standards that we all expect.