Darren’s Blog

28th June 2019

I cannot go without saying how lucky and fortunate I was to be invited to play the new JCB Golf and Country Club near Uttoxeter on Monday.
Lord Bamford owner of JCB decided he wanted a golf course and what a stunning course he has built. Just google JCB Golf Club and see for yourself what money can truly buy… WOW!!!

And before you ask….yes I did par the iconic par 3…. Made a few birdies too (Smug face)

Thirteen Greenstaff…. Yes thirteen (13) plus three extra for garden and grounds maintenance but still they had the same problems as us. Their rough…..
It was nice to see that even the Newest Golf Course built in England and ‘almost’ ready for a world golfing event has the same issues we face ourselves here at CGC.
High organic content in their soil causing rough areas to grow long and thick. They too, are doing the same maintenance as we are and waiting to fully treat the rough in autumn.
We met the Head Greenkeeper and even gave advice on our own techniques regarding long rough maintenance as he was struggling to cope with the demand too.

Fortunately at CGC we have a minimum of 4laps of managed cut rough (Semi and cut rough) with most areas receiving 5 or even 6 laps of cut. At JCB there was only 2 laps of Semi before going into the Jungle.

Safe to say that course management around JCB is a must. And more care and attention to making a good swing on every shot. Lets face it, every shot counts so why not make every effort to hit it properly first time….

At CGC another week of growth and another week of maintaining what we have, as best we can. With Phil taking a hard earned break it was left to the rest of the team of 4 to manage everything else with one eye on the Club Championship next week.

Needless to say that the team are ready for yet another very busy week for us next week.
Lets see what we can produce and hope that lady luck is on our side and not have any more machinery breakdowns like we have seen in the past few weeks.

I leave you this week with a great quote I read earlier this week.

“Golf is a compromise between what your ego wants you to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.”

Happy Golfing.
DB

14th June 2019

I think its fair to say that I have fine-tuned my raindance!!!

60mm of rain in total over the last week with over 35mm in two days.
The course has taken it really well and the Wetting Agent programs are working as they should.
The recovery of areas has been as expected.
We have utilised the conditions this week by applying nearly 30 Tonnes of topdressing on greens and allowing the rain to wash it in.
Greens were sprayed with a Silicate product which helps the grass to stand to attention which then helped with the double cut on Thursday.
This meant that we got a much cleaner cut and were able to remove any lasting debris from the surface which has improved the greens once more.
Today we have been out again with the sprayer. This time the greens are having a small cocktail of nutrients and trace elements to continue their improvements and also fight off any lingering disease within the poa that is likely to appear after a period of turbulent weather.
This will give the greens a “Green Up” effect. This is predominantly caused by spraying Iron which strengthens the leaf and darkens its appearance.
The remaining nutrients are a balance of N-P-K (Nitrogen – Phosphorous – Potassium) that will aid in bent grass establishment and also help recover poa from being stressed out.

Elsewhere on the course the fairways have changed their rotation of cut and have received a brush prior to mowing.
Approaches have also been brushed and cut to improve turf quality.

The Amazone has unfortunately not been out a great deal… although we have managed to fix the problems it had, the rough has remained too damp for it to work effectively and was causing clogging to the flail and collection hopper.
Instead we used the amazone to mow both practice grounds and we will continue to do this process to reduce the clippings being put back into the ground.
After the dry weekend the amazone will be back out in rough areas as explained before in previous updates.

Next week will be about preparation and presentation. Mow, mow, mow.
Lots of competitions going on, so our morning course setups will be extremely busy and we shall try our very best to keep out of everybody’s way.

Last thing, Thank you to all of you that took the time to show your appreciations over the last week. It’s great to see so many positive emails, more and more people waving to the greenstaff and helping out around the course.

All the best for this weekend
DB.

 

7th June 2019

Well well well, what a difference a bit of rain makes….
7mm on Tuesday, 1mm overnight on Wednesday and as I write this, I’m hoping for double figures as we go into the weekend.
The course has taken well to the drink it’s had, with many drought areas returning green.
There are some areas that will no doubt require some repair work, but that is the nature of the beast.

Greens remain a talking point but they are getting better.
In fact I took a couple of soil samples from around the course and I am pleased to say that the reduction in the black layer in our greens has been hugely significant.

(As the picture shows 10th Green Samples. 21st February compared to todays sample)

The health of our soil justifies that what we are doing is the right thing.
Since the start of the year we have not needed to spray for disease and our Nitrogen input has been radically reduced helping to unlock nutrients already stored in the soil profile.
Monthly programmes of wetting agent and seaweed products have helped to manage the soil moisture in tough conditions. This will continue to improve with the rain we are currently receiving.

Fairways are looking good, with much improved coverage. Some areas particularly on the 1st fairway high spots, started to brown off, but you will see within 24hours of having rain that these areas will start to recover quicker due to our Monthly Wetting Agent + Feed programs.

The sprayer has never been used so much in its time at Chestfield and its only now starting to show how significant and important it is to the maintenance schedule of the course.

As for next week, frequent sarrel rolling and a potential light topdress is looking likely. This is to improve the smoothness of the greens and also to help maintain our program of little and often.
We will look to brush and mow fairways next week to improve definition along with improving more rough areas once the Amazone has been fixed yet again.

Some of you may have noticed some improvements to the practice ground.
We have introduced new target zones to aim at and two flags at the far end of the practice ground to help improve driving accuracy. We have also mowed an area at the front of the practice ground to play from. Granted yes its not the ideal height and we will continue to improve as we move forward.

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