Course Report February 2013

Published: 1st March 2013
Relaid 17th tee on the Holywell
Relaid 17th tee on the Holywell

Church Course

Present cutting heights: Greens- 4 mm, Surrounds- 8 mm, Tees- 8 mm, Fairways- 15 mm

This month has been dominated once again by the effects of weather, with has predominately frost. Prior to the cold spell the greens received an application of a conditioner (seaweed, low nitrogen feed, and iron) which will help recovery later.

The tees will be sprayed with a conditioner when the cold weather lifts. Also they will receive a heavy top dressing and overseeding. Fairways will be divoted on a regular basis and an application of Iron and seaweed to strengthen the grass plant.

Effect of Frost on the Golf Course:

Play on any frozen surface has the potential to damage the grass plant and negatively impact the quality of putting surface. The greater and prolonged the level of play, the greater the risk of damage. White frost, sometimes called a ‘hoar’ frost, is the most common and consists of tiny ice crystals forming on the surface of the leaves. Footprints or traffic causes the frozen cells to rupture, often resulting in a ‘burned’ appearance, firstly showing up as being black or grey before becoming brown until regeneration or recovery of the leaf begins. This condition occurs under clear night skies, followed generally by early morning sunshine. Therefore, the white cover of frost seldom lasts beyond mid-morning unless in a shaded environment.

A continuous frost occurs at consistently lower temperatures and directly freezes the leaves of the plant. It is not as visible, but the risk of damage can be more severe since the entire leaf blade can rupture under the weight of traffic. During prolonged sub-zero temperatures, the plant can also suffer from ‘atmospheric’ drought due to the plant drying out from a lack of moisture, often accompanied by cold winds and low humidity. The other main issue is when the ground starts to thaw. Here, the surface becomes soft, wet and, sometimes, temporarily flooded since the underlying soil remains frozen and impervious to drainage. The grass plant is at severe risk at this stage due to the possibility of damage caused by the ‘shearing’ of the stem caused by the movement of foot traffic over a solid sub-surface. This alone will cause at best an outbreak of disease or even death.

Frost damage.jpg

Effect of frost damage on grass

Holywell Course

Present cutting heights: Greens- 5 mm, Surrounds- 8mm, Tees- 11mm, Fairways- 15mm

All efforts are being made now to enhance the Holywell Course. Levelling the tee on the 17th and surrounding area to be repaired which is well underway. Greens will have a reciprocal regime to those greens on the Church Course. Tees and fairways are getting divoted on a regular basis

Additional Information

The next stage in the Autumn/Winter program is bunker renovation. This will start on the 8th on the Church Course and will be an on-going process.

Scott Gibson
Course Manager