Newark Greenkeeper's Blog
We are very sorry for the current closure of the course. hopefully members can understand the severity of the damage that would be done if the course was open currently.
Since September we have had double the average rainfall, with flooding continually being reported in the news.
We will be doing all we can to provide some golf when possible. That may mean the opening of specific holes or loops of holes but the full course is unlikely to be available for a little while. Below are some images of the standing water as the ground is unable to absorb anymore.
Hardest hit has been the 3rd, 6th and 7th. Where there is no standing water the ground is very boggy in to the extent where you would just sink.
Once we finally get a few days without rain we are hopeful the course will quickly become playable thanks to the years of investment in drainage by previous committee and Directors.
In the mean time we thank you for you patience and consideration of the extreme conditions we are experiencing.
Hopefully you will have noticed the work done around the Practice green to the side of the 10th hole. This has been done due to the deterioration of this green. The green has always been treated in exactly the same manner as the greens on the course. However to to the enclosing tree canopy creating a lack of light and air movement the green has developed what is known as black layer. This essentially means the green holds too much moisture and is more susceptable to desease. The putting surface becomes soft and the grass plant weakens.
In removing much of the wooded area between the green and 11th tee we have significantly improved the light and airflow to help minimise the issue once we have tkaen remedial action on the green itself. To protect the grass plant for the time being we are cutting the green at apron height. We will also be doing significant aeration and dressing of the green to combat the layering and surface moisture. However all these actions will take a while to recover from at this time of year so although you are still able to pitch to the green, please don't expect the facility to be back to full use until the summer.
We are currently cutting at 3mm daily and rolling 3-5 times per week depending on the weather conditions. More frequent rolling is creating smoother truer playing qualities with the added bonus of slightly quicker green speeds. The greens are averaging around 9.5 feet from rolling 3 times per week. If we roll 5 times per week then they start to push 10.5 feet on the stimp meter.
Disease pressure is currently low due to the fairly mild and dry weather we have had with the added bonus of good soil moisture content. Mother Nature has been kind for the most part this year, encouraging fairly stress free growing conditions resulting in a considerably reduced outbreak of anthracnose.
We have had excellent germination rates from the bent over seeding that was carried out during course maintenance.
Course maintenance 2020
Year on year our greens just start performing well at the end of June / early July due to them finishing the cycle of the annual meadow grass seeding. Therefore, we have a month of good quality greens before we start doing our necessary renovation work. As we all know this is an upset to a lot of our members.
We have decided to trial doing the greens renovation works towards the back end of June. The greens will have finished seeding which will not encourage more annual meadow grass into the playing surfaces. However, we will still have the soil temperatures to aid recovery.
The original thoughts have always been to push maintenance back in the year but then you are running the risk of lower soil temperatures resulting in poor germination creating sub standard greens throughout most of the winter months. This in its self would encourage higher disease pressure as the poor sward density would struggle to cope with the amount of play that our dry course receives during the winter months.
I haven’t been overly pleased with our previous supplier’s products over the past few months. We have recently trialled a new fertiliser supplier which has lead to promising results. After an application with the new consolidate plus the influx in top growth is considerably less than with our previous products whilst still giving the valuable nutrients to the grass plant.
The weeds in the bunkers are an ongoing struggle to keep on top of. We have previously been pulling them out by hand. However, the problem with this is if you don’t get the whole root out they start to grow back straight away. We have trialled spraying glysophate in hope for better long term results. The down side to controlling weed invasion with glysophate is that you have to wait until the weed is established, apply the chemical and then leave it on the leaf for 5-7 days for it to take effect.
This winter we will be heavily prioritising the lining of all of the remaining bunkers with perma soil. This should help considerably reduce stone and weed contamination for next year’s playing season but will take up a considerable amount of our time resources
- We aim to line all remaining bunkers on the course with perma soil.
- Remove 10% of gorse across the course
- Winter mat maintenance (autumn)
- Nigel walker will carry out his medium tree felling course
- Matthew Haynes will be taking his tractor mounted boom spraying course
- Leaf and debris collection
- Dredge the dykes
- Flail the hedges
- Path maintenance
- Heather management
- Machinery service and re grind
- General pruning
- Hollow core tees and aprons (autumn)
- Over seed green surrounds and any sparse areas (autumn / early winter)
- re shape all closely mown areas where appropriate
- lay astro turf around the bases of the new tee signage
- sprinkler head maintenance
After fairly poor results this year from primo max I have decided to only use a growth regulator on the greens next year. This will be a saving of approximately £4500 in chemicals and contractors. I also believe this will help the course aesthetically due to aprons, tees and fairways getting cut an extra time per week. With this being a greater work load some of the money saved could be used as paid over time throughout the heavy growing periods if required.
We have sourced free of charge the 120 tonne of blue clay required to attempt a relining of the 10th pond. This will be delivered in the next couple of weeks and a contractor will be used to carry out the work as this is a skilled task we are unable to complete in house.
Thanks for reading
|File Name||File Size||Upload Date|
|2019 STRI Report.pdf||922.67 kB||09 Jul 2019 12:11:51|
|STRI Report 2018.pdf||688.39 kB||18 Sep 2018 09:41:01|
|2018 Pre-season STRI Report.pdf||696.46 kB||09 Apr 2018 08:05:53|
|Frost Policy.pdf||419.85 kB||21 Dec 2017 15:38:42|
|R&A Guidance on Course Set Up.pdf||314.95 kB||23 May 2017 13:32:47|
|Course Survey Results.pdf||117.92 kB||23 Jan 2017 10:05:05|
|Course Survey Summary.pdf||307.03 kB||23 Jan 2017 10:04:45|
Estimated golfing daylight time for today: 7:44am to 4:43pm