Scenes from the Greens

A greenkeeping blog from Cams Hall

Stay up to date with everything happening in and around the course during the 2022 golf season with our greenkeeper’s blog! We’ll be sharing news of upcoming projects, new team members and member notices to enhance your golf game.

June 2022

Both courses are starting to take shape with good definition across all playing surfaces. The greens have a good coverage of grass, so my focus on these will now be to increase the speed on them. This process does not only include lowering the height of the cut, as there are other factors which can influence this: Verti cutting is lateral cutting which in turn can thin the sward and produce faster and smoother greens and a light top dressing can also influence the speed of the greens, by helping to smooth out any small imperfections. A reduction in irrigation water enables the surface of the greens to dry out, which duly reduces friction and moisture in the sub soils, thus creating faster smoother greens. Following this, by using a turfing iron we can compact the soil and the top surface to create truer greens. These are the operations that myself and my team will be carrying out in the lead up to our Club Championships, with the aim to have the greens stimping at approximately 10ft.

Tees and approaches

Our tees and approaches are holding up well in terms of grass coverage, which is partly down to all the irrigation repairs that are continually ongoing - given our limited water availability, it is vital that we import the water only to where it is needed. Fairways are also in good condition with an increased height of cut to 19mm and regular light feeding to help keep them as green as possible.

Member Notices

Something I would like the membership to help my team and I with is the repairing of pitch marks and raking of bunkers after use. It takes a staggering 30 hours in total to rake the bunkers on both courses, and there have been many occasions recently where all this hard work has been undone within a matter of just a few hours. We have had some heavy downpours of rain lately and this can make the greens softer, thus increasing your chances of leaving a pitch mark, so please be aware of this and repair / rake accordingly.

I will soon be introducing some directional signage around our green complexes requesting that buggies not be driven too close to the aprons; this will help to keep these areas in better condition for you all to enjoy!

May 2022

Course Maintenance

We have just successfully completed our course maintenance which consisted of a 16mm solid tine followed by 90 tonnes of sand across both courses, and this will help to provide smooth firm greens for the playing season ahead. The greens have had a healthy coverage of grass this year and we have been disease-free all winter, which is a massive achievement as it will provide us with smooth firm greens as we move into the summer months. We are now at our summer height of 3.5mm, which is a drop of 1.5 mm in height; this decrease will enable the greens to speed up and run true. Our final drop in height will be 3mm three weeks before the Club Championship; we will then be focusing on greens speed using the roller more and then applying various chemicals to achieve this.

The project work that we committed to this year has now been completed, and I trust you will agree that my team has done a very professional job on all the works undertaken. The new range looks great, and we have lowered the height of the first 100 yards and introduced striping to the front part of the landing area, which I personally think has given it a more professional appearance.

After the winter months the course is really springing back into life and we are starting to see some excellent definition; all tees and approaches have been tined and fertilized which will duly aid and promote growth. Last month we fed and sprayed all the long rough, fairways, tees, and approaches for weeds, so this should ensure they are all in great condition as we move into the main playing season.

Bunker Renovation Project

The recent news regarding our planned bunker renovation work is incredibly exciting and following a recent visit to Nizels Golf & Country Club, I am pleased to report that having had their bunkers refurbished recently, their Course Manager was raving about the workmanship of the contractors. Our planned works, under the guidance of renowned golf course architect Jonathan Gaunt, will include relining of the bunker bases to stop stone contamination, re-shaping as required and the installation of drainage to ensure the newly refurbished bunkers remain puddle free.

Team News

We're delighted to welcome Robert as the newest member of the greenkeeping team joining us on a permanent, full-time basis. Robert lives locally in Portchester, so luckily only has a very short commute to work! He is an avid golfer who has been playing for around twenty years and currently plays off 18. I trust over the coming weeks you’ll join us in making him feel really welcome.

I would like to wish everyone a great golfing season ahead.

Peter Varlow, Course Manager