This time last year we lost access to our greens firstly to snow cover and then to wet conditions. Since returning to work after the new year our main aim has been to keep the course open as often as possible and with the main greens in play. With only two days without rain so far this year this hasn’t been easy. On our first day back we sent the verti-drain out with 18mm solid tines to create channels 10inches deep to help drain the water away from the surface as well as aerating the subsoil. Normally we would follow this up with a roll, the weather had different ideas and we were hit with overnight rain which put pay to that. Since then the rain has continued to fall turning the whole course wet. With this in mind we decided to act and we sent both tractors out to aerate as much of the course as possible. Tee boxes, aprons, fairways and walkways are all being aerated with either a slit tine or solid tine and in some cases both.
After our fist day without rain we managed to hand cut the greens and I trialled a new toro machine which was much improved on our old machines. After our second day without rain and with no let up in forecasted rain we pulled a tractor off the course to micro tine the greens with a 6mm tine at a depth of 2.5inches. We do this to create even more holes to help drain the surface but it also leaves a smoother surface behind than the verti-drain. A small step towards happy golfers.
With all these holes in the greens we would normally be looking to integrate sand into the surface but with wet, warm conditions and the potential for snow fall meaning a risk of disease we decided to apply a sand dressing to the chipping green as a trail to see the outcome. The chipping green has shown early signs of the turf disease fusarium which tells us not to apply sand to the main greens at this time. We will continue to fight the elements and keep the course in the best shape possible, it is encouraging to see the greens drying up after a break from rain when in previous years it would have taken longer for them to bounce back.