Coombe Wood Golf Club

Greenkeepers Blog

October 2023

It’s been a while since the last newsletter, a lot has been going on. As I type this, we are in the midst of a very unusual October heat wave. I personally like the autumn shine and playing golf during an Indian summer reminds me of my childhood, it has though brought its challenges, and this warm spell will soon be coming to an end.

The ground is very hard and dry and the conditions have slowed down the recovery of the fairways and reduced the window with which to overseed them. We have started the process though and the rain forecast this week will be utilised with the sprayer going out with some wetting agent and some soil goodies, seaweed, phosphorus and humic acids, all of which will help to retain the moisture for when we overseed, which will be within the next week or so. After the seed and the moisture retention, we will be able to get the sprayer out again to apply a soluble fertiliser and once we start to see some more moisture, we will be able to give the fairways on the upper section a real boost with a granular application. Both the wetting agent mix and the soluble fertiliser will be applied to all the fairways.

We have carried out some maintenance work on the tees this week and two-thirds of them have been solid tined and dressed with a zeolite and rootzone, these were all over seeded heavily watered and fertilised. The remaining tees (5 holes) will be hollow-cored and dressed with a zeolite and sand next week along with all of the approaches on the lower holes and the four approaches with irrigation on the upper section. There are five approaches on the upper section that at the moment are just too dry to carry out any maintenance on, having already tried to tine and overseed
the 9th approach we felt it best to wait until there is more moisture in the soil to continue. The maintenance carried out so far on the 9th has highlighted the extent of the work that’s going to be required to change the drier approaches 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th on the upper holes, this will be something that will be factored into our maintenance schedule in the future. The club have invested, in a new sarel roller for the tractor-mounted spiker and that will greatly help with this process.

The fine weather we had during September meant that the drainage works were completed ahead of schedule and all the work carried out went very well. We have been busy seeding and levelling the drainage lines, a seemingly never-ending task that will be ongoing throughout the winter. Please be patient with this process as its quite time-consuming and in effect hard for us to carry out without being somewhat in the way. You may have noticed that due to the positioning of some of the drainage lines we have been able to fill in 4 ditches across the golf course. Two of these are located on the 13th, one on the 15th beneath the willow tree just past the main ditch you must cross with your tee shot. The last-ditch is again beneath the willow tree that runs between the 16th and the 17th. All four ditches are white-lined as GUR.

Due to the drainage works we have been busy clearing and freeing up the flow on the main ditches. The ditch that runs alongside the 13th hole now has two large sections of the golf course draining into it. The evidence of the increased flow was very apparent after the drainage work was completed a few weeks ago closely followed by a week of torrential rainfall. We found that the three main pinch points we removed had a significant impact, and the build-up of debris at the end of the ditch highlighted this. We still have plenty of work to do. We will eventually get to
clearing the dreaded ditch that runs across the 16th from the school, at present this ditch is flowing and the drainage outlets into this ditch are able to flow. The task of clearing the ditches is very time-consuming, but one that is vital to the success of the drainage works. The better the ditches flow the quicker the site will drain.

Richard Hill

Head Greenkeeper

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