Saturday, 24 January 2015

Tree planting

The scene on thursday wasn't much different from on Monday on the top of the course. This is the 3rd hole, and like most of the top 6 holes are north facing and see little sun throughout winter. The cold temperatures and low light levels mean it is always very slow to recover following snow. 
The 4th. 
Friday was a little warmer and we did see some thaw to longer areas of grass. However the greens were still covered in snow and frozen solid beneath. Even when the snow does thaw it will be some time before we see full play on the greens. 
Friday morning on the 6th. 
Lower down on the course the snow was less and work could continue. 
We made the most of the excavator before it went back by digging out a small drain on the 15th fairway where we had a wet spot. This will be finished off next week then turfed when we order another load of turf for the new ditch. 
We also started planting the 25 trees on the 10th, 16th, 18/19 and end of the range

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

First taste of a real winter

Sunday night brought around 2 inches of snow, which came in a short time followed by freezing conditions. This is the first taste of a real winter this year and brought the first days closure since February 2014. The fore cast this week is to remain cold so the snow will be slow to melt. 
This morning there was not much change from yesterday ( pictured above )
Just a little more grass peeping through but the course certainly along way off being playable. This hasn't stopped us getting on with maintenance tasks inside and out.
The drains in the 10th bunker have been finished off, fallen trees from the high winds have been cleared away, fences repaired, machine maintenance continued and holes for trees are still being dug. 
A total of 45 6ft trees will have been planted this winter with more whip trees to go in around the new 20th tee area.
Whilst the course is closed we are giving away free range balls to give golfers the chance to practice if they want. 
Please note the car park will be repaired   tomorrow. Filling in potholes and repairing the pull ins down the lane.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wind = damage

More strong winds brought down a further couple of trees and a lot of debris and broken branches. This time a leylandii tree near the 16th tee / 27th green was brought down, cleared away once the winds had eased. This area along with several others are going to be planted up with pine and silver birch. These are being delivered next week, all the trees have been marked out today. 
This morning we had a light snow shower which settled for around an hour but wasn't enough to stop play.
We have been installing the drainage into the 10 bunker which is the last job before the sand is added before spring.
This is connected to the main fairway drain which runs to the 10 th ditch.
The 12th bunker has now been turfed again with just the sand to be added. 
Today Ian Levelle from Symbio took soil samples to asses weather the aeration and nutrition programme we current use is working. We both thought the greens were looking good for the time of year and the profile was looking healthy on the majority of greens.
Machinery maintenance continues at pace with 13 units ground so far.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy new year

A happy new year to all, back to work and a chance to makes strides into our winter work both on and off the course. Firstly a look back at last year, although a lot of the country experienced high amounts of rainfall right through the year causing flooding and course closures, at Malton and Norton Golf Club we broke our own records. Last year we were only closed 3 days for the entire year, 3 days of full closure, there were times when the course was opened later and times when heavy rain brought unplayable conditions prematurely. However other years days closed are recorded exactly the same way. This was due to serveral reasons some luck and fortune out of our control, some down to the hard work and effort of the staff.
The start of the year was very mild which brought no snow and good playable conditions. We also missed the majority of rain in our region throughout the year. Some areas of the country received record amounts, in some places 10% more than in 2012. Which is staggering seen as that year we received 55% more than average. In 2014 we had just over 700mm which is just over our average figure. 
The hard work of the staff installing drainage and keeping the course going in the poorest conditions is testament of effort they put in. 
Now onto this year, we have continued where we left off before Christmas cutting greens and keeping the course in a tidy condition given the current cold conditions. The hard frost certainly have taken there toll on high traffic areas of the course. Recovery will be slow this time of the year and full recovery won't be seen until spring when areas are fertilised. 
Holes are moved regularly to spread wear around the green. Here's how we do it. 
First the new position is selected and hole cut using a hole cutter. This takes out a plug of soil. 
This is then placed into the old hole after the plastic cup is removed. 
The hole is then trimmed to remove any lateral growth. 
The cup then placed back into the new hole and set using a cup setter. This ensures the hole is the right size and the cup is the correct depth. 
Finished hole ready for play. 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas

As Christmas approaches the team have been tidying up and finishing any projects that need finishing before the Christmas break. The 12 th has been finished off, the bunker shaped and a drain installed, 3 open drains put in at the side of the 12th green where low spots were identified and the whole are topdressed to help blend in all new works. 

The area will be topdress regularly throughout winter to ensure the turf, especially on the green, blends in well and is put table for the start of the new season.
The course has been in reasonable good condition throughout this winter so far and a credit to the team. Overall this year a fantastic effort from the team and they deserve all the praise for there continued hard work with limited time. From all the greenkeeping staff have a merry Christmas and a happy new year and I will be back in 2015 with more blogging updates.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Bunker on 12

This week we are trying to finish on the 12 hole and get all tidied up before Christmas. The bunker has been dug and drainage is being installed and connected to the drainage system. On the back of the bunker we created a lip and contoured the soil to take run off water into an open drain. This has been turfed using turf from where the bunker has been dug. 
The bunker will be turfed in the new year and sand put in before the start of the season.
The good news is after some heavy rain we got last week the green drained fairly quickly after initially puddling. Work is to be continued throughout the year on this green to ensure water can drain freely into the drains.
We are also ensuring ditches are cleared so water can run freely once drained from the playing areas.
Water running from the new drainage.
We had some strong winds last week which caused slight damage, a willow tree on the path from 7 to 8 seeing the worst damage.
Debris clearance has continued in to this week, then the greens have been cut and  a slow release granular iron has been applied.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Finishing drainage on the 12th

As the weather turns colder, windy and wetter we are nearing completion of the drainage work on the 12th. All drains have now been dug and the majority filled back in. 
A total of 270m of drainage has been installed and should ensure the area around the 12th green is drier and the turf on the green is healthier. The drains will be top dressed regularly to blend them in with the surrounding turf. The last job on the 12th this winter is to dig out the green side bunker.
The turf has been stripped and reused to create the mound behind the bunker and the lip around the back edge. The bunker won't be too deep as the green is raised up already. When dug drainage will be added.
This week we had Eric Bell, a member of the club in to help us refelt the 2nd shelter shed and tidy out all of the other ones on the course. He also has been tidying up around the clubhouse and cleaning out some of the drains.
A great job, we appriciate his time to help do the smaller tasks.

About Me

Im the Head Greenkeeper at Malton and Norton Golf Club. I began my greenkeeping career at Malton and Norton Golf Club straight from school as an Assistant Greenkeeper. Wanting to climb the greenkeeping ladder I gained my NVQ level 2 and 3 at Askham Bryan College. I continued with my education gaining a HNC in golf course management and took the position of Deputy Head Greenkeeper at Malton and Norton Golf Club in 2005.In 2008 I was promoted to the position of Head Greenkeeper, leading a team of 6 hard working and dedicated Greenkeepers. Our aim is to continue to improve the condition of the course year on year maintaining our high reputation within the area.