Sunday, 1 March 2015

Ditch project coming to an end

The final 2 bridges were completed last week. Making a total of 5 bridges, all constructed 'in house' using reclaimed stone from off the course. Once built the backs were backfilled and turfed to contour into the surroundings. 
The remainder of bank sides were turfed also and root zoned where needed. Overall aesthetically the project has been a huge success. The team have worked on and off on the project since September last year and now complete is a great addition to the course set up. The other and more important advantage of the ditch is the increased drainage characteristic around the area. Noticed by a lot of members is the increased drain down time and drier surfaces. Hopefully other drainage ditches will be possible in the future. 
On other areas of the course we have made a start on some tree work. Concentrating on thinning some of the over crowded copses on 3, 5/6 and 12. Some other areas may be possible depending on time. 
We have also made an application of slow release soluable fertiliser to approaches, and all worn areas. This will be evident on the course when u see blue/ purple granules that will begin to smear when wet. This will release into the soil and be taken up by the grass plants when temperatures rise. 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Building bridges

Frosty days 
Last week saw the start of building the walls which make the ends of the crossing points on the new section of ditch from the range to the 17th. In total there are 5 walls to build. We are building them using washed stones from an old collapsed ditch wall behind the 12th. These are natural sandstones and will make the ditch a real natural feature in the years to come. 
3 walls down 2 more to go. Once finished turf will be used to finish the surface and continue to turf the ditch sides and then this winter project will be finished. 
Other areas turfed has been the wet poor  patch on the 15th fairway that has recently been drained 
Today we have started to slit tine fairways and start clearing some small pines out from the 3rd copse. Hedge cutting continues at the 13th tee. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Soil profiles

When moving holes it is a good opportunity to look at the hole plug that is removed to visually check the thatch layer, rooting, aeration holes, affects of topdressing and colour of the soil profile(which can show any black layer or other chemical build up), other things that can be checked whilst the plug is removed is a simple smell test, this can tell you weather the soil, root zone and thatch layer is aerobic or not. If the sample smells of rotten eggs this can mean it is anaerobic, lacking in oxygen. A sweet smelling plug is aerobic and healthy. A more serious problem in the soil is black layer. Black layer appears as a black, foul-smelling continuous or discontinuous subsurface layer in turf grass root zones. Chemically, black layer is a deposit of metal sulphides, which form when hydrogen sulphide gas reacts with metal elements in the soil. For hydrogen sulphide to be released, the root zone conditions must favour the growth of sulphur reducing bacteria, which requires water and soil organic matter.
The organic matter provides the food for the microbes, and water keeps the microbes hydrated. Soils must be relatively anaerobic (low in air) since these sulphur reducing bacteria do not survive very well in well aerated soils. The anaerobic conditions can be caused by numerous factors such as compaction, excessive irrigation, organic matter accumulation, thatch build up, sulphur application or movement of colloidal particles. Coupled with this, sulphur must be available within the soil. The growth of algae is favoured by wet soils. Algae can produce substances that interfere with the movement of water in sandy mixtures, consequently reducing water movement, causing an anaerobic soil. 
After the work we have done to the greens over the previous years we have limited problems and continuous but less disruptive aeration will keep the root zone healthy. There are a few green which still require more work but the majority improving year on year.

There is no doubt we have still work to do but we are certainly taking them in the right direction.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Trim and feed

Now ground conditions have dried somewhat we had taken the chance to get out on to the course to trim a few areas. Firstly the greens have been cut using the triple mowers at 4.5 mm, overall considering the bad weather conditions the previous few weeks look in reasonable shape. The cold weather stresses the grass, bleaching it yellow sometimes even white. When temperatures improve the colour will return. 

The 12th green which was drained in November was given it's first cut with the hand mower. It cut reasonably well with the odd area slightly low. We will continue to topdress the green to improve the levels further before the start of the new season.
Following cutting the greens were given an application of 2-0-10 plus slow release iron. This should stand them in good health as spring approaches. The tees were also given an application of 12- 4- 28 slow release fertiliser, again to help recovery and improve the surfaces come spring.

Monday, 16 February 2015

I'm back

I have been on paternity leave for the last couple of weeks after the birth of our son, so apologies for the lack of blog updates. Everything seems to have been ticking along nicely while u have been off thanks to Adam and the team. The snow has gone at last but not too warm. This week we are finishing off markers which are being painted and stained for the coming season. The machinery is still being maintained and progress has been good on cutting the hedges.
We are also starting to tidy areas with mowers to trim the small amount of growth on tees greens and surrounds. Bunkers will also be tidied and edges blown clear of sand splash. 
The new 16th tee has also had it's first cut. 

Friday, 30 January 2015


Over the last few days we have completed planting all of the new trees across holes 10-18. These are all staked so free relief can be taken should you find your self near one. On Thursday we had Gary Liversedge the tree surgeon at the club to carry out more tree pruning. Such pruning that can not be carried out by the green staff. Selected branches have been removed to allow play without unfair obstruction. A lot of the trees on the course are young and can easily be trimmed however mature trees need specialist attention. 
All debris cleared before a sharp snow shower around 2.00. Which unfortunately left the course unplayable. Thankfully with a little sunshine the course reopened Friday lunchtime with temporary greens in play. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Apprentice Greenkeeper Vacancy

At Malton and Norton Golf Club we have an exciting opportunity for an Apprentice Greenkeeper to join the team for the start of this year. Any one interested in applying please get in touch via the options on the official advert below.

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.