Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Busy times

The next couple of weeks are incredibly busy. We have had a lot of play on the course with the recent good weather. We have a couple of big competitions approaching and a lot of work to do to prepare the course. Added to this the forecast is for rain over the weekend which will kick growth off adding to our cutting routine. Up to now growth has been quite poor given all the sunshine. This is due to lack of moisture and very cold nights. Over the weekend the course is steadily greening up, so this week we are concentrating our efforts on cutting some grass to ensure the course is presented nicely even though there is little growth. The semi rough is patchy as the winter wear is still evident, where golfer foot traffic is less the semi has grown a few inches. All the semi rough will be cut this week to reduce the patchy growth. We have also been cutting the driving range, tees, surrounds, copses, pathway edges, fairways and cutting and grooming all the greens. The greens at this time of the year get some lateral growth from bent grasses, this can lead to bobbly greens later in the day as the lateral growth gets spiked up by foot traffic. To control this we groom the greens with the groomers on the John Deere mowers. The groomers are set flush to the surface of the green, this ensures that lateral growth is lifted, cut and removed. The greens are then cut to take off any uneven grass and leave a smooth finish. They are being cut at 3.5mm actual height of cut, as the fertiliser we applied last week has started to take affect and growth is much dense than a couple of weeks ago. 
This week we are busy edging, checking and topping bunkers. The team are doing a great job. 
We have also been fixing an irrigation burst on the 23rd. Typically where a join is in the pipe, to fix this we had to drain the system cut out the damaged section and replace by gluing in a extendable joint.
We also have held the annal divot evening where we had over 40 attend. There help appreciated and we divoted1-18 fairways and a few tees.

Friday, 17 April 2015

National Club Golfer magazine article

In Aprils edition of National Club Golfer a article on the work we are doing at Malton and Norton Golf Club has been published. Mainly discussing drainage and the greens improvements we carried out during the first few years. If you are not able to read the article on this blog and want to copies will be availible to read in the clubhouse. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Changeable weekend

Last week we saw 19 degrees on fri, true t shirt weather. However the weekend brought cooler changeable conditions with rain and cooler conditions. To be honest the course needed a little moisture to start things growing a little more. The end of last week was very productive. We cut most of the course to tidy any uneven growth and improve presentation. Fairways, tees, greens, semi, and surrounds were cut and looking great for the time of year. Teesides and bankings will be cut this week. 
Preferred lies are now off. The grass tee on the range is open, however please play between the white markers only.
The practice facilities at Malton and Norton Golf Club are fantastic. We have a practice green of over 1000sqm and a range a great place to take out your anger ( should you have any ). Unfortunately for the rest of the members we have one member that did this on the 11green
It goes with out saying that this is not acceptable.
We have begun repairing the badger damage on the 5th with other areas continuing this week. Hopefully we will see recovery within a few weeks. 
With frosty mornings still a factor cutting is limited on the greens but as the month progresses they will be cut daily with the height of cut reducing slightly. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Warm but still slow growth

Unfortunately this isn't Malton and Norton Golf Club but I'm sure after the upcoming weekend a lot of golfers will have high expectations after watching arguably the ultimate of manacured courses and greens running at around 14 on the stimp. It goes to prove that anything is possible with unlimited man power machinery and resources. Even Augusta isn't in that condition all year. A lot of what you see on tv is 'fake'. Imported pine needles to cover areas under trees, plants in pots brought onto the course that are brought into flower for the week of the tournament and they will even regulate the water in the greens by using
a sub air system that vacuums water from the soil to keep speed and firmness. That doesn't detract from what is a fantastic course. 
At Malton and Norton we strive to give golfers the best conditions we can with the resources we have. 

Today we have scarified the greens for the first time this year. The growth is varied on the greens, the bent grasses are starting to grow but the poa is still dormant. This is mainly due to the cold night time temperatures. Day time temperatures have been around 15 all week however we have had a frost each morning. To get consistent growth soil temperatures need to rise above 4 degrees. To boost colour and aid some growth we have applied a granular fertiliser to all greens. 
We have also started to install irrigation pipe into the new 20th tee using left over pieces of pipe from a previous job. 
Preferred lies will be taken off on fri morning and the bunkers on 10th and 12th are now in play. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Easter bank hols

It had soon come round but when it does it gives us a lot to do. 2 short weeks back to back, warmer temperatures and a lot of golf to be played gives us a busy period. We have been trying to finish the new 20 th tee before growth explodes into action. 
Rich and alistair have been shaping and levelling to get it ready for turfing in a week or so. Now nearing completion the whole project is looking great and given time to recover and once definition of rough and fairways the new layout will be clear to see. 
We have finished the tree work in the copses. The stump grinder is coming on 14th April to remove these stumps plus any others left from winter damage. 
The carpark has been relined ready for the season. 
We have also finished verti draining all the tees
Ready for the long weekend we have done a full cut if the course and it's looking good for the time of year. There are a few areas which are worn from winter wear and a couple if softer greens from play in wet conditions. However as the weather improves these will dry out. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Micro tining

This week with dry conditions to start the week we are micro tining the greens. This is a process which creates minimal disturbance but greatly benefits the soil profile and in turn the health of the grass plants. The tines are 8mm diameter solid tines and go down to a depth of 125mm at 60mm x 50mm spacings. Once the greens are cut the surface is smooth as it was previously. The holes allow water and air in, harmful gases out, room for new roots to grow and should we topdress help intigrate sand into the surface. 

This process will be repeated in May.
Also we have tidied up any long areas of semi rough around the course. This is generally in areas with don't get traffic throughout winter. With not much growth else where there is little point in cutting any further areas. 
The final drainage project for this winter is underway. The area to the right of the 10th green and in front of the 13th tee has always been a wet spot so we are rectifying this with around 100m of new drainage. Should we have time another drain at the front of 15th green will be done however this isn't a priority.

Friday, 20 March 2015

First cut of spring

This week we have taken advantage of the dry conditions to get the course cut. Greens, surrounds, tees, fairways have been given a trim to tidy up any uneven growth which is typical for this time of the year. As soil temperatures rise and sunlight intensity increases growth overall will start to pick up. It also gives a little definition back after the winter months and bleached grass through cold weather. The fertiliser applications are kicking in, this week we have made the first liquid feed application to the greens. 
Spraying greens during a solar eclipse is a strange experience.
This week we have also been doing drainage work to the 14th fairway. A problematic wet spot has caused isses throughout winter so we have drained the area into an existing drain.

We have also levelled the top of the new 20th tee and brought in root zone to do the final capping layer before turfing in the next few weeks.

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.