Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Rolling back the years!

Just a quick follow on from my last blog. I wanted to look at how we set up for a tournament and some of the jobs done over the club championship weekend and also what you can expect to see during the Pro am/ invitation weekend. 

Above is a picture of the greens iron we had on demo from Toro. We were lucky enough to get this over the club championship weekend and for a few days either side ;-) 
Greens irons are now a modern 'must have' machine for all greenkeepers. The iron simply vibrates across the green making it smoother and normally slightly faster (remember speed isn't everything...smoothness is). 
The downside is this can aid compaction but as long as you carry out the correct cultural practices (aeration) following lots of use this stress is very little. So planning its use and not over using it is the key to its success! 
Research has shown that rolling three times a week increases smoothness and speed without having to lower the heights of cut on the greens. Meaning the plant is less stressed. 
The Americans are also adamant that the use of greens irons decrease disease out breaks on the greens and also means they don't need to be cut every day during the summer with no effect to the performance for the player (and yes we cut everyday in the summer, sometimes two/ three times a day). 

We also had some specialist help on our putting green. Thanks Jayne! (Jayne done every job in the club that weekend:-  admin, assistant manager, reception, tournament support, chef, bar, greenkeeper and I m sure I even saw her in the pro shop swinging better than the pros :-) 

We cut the greens eight times from the Thursday to the Sunday morning (that's 32 man hours just cutting the greens).

The greenstaff worked spilt shifts. This meant morning prep with briefings taking place before 5am and then back in again the afternoon working onto after 8pm. These long days aren't sustainable all the time but the guys really pulled together and acted very professionally to deliver a course the members deserved. Above the tees are getting cut in the evening. 

Other works during these split shifts included testing the greens with the moisture probes and hand watering to get the greens as consistent as possible (this is something we are now trying to do). 

Other detail working including divotting (both tees and worn areas on Aprons)

Strimming the longer roughs on the green banks to make them more presentable but still giving the player something to think about. It also meant shots over hit would run off the back of the green further (said in an evil villain voice!). 

 Pin positions were set and moved daily. We used our new pin chart app too along with new flags, pins and hole cups.

The ropes around the new ditch at the 17th were removed (GUR is still in place at the moment but the area needs to walked on) 

Greens performance data was collected daily (blogs on this to come) but also once set up in the mornings the guys wanted to test the greens themselves! 
(He missed...)

Another task undertaken daily and was throughout the Championship weekend was the course set up (a blog on this too). 

More to come soon

Happy golfing 


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