We have a fantastic team of greens staff at Moor Allerton Golf Club, headed up by Adam Matthews. Here’s his latest Moor Allerton Golf Club Greens News.
Since my last report the greens have recovered extremely well and I am happy with how they are responding to the renovation work carried out in September. We have backed that work up since with two lighter top dressings, and an introduction of hand mowing, thus reducing the amount of traffic on the greens from ride on machinery. This allows an even and more consistent weight pressure across the green, helping us to produce and keep a truer putting surface. I’m a big lover of hand cutting, and if staffing levels allowed would do it all year round. However as the greens become more stable and firmer, they will cope better with the triple mowers
The increase in firmness is due to the increase in aerobic activity within the soil, and that pour space been backfilled with sand. They are now draining, and providing air in order to strengthen the roots. It is very important that we now keep that cycle going.
To help this, while also trying to let you enjoy a good standard putting surface as long into the winter as possible we have contracted in the use of an ‘Air2G2’ machine. For those who missed out by not looking up this machine online in my last report its a deep aerating machine that blasts air into the sub soil and fractures the surface from within, with very little if any playing disruption. This will be the first time the club has used the Air2G2, and it is a machine i am hoping we can purchase in the very near future.
This deep fracturing will provide vital air space and help to break down any stagnant black layers within the sub base. Im hoping that this will delay us from having to solid tine the greens for another few weeks.
Another positive outcome from the renovation that isn’t as noticeable to the golfer is the increased natural disease resistance. We have come out of a very high pressure disease period over the last few weeks untouched and without having to apply a fungicide.
We will be continuing our liquid feeding programme for the time being, mainly focusing on slight grass colour enhancement and winter turf hardening.
Autumn Work / Winter Preperation
You will have noticed a few changes to the way the course is set up for the autumn.
- The majority of the fairways have been block cut (Half/Half). This is purely to reduce turning in the semi rough during damper conditions as you would when when striping, and to reduce cutting time. We will do the same on 1/10. 19 & 27 next week.
- The rough height has been lowered to 2″ to help playability and has all now been cut. We will aim for 1 more full cut to tidy it up if conditions allow before it is left for the winter. This will also help us as when verti draining to get to full depth.
- The white and blue tees have been removed and the tee’s have also been block cut for the same reasons as the fairways.
- All wet areas have now been verti drained and we will monitor them. We will now start to Verti Drain the fairways and all other areas that we can.
- We have started to edge back all the paths on the golf course and most importantly the path down the driving range, which was very untidy and unsafe.
- 18th Approach – The approach shot from the right side of the fairway on the 18th hole was completely blinded by the overgrowth on the banking. We decided this needed to be opened back up, and the team spent 2 days removing trees, deadwood and brash. The banking is safe, but please be very careful and do not retrieve balls from the area beyond the ropes. We will be installing a safety barrier in the near future to highlight the slope.
Machinery & Ongoing Work
It’s no secret that we are at stage in which a lot of our machinery is coming to the end of its life, or its working value. Over the last 6 weeks we have trialled a number of new peices of kit. I think its very important that the lads who are actually using it day in day out get to try and test everything that is available, in order to find what machinery is the best for us and Moor Allerton Golf Club. One of the biggest areas that i identified was in need of change when i took over was the grinding and sharpening of our cutting units. Many clubs outsource this work at a huge cost, as it is deemed a time consuming operation. Due to the cost they will tend to only send the major cutting units for sharpening, and get by as they are with others. I invited Bernhard Grinders (a company who sell grinding equipment) to come in and demonstrate to the team and the club the equipment available to have in house, and also how effective and efficient it is to use. During the demonstration they kindly ground 10 units for us, and the results as expected were fantastic.
The cutting cycle is finally starting to slow down, and I’m hoping now we’ll be able to get started on a lot of the winter work we have planned. Its a hugely challenging time for myself and the team. We tend to avoid long holiday periods through the summer as obviously that is our busiest time, and with a team as small as ours Liue hours are built up very quickly. Those hours are now been taken and we are running our winter weekend rota. I would personally like that thank the team again for all the hard work and extra hours they have put in since I took over, the reviews and comments we are receiving not only on the greens but about the course in general are testament to that commitment and desire to improve.
As we enter the winter period I would just like to kindly remind everyone to please take extra care out on the course. If you can please restrict trolley access where possible around the greens and approaches we would really appreciate it. The longer we can live without cattle herding traffic management systems the better!
Enjoy the golf course this winter!