It’s not often you will hear a greenkeeper in Scotland say this, but we really do need rain. The last 4 weeks of hot and sunny weather have been fantastic for all us golfers, but have been harsh on our golf courses. We don’t have an irrigation system on the Keir course, so we’ve been manually watering the greens and tees twice daily with the Bouser. Typically, and somewhat comically, the irrigation system on the Cawder course has all but packed in and we await the delivery of replacement parts to get it working at 100% again. This has meant the greens staff have been working tirelessly to water and feed the courses with nutrients to stop the grasses from dying. With shift patterns starting at midnight, 4AM and then 6.30PM, I would like to praise the hard work that our greens staff are putting in at the moment.
The Keir course greens are suffering particularly badly during this hot spell. This is due to how they are constructed. We would normally be cutting at 3mm at this time of year, but we’ve had to raise this to 4mm to try and protect the weaker grasses that make up our surfaces. The different types of grasses will grow at different speeds, and thus we will encounter patchy and bumpy greens. We are feeding them with different nutrients to help with the dry conditions, but they are under a lot of stress without regular moisture and abnormal heat. Our view is that we need to protect our fragile greens at this time to allow them to thrive when the moisture returns. The last thing that we want to do is increase the risk of the grass dying completely.
Bunkers – There have been negative comments about the quality of our bunkers of late. We are trying to tackle the problems and they are raked by the greens staff 3 times per week. However, there are measures that we can take as members to improve the condition of the bunkers for everyone. Please take a minute to watch the video in the Cawder FB on the correct way to rake a bunker. Every little thing we can do on the golf course can help the playing experience of fellow members and visitors.
We acknowledge that the courses are not in the shape that we are used to seeing at this time of year. We can only ask for your patience and hope you can all do a rain dance in your spare time to try and help.
Cawder and Keir Course Conditions
• Greens height of cut has been increased to 4mm to protect weakened grasses due to dry conditions.
• Applications of liquid fertiliser and nutrients will continue to be applied as required, during this dry spell all nutrients will be applied as a liquid through our powered sprayer
• Tees and surrounds height of cut is now 9mm.
• Tees are being re-seeded fortnightly.
• Fairway height of cut is 13mm.
• All G.U.R areas damaged by winter flooding continue to be levelled off with top soil and reseeded, to help encourage the germination process.
• Rough is cut at a height of 40mm.
We took delivery of a new Rough mower, which will complement the existing mower and allow us to have the rough better presented and cut down on the time it takes to cut the rough on both courses.
We lost another member of the greens staff in June, but we have replaced them. The temporary staff taken on summer contracts have not lasted the pace. We are in the recruitment process to try and replace them to give us extra help from July to September. If you know of anyone who may be interested in working with the team then please get in contact with myself or Ian.