Storm Agnes turned out to be a damp squib. We only measured a couple of millimetres of rain on Wednesday and a total of 3 mm Monday to Friday. The winds were nothing to write home about either. Nevertheless, Russ took the flag down as a precaution - we’ve had adventures with the flagpole in previous storms.
This has been the Autumn greens week (there is a Spring one as well), which started with hollow-tining and scarifying. Trailer loads of cores and dead organic material were removed from each green. They were then dressed in two applications, with 50 tonnes in total being spread. The weekend’s rain will wash it down into the tine holes. Later in the year we will send soil samples for analysis, looking for a significant reduction in organic content. The results will influence Gavin's plans for next year.
Once the greens settle, they will be vertidrained to loosen the root zone and restore drainage: when they are not compacted the USGA standard greens drain freely. Gavin will also do the same to the greens surrounds and approaches. Although these areas do not have the same foundation the loosening does benefit the turf.
Elsewhere it’s been mowing. Growth in most areas has started to slow down, except perhaps in the rough.
The greens speed average for the season ended up at 9’ 6”, by an inch, the fastest recorded since we started taking these readings 14 years ago. The fastest weekly reading was 10’ 6”, the slowest 8’ 3”, back in May. Most significantly, there were only 4 weeks when the speed fell below our target of 9’, all in May, when our fine grasses are not yet growing steadily. There seems to be no single factor that influences the speeds - the major one is rain/humidity: the higher speeds always link to longer spells of hot dry weather. Since summer 2023 was fairly wet from July onwards we’ve done pretty well.
1st October 2023