Early report this week. The team are down to weekend hours Good Friday and Easter Monday i.e. just 2 men in in the morning to ready the course.
Although we've had a dry week the ground remains soft; without growth we need evaporation, which is stymied by the heavy dews. The greens are very prone to pitchmarks: please look around and try to repair any you find! At this time of year, when the greens are not really growing, marks take much longer to heal. On the tees a mixture of flattened worm casts and infill to (last year’s) divots makes them look badly marked: they will continue to do so until the grass is appreciably back into growth - which is unlikely in the short term, looking at forecast temperatures.
It’s been mainly mowing this week. The fairway mowers are now set at 14 mm, normal summer height. The greens have been lightly fertilised - they need a tonic but we don’t want them rampant - with some iron in the mix to upset the moss. The brand new mower was rolled out this morning, set at 4 mm (again, summer normal height), but immediately developed a diesel leak and returned to base. The problem was diagnosed by the supplier as due to a faulty set-up at the factory. Too late in the day to get back out, but the greens will be cut on Friday, assuming there is no frost. We can’t cut when frost is on the ground - crushing the frozen grass turns it black. Inevitably the greens are running slow although they are rolling quite well despite not being ironed; they are still too soft for that. Patience, please - we always have a slow start to the season because of the high proportion of fine grasses on the greens.
Gavin has set up the experimental wide gravel-bander, and is planning to try it on the 12th over the stream. He will need to find the main drains that give out into the stream and open them up to intersect with the bands. He is anxious to get on with this - the ground is drying out fast and could become too hard for the bander. Goldilocks again! The hole will need to be closed while the work is going on, unfortunately: there is no alternative if we are to make progress.
Finally, we have welcomed Harlie Stokes to the team. He hails from Northwich and was previously working at Knutsford G.C.