We’ve had 12 mm of rain this week, and some hot weather to match.  The warm dry days later in the week pushed the greens speed up to 9’ 9”, which brings the summer average (when we’ve been able to measure it) just up to the 9’ we aim for.  Given the rather unusual conditions that’s a very satisfactory result.

One of the performance indicators we look at regularly is the competition standard scratch (CSS) figures from our regular medal/Stablefords.  It’s notable that the CSS, which is derived from all of the actual competition scores in a complicated but credible way, is often higher than the assessed Standard Scratch, and rarely below.  It’s a crude measure but it suggests that the course is a reasonably stiff test.  We will quantify the data at the end of the season.

On the course it’s mainly been normal maintenance - mowing.  Greens have been sprayed to head off fusarium, which kicks off in mild humid conditions,  and another fungal disease, red thread, which is recognised by pink fibre-like patches on greens and fairways.  It is also an early indicator of low nitrogen levels, but here again is another example of the greenkeeper’s paradox - taking action to deal with one problem risks inviting another:  in this case, overfeeding leads to rampant greens growth which slows them down. 

 The flagpole is back up, even without Tony’s brawn.  He is still on the sick list - his infection is not really responding to a range of antibiotics.  He could be off for some time to come.  Gavin has just started a much-deserved 2 week break, leaving Callum in charge, a bit short-handed but determined not to phone Gavin!

Alan Wood