Course open preferred lies no buggies (updated 19 March at 07:01)

Friday, 1st March

After an unseasonably warm few days to cap a very dry start to the year, we had half an inch of rain on Thursday.  Fortunately it was dry for Friday, enabling Gavin to slip in a greens maintenance week well ahead of normal - usually it would be at least a month later.  The greens were fertilised and sprayed for moss a week ago to give them a boost, and this week they have all been micro-hollow tined.  Hopefully this is the last time the cores will need to be collected by hand:  next time we will have a mechanical collector, saving at least 2 man days per treatment.

The greens were then verticut (scarified).  That’s what causes the close-spaced lines across the surface, where the knives penetrate the surface by a millimetre or so to rip out loose dead organic material.  A surprising amount comes out!

Today, Friday, they were dressed lightly - 20 te of dressing across all the greens - which was then brushed in to the tine holes.  Another 20 te will be applied next week, weather permitting.  Dressing firms up the greens, speeding them up - as does verticutting - and reduces the organic content in the root area.  Too much and we get soggy and unhealthy greens.

All of that has kept the team busy all week - no mowing has been done.  Apologies if the greens are a bit hairy, but it’s only the very beginning of March!