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June Golf Diary 2014

weather sunny

Expected weather for this month:

Generally unsettled first half to the month with around average temperatures

Belfry Brabazon18thIn June, most clubs should be up to speed with their daily maintenance regimes; greens, tees, fairways and bunker hazards should be at their best, both in a visual and performance perspective. 

As we move into the summer months and temperatures start to rise, we will need to be ensuring consistency across our putting surfaces. Reducing the cutting height and ensuring the cutting units are sharp should therefore be a priority.

Remember; do not bring the cutting heights down to more than a third of the total height of the plant at any one time. As the cutting units are to become used more regularly, the sharpness of the blade is of paramount importance to reduce the incidence of pressure from disease. If disease does occur, a judgement call will need to be made as to whether it will ‘grow out’ with good growing conditions, or the situation is not likely to improve.

Key Tasks for June
Maintenance

As cutting frequencies increase, alter cutting directions and patterns to reduce the amount of stress from turning circles and the problem of grass ‘napping’. Remember to make large turning circles where possible, or to make three-point turns.

Tees, fairways and surrounds will require heavy divoting as volumes of play start to increase. The warmer weather and sporadic showers should allow for quicker germination and establishment. Similarly, any bare areas should also be renovated to try and reduce potential levels of weed/poa invasion as we move through the growing season.

The increased temperatures and sunshine hours will, hopefully, bring with it increased volumes of play. Whilst pressures to produce the highest levels of playing surface will be high, with many competitions and social events occurring, remember the importance of little and often aeration and topdressing. During warmer, drier periods, do not use tines that will leave large holes (e.g. slit tines) as the ability of the hole to fully recover will be lessened in these conditions.

With expected drier weather, irrigation systems will begin to be used more often. Ensure that all pop-ups and central systems are in good working order. Cleaning the system and ensuring the sprinkler arcs are in the correct positions should be major objectives. Trimming around the pop-ups and valve boxes will aid presentation and increase the speed of work during busy morning periods. Try to use the pop-ups when the surfaces need moisture as this is better practice than applying water at set intervals or when there are few signs of stress.

Lastly, the subject of hole changing will start to become more important again as we move through the summer. Holes should now be in their summer positions, ensuring average players can hold the ball on the green, whilst still providing a putting challenge. Steer clear of uneven/banked areas, areas of high wear and with fairy rings for positioning and change positions at least once or twice a week, depending on volume of play.

Agronomy

As we head into June, the levels of grass growth should be at a peak for the year. This means a lot of mowing for greenkeepers, but more importantly a greater requirement for essential nutrients. Playing surfaces should be monitored closely for signs of nutrient stress, and, allied with soil sample results taken in the spring, fertiliser choices can be made to suit the conditions and type of grass/soil present. The increased growth rate will lead to accelerated thatch accumulation. Utilising the various ways of reducing this is of paramount importance to reduce the occurrence of disease and other problems further down the line.

Moisture management could also potentially be a key feature of the month. Many greenkeepers have invested in weather stations to inform of potential evapotranspiration rates within their sward. Remember not to let the soil dry out too much, but keep irrigation practices as natural as possible. Soaking the playing surface every few days is better than religiously watering at set schedules. Moisture meters are available to help you have a greater understanding of the situation beneath your putting surfaces.

Lastly, keep tabs on playing qualities (PQS) as well as aesthetic qualities within the sward. A whole host of factors could conspire to reduce either within the putting/playing surfaces. Monitoring them closely, and on a regular basis, will provide you with a better understanding of your course. Recording findings gives an ability to compare results from previous years. Checking practical elements such as consistency and height of cut using macroscopes and prisms will also provide insight during a busy period.

 

Weeds, Pests & Diseases

ALS Contract Spraying NissanWeed growth is very active during June, requiring the use of selective herbicides. These are more effective when the plant is actively promoting growth. Always follow manufacturers' guidelines.

Moles and rabbit damage repairs can be undertaken as and when required.

Keep an eye on fungal disease attack, and use approved fungicides to treat infected areas. Scarring of the playing surface is normally reduced as grass growth is usually dominant and vigorous in June, reducing the need to use fungicide treatments. However, there may be a need to apply a preventative fungicide treatment in the lead up to important competitions or matches.

Machinery & Materials

Machinery (Repairs & Maintenance)/ Daily:- Inspect and clean machinery after use, service and repair damaged machinery.

Materials/ Monthly:- Estimate and order seed, loams and fertilisers, fuels and other consumables.

Training

Pitchcare provide a range of courses suitable for golf courses. In most cases, the courses can be held on site using the club's own equipment and machinery.

Some of the courses available are:

Chainsaws - CS30 and CS31

H&S Refresher Training on Combined Turf Care Equipment; Tractors and Trailers; All Mowers (Ride-on and Pedestrian)

Machinery Courses on ATVs; Tractors: Brushcutters/Strimmers; Mowers (ride-on and Pedestrian)

Pesticide Application (PA courses)

Stem Injection of Invasive Species (Japanese Knotweed etc.)

Basic Trees Survey and Inspection

More details about all the courses can be found here, or you can email Chris Johnson for information.

Other Key Tasks
  • Amenity areas /Weekly:- Tidy up any flower and shrub borders around the club house and entrance.

  • Bunkers / Daily:- Inspect, weed and rake bunkers.

  • Course Inspection / Daily:- Inspect greens, tees, flags and hole positions for damage or vandalism.

  • Ponds, lakes and streams /Weekly:- Inspect all water features on course, cleaning out any unwanted debris and litter.

  • Seed bare and worn areas / When conditions allow:- Greens, Tees and Fairways. Over seeding of sparse or bare areas can be continued, the rise in temperature will help germination. Use germination sheets to aid this process but remove the sheets regularly to check for diseases. Remember that without good seed to soil contact the operation is useless. Ensure you use new seed as old material may not give you the required germination rates. Remember, bents and fescue grasses require higher soil temperatures for successful germination.

  • Tee boxes, pegs / As required:- All tee boxes, tee pegs and competition markers should be inspected daily, cleaned and moved to new positions as required.

  • Top dressing / As required:- Greens and Tees. Ensure you have enough top dressing material for any renovation works that may still be carried out in May.

  • Wetting agents / As required:- If wetting agents are being used, they are generally applied monthly throughout the season.

  • Woodland and conservation areas / As required:- High and strong winds can damage trees on golf courses. Inspect and repair or remove damaged trees. It is important to inspect trees regularly (heath & safety) to reduce the likelihood of a golfer being struck by tree debris.

  • Marking out / Weekly:- Mark out trolley areas, out of bound site areas and range markings.

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