July Golf diary

By Jon Buddington

Woodland. Take note of any fuller tree branches, which may need autumn pruning to reduce weight and provide an unobstructed shot back into play. Check deer and rabbit guards on whips and saplings. Make a thorough check of general shrub and tree health and contact your local arboriculturists if required.

Semi rough. Reduce build up of clippings by cutting little and often with a rotary or flail. The rough will be bursting with natural flora and fauna at present. Next year why not add some more native flower species to the rough, there are many on the market, produced by national grass seed breeders.

Fairways. Divotting in dry weather is very important as there is little time to waste and that divot needs to knit back into place. Replace it, add a dressing of root zone, seed and then irrigate. An aeration programme, which will use rainfall as the watchword for action is the order of the month. When the ground is fit, aerate with solid, rather than slit tines to reduce chances of surface cracking. Height of cut should be about 15mm/25mm. I prefer the use of slow release, temperature released fertiliser on the fairway areas as after the application, it will work quietly away throughout the summer.

Tees. If at all possible, water to a good depth, only every two to three days and really give the tees a good soaking to wet the profile to a depth of 6ins. The grasses will root deeper and as a consequence produce healthier, more vigorous plants. As on the fairways, replace divots quickly after displacement and water. A summer feed may be necessary. Maintain the cutting height of around 15mm.

Greens. A continuous programme of verticutting, grooming, switching, aeration, cutting, feeding and irrigation must be undertaken during the summer months. Cutting height will vary between 3mm and 7mm dependent on area in UK, and current competitions. Red thread is widespread now, especially on red fescue and ryegrass, so if you have signs of this, a feed of nitrogen will be imminent. Irrigate every 2 to 3 days and again to a good depth in the profile.

Aprons. Cutting height of between 7mm and 15mm. Remember to verticut and groom to encourage upright growth. These areas could quite quickly become a temporary green, if maintained well. If not, they will be an embarrassment! Maintain as a green, just maintain a longer height of cut. Hand weed and fill holes with dressing and seed, irrigate as above.