Course Update – 18th April 2018

I would like to bring to members attention that we have commenced a Greens Improvement Programme this week following specific recommendations from our recently appointed Course Agronomist.

The specific recommendations included the following:-

  1. Apply Sulphate of Iron to improve the overall appearance of the green. Members will have noticed some “blackening” around the edges of greens in particular but this will disappear over the next few days as growth comes on.
  2. Hollow-core the greens with 12mm tines as an essential part of the annual maintenance programme. This process ensures decompaction of the greens and results in freer draining of greens firmer surfaces, and faster speeds. The timing of this is a little later than normal due to prevailing weather conditions but with current growth recovery the season long benefits of this programme will be appreciated for the coming months. It is planned to do 9 holes this week and a further 9 holes next week to minimise disruption. A full recovery should be evident within 10-14 days of the treatments.
  3. Over-seed the greens to introduce finer grasses to improve the quality of the sward. This to be done in conjunction with the Hollow-coring when temperatures reach 11-12 degrees.
  4. The 1st, 2nd and 16th greens were drained over the past 18 months and the recovery of these greens has been less than anticipated. In particular they have been susceptible to drying out in dry weather and disease when wet. It has been recommended that we apply a Zeolite treatment which will have the effect of increasing moisture balance and nutrient utilisation. Further top-dressing of these greens is also recommended to eliminate remaining areas of subsidence which is measured at around 5mm at worst. It is planned to eliminate these irregularities over the coming weeks.
  5. Fairways sanding has been a consistent programme for the past 4 years in Skerries Golf Club. This is an essential aspect of maintaining our drainage works and improving the overall profile of the fairways year round. This work is now scheduled for Thursday 3rd of May. Again this is later than we would normally want but due to weather and ground conditions our Sanding Contractor has been playing “catch-up” for the past few weeks due to inaccessible ground conditions throughout a large part of March and early April.
  6. Finally a word about “fusarium”. The Fusarium infestation that we experienced over the winter months has left a considerable amount of scarring on all greens. The new growth now being experienced will quickly allow for grow-in of these scars and along with the hollow-coring and over-seeding programme very significant improvement is expected over the next few weeks in relation to these scars. Moving forward a 4 weekly preventative treatment from early September through to March has been recommended. A Summer treatment programme is also in place to combat outbreaks are detected.

It has been a particularly rough Winter/early Spring for most golf courses in Ireland. Rainfall amounts, low temperatures, poor early growth and significant storm damage have all contributed to a slow start to the new season. However today certainly, Spring has finally sprung and we look forward to getting our course back into tip-top shape over the next few weeks.

Yours in golf

Terry O’Neill

Course convenor

19th April 2018

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