24/04/17 – 16/06/17
On the course
It has been a number of weeks since my last blog entry and a successful few weeks also. The greens have been consistently hitting our target green speed and performance levels were all in target range from the STRI, currently the greens are playing as consistent as I have ever seen them and the full STRI report echos this. Thatch levels wihtin our top 20mm have been reduced from 18% down to 7%, 5% is our target range. The course week on week in general, is improving. We have had one or two minor issues with our tees and fairway machinery which has meant that back up machinery has been used which naturally reduces optimum cut quality, but this is minimal and does not effect the overall playability and condition of the course.
The Orchids and wildflower this season has been fantastic and with the hot, dry spring, the meadow roughs are far thinner and lower than in previous years, they are however starting to thicken with the rainfall of two weeks ago and now this lovely heat. The course is holding up extremely well during this small heat wave and current conditions are exactly what I would like from Temple, a firm, fast, running game with each surface throughout the course border with fantastic tall meadow rough, the golf course has a real links feel at the moment. What has not coped so well is the turf around the new 5th and 7th greenside bunkers, the damaged turf has now been removed and replaced and will be allowed to establish during the next two weeks. The new tees at 9 and 17 have been in play for a number of weeks and are performing well, further dressings are required to adjust final levels but they are playing well.
Sand is currently being replaced in the 4th greenside bunkers to our new China Clay grey sand, this will be completed next week, our next greenside bunkers we will replace sand, will be the 14th, as these bunkers are our worst performing bunkers, on from the 14th, the 6th, 8th and 9th will follow.
Two exciting bits of news, firstly Temple Maintenance department welcomes our newest recruit, Jack Mott who has taken the position of Level 2 Apprentice, Jack is 18 and new to the industry and will be studying at BCA college. Secondly, I would like to congratulate Billy MacArthur on completing his NVQ Level 2 in Sport turf, Billy studied at Merrist Wood College on this 2 year course, he will now progress further to study his Horticultural Level 3 at BCA. Temple has a strong emphasis on education and training for its staff and both Billy and Jack are the first in a long line of successful employees who will gain there qualifications whilst at Temple Golf Club.
The fortnight ahead
The follow few weeks will bring further sand replacement in the 4th greenside and then onto the 14th greenside. The final two bunkers at the 7th greenside will be repaired with new turf. General course daily prep will continue. Our next maintenance practice is Monday 19th June and will consist of a solid tinning with a 12mm tine down to a depth of 6 inches, greens will receive a verticut and light dressing before aeration and then a heavy soak after.
The course and especially the greens and tees are continuing to improve and our current daily play course conditions is of an extremely high standard and that is down to the hard work from the Maintenance team as well as the support network within the clubhouse and committees.