Sandra Reed on the 9th Hole with a 7 iron on 19th May 2021
18-HOLE COURSE – No preferred lies (26.4.21)
R & A : 20 Must Know Rules of Golf Changes for 2019 (www.randa.org)
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Greens Update 14th May
I have received some comments regarding the greens in the last few weeks so asked Tom Smart our Course Manager to tell us a little more about the growing cycle.
You can read his comprehensive explanation below.
Many of you may be wondering why in mid-May, the greens still aren’t quite up to their usual level of quality yet, be it slightly bumpy or with ‘patchy’ growth. Indeed, all areas on the course have seen very little growth up to this point, compared to a normal Spring.
The main overriding factor we have faced is an exceptionally cold Spring. The Met Office reported that the UK in April experienced the lowest average minimum temperature since 1922, with frosts most nights and a very cold Northerly wind. (Don’t forget, we had snow on the 12th April!)
Grass, like everything else in nature needs a certain minimum temperature for growth to occur. We use a model called ‘Growth degree days’ to measure the growth potential of the grass.
This works by taking the highest and lowest temperatures each day and using an equation to give the growth potential for each day accumulatively since the start of the year.
Generally speaking, the magic figure needed to see any real growth is 200 GDD, which in an average year is early April.
This year, due to the abnormally cold weather, we have only just reached that 200 GDD figure. This also explains why the majority of the trees on the course have only just come out in leaf, which is again, a good month later than normal.
Another important point to make is regarding the large variety of grass species on our greens.
Different grasses have different growth habits – some will initiate growth at lower temperatures than others, resulting in uneven growth and therefore an uneven coverage on the greens.
We do combat this problem as best we can by using a brush attachment (Picture Attached) on the front of the greens mowers which stands the grass up, giving a slightly better quality of cut. We will shortly be lowering the height of cut on the greens which will also improve performance.
The upshot is that we can water, fertilise and do everything else in our power to try to encourage grass growth, but unfortunately, if mother nature isn’t on our side, then there is little we can do.
We are now beginning to cut more regularly now the temperatures are on the way up and I fully expect the greens to improve considerably.