Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Maintenance week Autumn 2017

Our Autumn maintenance week concluded 22/09/2017 and we were blessed with fine conditions, all scheduled  operations to greens and approaches have been successfully carried out by our dedicated green staff.

 A chemical application was made to greens two weeks prior to maintenance week. This application will kill the Rye grass, Yorkshire fog and weaken the coarse Bent grasses within our greens. The surface of the greens will yellow and patches of grass will die off, this is a normal reaction to the graminicide that has been applied.

Discolouring of coarse grasses
The greens are scarified in two directions at least 5mm below the surface using vertical cutting blades with tungsten tips. This will remove a proportion of organic matter from the thatch layer and rake through the dying coarse grasses.

Material removed through scarifying
Greens surface after scarification

This year we used two separate solid tine operations to aerate the greens. 8mm x 200mm tines and 6mm x 100mm tines punched small diameter holes into the soil profile at different depths. Aeration plays an important part in helping air and water move through the soil, air spaces between the soil particles will create gas exchanges to help break down thatch and provide space for root development.
200mm Verti-drain aeration
100mm Procore aeration
Again two different methods and seed were used to over-seed our greens. Shallow holes were made by a sorel roller in which 5Kg of  brown top bent seed was distributed per green. Fescue seed was inter-seeded behind the bent at 20g/m2. Persisting with this blend of grass species will provide us with the optimum putting surfaces year round.

Sorel rolling with bent seed
Inter-seeding with fescue seed
Greens, surrounds and approaches have all been sand-dressed and worked into the surface. In all around 60 tons of straight sand has been applied to the greens complex's to restore levels following the invasive work already carried out. Dressing not only aids us in the reinstatement of the surface but also dilutes thatch, improves water infiltration, firmness and trueness. Further light dressings will be applied as necessary.

Straight sand dressing
Working in dressings
All through these processes the greens complex's were cleared of debris, cut and ironed to ensure we could provide the best surfaces possible following the invasive procedures. The use of hole stabilizing rings will be used temporarily to aid the initial instability around the hole, these will not be used in qualifying competitions and will be removed completely following re-establishment of the surface. 

Hole stabilization
In addition to our normal routine maintenance work the surrounds and approaches of 10, 11 and 12 needed extra attention this year. Thatch and Rye grass infestation has become problematic leading to poor surfaces. The Rye grass had been sprayed prior to maintenance week then we set about removing as much thatch as possible by taking cores from the soil profile using a hollow tine. These cores were left to dry before being broken up with the scarifier, the thatch material removed through this process was blown to the sides and picked up. Straight fescue was inter-seeded and cyclone spread over the tine holes with 12 tons of sand dressing applied and further sand dressing scheduled to reinstate the surfaces.

Hollow tine
Cores on surface
Breaking up cores
Thatch material removed

Friday, 15 September 2017

Broad leaved grass control

An application of the selective graminicide Rescue has been made to all greens to aid in the control of Ryegrass and Yorkshire Fog grasses. Members will notice a yellowing and thinning of the turf where these grasses are most prominent. This application has been made to greens for a number of years prior to the September maintenance week, it is evident that these undesirable broad leaved grasses are declining in population. The application will be backed up week commencing 18/09/17 with over-seeding of the more desirable grasses for putting surfaces Fescue and Browntop Bent.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Driving Range Maintenance

This week essential maintenance work has been carried out on our driving range enclosure to sustain it's longevity. All decking was scrubbed with a decking cleaner then the whole building power washed inside and out. Once cleaned and dried a larch oil is applied to preserve the wood. Unfortunately this process does take some time and the enclosure needs to close for 3/4 days, the outside bays however will remain open so you can get some practice in. This process is to be scheduled annually.

Dirt Removal 

Before & After Power Washing

Applying Larch Oil  
Before & After Larch Oil Application

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Approaches To Greens

Following on from the aeration, scarification and sand dressing work carried out on green approaches during spring maintenance week, slight modifications have now been made to the size and shape of these areas. All approaches were marked out, double verti-cut and mowed into their new dimensions. You will notice the slightly discolored turf in the areas which have been mowed out, this will be temporary as it is a normal reaction to turf when cut shorter, these areas will blend in with the surrounding area within good time.
The maintenance work that is being carried out on approaches will not only improve sward quality creating a seamless transition from fairway to green but will also enable a greater shot variety into and around our greens.

                  The pictures below are just some of the adjustments that have been made.
Right hand side of 2nd approach
Right hand side of 3rd approach
Left hand side of 6th approach and surround
Right hand side of 8th approach
Left hand side of 13th approach
Left and right hand side of 16th approach

Friday, 24 March 2017

Walkway Refurbishment

We are constantly trying to improve the artificial pathways on the golf course. Over the years we have tried various materials with varying results. For the first time last year, we experimented using rubber matting placed over turf. The main advantage with this approach is that paths look much more natural with a grass covering, the rubber matting prevents the grass from wearing out under the heavy wear from foot traffic and golf trollies etc. Areas on holes 3 and 8 were completed in early 2016, these performed well throughout the 2016 season so this approach is being used in a number of other locations.

The images below show the path on the exit from the 18th hole being converted from granite dust to a hard wearing grass surface.

Unsightly granite walkway from the 18th green

Granite path and worn turf stripped out

Levels re-established and graded with sandy soil

Turf re-laid around main walkway

A hard wearing turf is laid in main walkway with a rubber mat pegged on top

Walkway complete with the addition of a storm drain to ease flooding in this area

Within 3 to 5 weeks the grass blades have grown through the holes in the mat rendering it almost invisible to the eye

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Bunker Renovations

5th Green side bunkers before refurbishment
Completed bunker refurbishment 5th green side

In total 9 bunkers will have been refurbished this winter. Two at the 1st, Three at the 5th, Two at the 14th and the two chipping area bunkers. All bunkers have been rebuilt in the revetted style associated with links golf, bunker bases have been raised to aid with access/egress and lined for a consistent sand depth.

Monday, 30 January 2017

12th Tee Reconstruction

The original par 3 12th tee surrounded by rank non native species
Scraped back to sand, shaped and transplanted natural dune grasses
Original enclosed view from Championship tee
New tee complex enlarged by 25%, irrigation installed, turf laid and open vista

Monday, 14 November 2016

12th Tee Reconstruction

We have recently started work on the levelling and enlarging of the 12th white/yellow tees.  The area around the tee has been stripped of vegetation in order to create a more natural sand dune type setting for the new tee. New irrigation will  be installed during this project as overthrow from the old sprinklers was the cause of the rank vegetation in the surrounding land. The path to the side of the tee will also be rebuilt towards the end of this project.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Aerating Greens

This week we've been using our Charterhouse Verti-Drain to deep tine through the surface of the greens.This equipment will aerate the soil profile to a depth of 10 inches at 2 inch spacings. Given the disruption of this particular activity on the surface only half of all the greens have been verti-drained. The second half of each green will be scheduled when sufficient recovery is seen on the first half. This is done to ensure ball roll and pin placements aren't compromised during this essential process. Five fairways have already been completed including the 4th; you may have noticed the yellow markings on the fairway of this hole, these were painted to show where the underground drainage pipes are located in order to ensure we can avoid them!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Course Update - April

Just as the weather appeared to be improving we have been subjected to yet more cold, northerly winds which have had an impact on growth and turf quality. This is more noticeable on the greens and surrounds where the Poa annua in the sward remains dormant and weak whilst the finer Fescues and Bents have begun growing and show better colour and health. This variation in growth has led to inconsistent putting surfaces which we are working hard to rectify. The use of lightweight rollers has had some success however we do not expect the growth to even out until warmer conditions finally arrive so we ask for your patience in this time.

Course Maintenance

The team have applied slow release fertiliser to the tee tops which will continue to provide the adequate nutrients required for grass growth in the coming months. Small doses of fertiliser have also been applied to the greens to aid their growth as and when the temperature begins to rise.
The surrounds and approaches have been scarified in two directions to remove thatch and moss and are now awaiting top dressing when growth becomes more vigorous as we do not wish to smother the grass plants.

Behind the scenes in the workshop our mechanic Gary has been busy servicing the fleet. We have a lot of machinery at La Moye and maintaining it is vital to the smooth running of the department. All of the machinery undergoes a basic service each winter, with the mowers receiving extra attention on their cutting units. Every cutting unit has been thoroughly checked and parts replaced if required before going into the grinding machines to resharpen the blades. The cutting units on these machines are incredibly accurate and providing this quality of cut to the grass leaf minimises damage and reduces disease.

10th Tee

In conjunction with our ongoing links regeneration program we have been introducing links species to the car park and clubhouse areas. Our aim is to provide the links experience at La Moye from start to finish and therefore the 10th tee bank, being seen on the drive into the club, was selected as a prime area for renovation. The mixed hedge was unsightly and not in-keeping with our vision for the course so it was removed entirely. The soil was then removed so that it could be replaced with sand before planting Marram grass. The Marram was sprigged in the same fashion as the 1st tee and we are delighted with the results. We now feel that the members and visitors are given an immediate impact that they are entering a links golf course and is another step in returning La Moyes true character.


Members will have noticed more tree removal work centred around the 10th green/11th tees area. This is again to control non-native and invasive species encroaching on playing areas or disturbing important habitats. The trees removed and trimmed behind the 10th and 13th greens were blocking the line of sight from the 11th tees. We understand that whilst the remaining trees are non native they do provide safety from errant shots on the 11th tees so they shall be retained purely for this reason.
Important work has been carried out on the right of the 11th carry to remove many invasive Holm Oaks that were beginning to overwhelm the smaller pine trees in the area. The picture below clearly shows the damage these fast growing trees can do to native species by blocking their light. With the Holm Oaks removal the pines and dune species now have a chance to recover and continue providing habitats to Red Squirrels, Green Lizards and a variety of bird species.

The logs from the Holm Oaks have been put to good use in the creation of our first 'insect hotel' next to the 4th tees. By tightly stacking and part burying the logs they can provide a shelter for many insect species and in turn a food source for larger animals. Holes of varying diameter were drilled into the larger logs to provide refuge for solitary bees which are an important pollinator on the course.