Another productive week on the Course has seen more bunkers rebuilt on holes 4, 11, 13 and 17.
Levelling work has continued well on the old 18th and the dry weather this week was a real bonus.
Greens 1, 2 & 10 were today solid tined with a larger than normal 19mm tine to a depth of 7 inched before holes were filled with dry sand. This will improve firmness, dryness and general turf health by breaking compaction and creating fissures and channels for new roots to develop.
See below, some of the before and after pictures of bunker work this week.
Dunluce 17th greenside.
The green surround on Dunluce 4th was lifted, reshaped and re-turfed with better quality turf, making the levels flow better and also improving the quality of grass there.
There is a large area between the Dunluce 13th and 15th greens which was poor generally. The shape of the ground was disrupted by mole ploughing work and as it is close to both greens we decided to lift this and repair. The area will be re-turfed using the Dunluce 17th fairway with will knit with the surrounding area well.
Greenkeeping must be the best job in the world when the weather is, as it has been this week.
The sun has shone for most of the week and yesterday some of us were working in polo shirts, unusual for this time of year.
Even though the weather has been so good, we plan to switch play to some of our winter teeing positions from Monday next week, which will give our summer tees some much needed rest.
Bunkers on the 1st have all been either re-built or edged.
Bunkers on the 2nd hole are to be done next week.
Greenside on the 15th has been revetted and turfed, the base of the bunker will be dished next week before adding sand.
Most of our repair work has been carried out to grass paths and the remaining areas which have been stripped of turf will be finished using a harder wearing imported fescue/rye turf.
Construction work is going well with all of the bushes now removed between old 17th & 18th. The pile of earth which you will see is to be re-spread once sub grade levels are achieved.
Simon and Trevor have been working hard with our rough management, cutting and collecting and also completing our last bits of seeding work on Dunluce. The weather has been so mild that soil temperatures remain warm enough for good germination so instead of having seed stored over the winter we have over-seeded all of our new fairways and green surrounds using our dimple seeder.
As the golfing season begins to slow down on the Links we are now able to focus our attention towards the winter work programme as well as begin phase 2 of our course amendments.
The work that the Greenkeepers have done this year has been phenomenal but the job itself never really slows down as we have gone from one of our busiest seasons straight into an intense winter programme of works.
The focus for the greenkeeping team this winter is the bunkers as most of the existing bunkers on the Dunluce Links shall be rebuilt as well as re-turfing of all worn areas throughout the courses.
Rough management is also one of our main projects, of which we plan to complete the main part by early November but rough management will be ongoing throughout the winter. New areas must be cut and collected before topdressing.
Dunluce greens have recovered well from over-seeding and topdressing with good germination seen throughout the course. It must be one of the most satisfying jobs for a Greenkeeper to see more fine leafed grass establishing well and improving the botanical composition.
The 18th fairway has been reshaped with the right hand side brought in to encourage players to drive down the main part of the fairway. We plan to hollow time the new rough area tomorrow and over-seed with a seed rough mix which will create some better definition.
The 5th ladies tee was lifted on Tuesday, rotovated and screened level before re-turfing today. The tee looks as it was before but as the surface is now level we can use the whole teeing ground for marker placements thus better spreading the wear.
A great effort was made last week to solid tine, sand and seed all Dunluce greens and practice greens.
This was a brilliant effort by the team as work was done throughout the week avoiding visiting players and putting surfaces were true again by the time visitors approached. 300kg of fescue seed was worked into the surface so the mild spell of weather at the moment is very welcome.
Some 115 tees were hollow tined, sanded and seeded and localised areas of fairways were also seeded.
All paths on Dunluce have been slit tined
Retaining walls by the irrigation storage tank are now complete with only some finishing work remaining. The pipes have been left on the surface of both retaining walls to allow for installation of the railings to finish the job.
As the daylight hours are reducing the turf growth begins to slow and recovery of turf wear slows down also. To reduce excessive wear to localised areas we plan to rope off grass paths and other localised areas in early October, adding more ropes towards the end of the month. This is a really important job and the benefits will be seen through next season.
In spite of the some fairly dreich weather for September our Greens team are still making good progress on the course. We have been busy hollow tining, topdressing and seeding tees, working on Dunluce in the morning and the Valley in the afternoon.
Rough management work has begun on the Valley which is a month earlier than last year. We are hoping to complete the Valley this month before work commences on Dunluce in October.
Dunluce greens 2, 3 & 10 have been over-seeded with fescue, fingers crossed for some dry weather next week to complete all greens. Surfaces shouldn’t be affected as 2, 3 & 10 still roll well.
Other small presentation jobs have been done such as changing hole cup inserts
Lee Shaw brushing in some sand and seed on Dunluce 3rd.
Over the course of this week the green staff are carrying out some refinement work throughout the Dunluce and Valley links by applying graminicide.
Graminicide is applied to the leaf of the turf and selectively removes coarse grasses. Our turf is predominantly fine leafed fescue but this treatment assists in improving consistency, especially when putting from surrounds.
Areas to be treated include;
Dunluce fairways, semi rough and green surrounds.
Valley greens and surrounds
Some slight thinning of turf will be apparent through the Valley surrounds but overseeding will be carried out tomorrow to allow germination and establishment of new seedlings to coincide with removal of rye grass meaning that fescue will fill the gaps left in the sward as rye grass dies.