Greenkeeper's Report April 2019

As we enter the new season we’d like to give our members an update of what has been happening at the club over the winter months and what we plan to do going forward.

He’s Back!

Welcome back Ryan Oliver to the team, after 18 months away from the club, including a year at the world famous Harbour Town Golf Links. Ryan is back to work with the Greenkeeping team for the Summer!

We look forward to having Ryan back working at the club and we’re sure that with the extra knowledge and experience he has gained on his travelled, Burstwick will quickly benefit and be in great shape. Welcome back Ryan!

Weeds in 2019

As we have discussed in our previous report, we decimated all of the clover and other broad leaf weeds on the course last year, after more than tripling the weed-killer budget. This was very well received by members and in 2019 we aim to continue progress and do the same again.

What we are doing different in 2019 is we’ve also fertilised the fairways early Spring to give them a boost of growth before any weeds begin to take hold, this should mean that the weeds don’t get chance to spread on the fairways like they have done in previous years; a form of prevention rather than curing. But don’t worry, any weeds that do appear will be killed again by our team.

Hollow coring the greens

Greens

We have recently cored our greens for the third time in just over 12 months, and this is done to improve the growing profile of the turf, which in turn leads to better, more consistent surfaces all year round.

We took extra care when coring this time to avoid any issues that we had previously with some holes being left unfilled with sand, and already you can see a massive difference. The greens are coming back nicely and are showing great signs that in 2019 they will be the best they have been in years!

Our focus now turns to trying to increase root growth as we have had issues in the past with shallow rooting on some greens which can cause disease and other issues, so we will keep members updated on how this is doing.

Bunkers

We have been continuing to top up bunkers throughout the winter with around 40 tonnes of sand and are confident that right now they are the best they have been in over 10 years. We still have improvements to make but the positive comments that we are receiving from members tell us a story that progress is being made.

Fairways & Tees

As discussed above we have fertilised our fairways for the first time in around 5 years to give them an early boost into the season, this will mean that the fairways should have an increased thickness of turf throughout the course, which will produce a more prominent stripe when mowing too.

We have began putting in some new irrigation to two of our competition tees on holes 2 and 18, and aim to have these completed by the end of April. This will help the turf on these tees continue to grow and resist wear through the summer months, producing a better playing surface and presentation.

Rain bird Sprinkler

Irrigation Repairs

We are continuing to conduct a number of irrigation repairs on the course as we still have a few leaks, but with increased research from the Rain Bird website and advise from our Golf Course Constructors MJ Abbots, we are aiming to have all of these solved within the next few weeks for a stress free summer of irrigating the course!

Conclusion

In 2018 we made massive steps towards improving the greens, bunkers and fairways, and in 2019 we aim to continue pushing forward for a better golf course. Obviously with a small team we will never get everything correct all of the time but hopefully our members will agree that we are making improvements in the right areas.