Welcome to The Cruden Bay Golf Links Maintenance Blog.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Rebuilding The Bathtub 14th Green

The decision was made to rebuild the 14th green which for a good few years now has not been able to sustain year round play, in the winters the green would sit wet and flood easily .Soil profiles taken showed a band of clay on average 12 " below the surface and about 3" thick , on top of this there was also a heavily compacted black layer. This Dew Pond Construction would have been the way the green was originally built back in the 1890s as the only irrigation back then came from the Sky ! In that era holding moisture in the rootzone was very important for keeping grass cover on the greens during summer play.In todays modern era we have irrigation systems and use them sparingly when required to get the correct balance of turf health and firmness.
                                               The 3 Pictures above show the Clay Band .
We stripped away all the turf and rootzone which will be recycled/reused .The clay was stripped away seperatley and set aside for the local pottery company to have !
Once all the junk had been stripped away to pure sand we built the sub base up with more sand.

                               After the sub base was in and shaped we added 11" of our own rootzone.
We have also extended the green back a few yards to gain more pin placements and spread wear ,bearing in mind the extension to the green and the poor quality of the original turf we have bought in new turf to give us consistency over the whole green .The weather during the reconstruction was challenging to say the least !With the usual frosts ,snow ,blizzards,monsoons ect.We also had a weeks delay on the turf being delivered to us because England was flooded !We believe that we have preseved the original iconic charachter the Bathtub green is famous for and the green given time to mature will support year round play .From a greenkeepers point of view this green has been our Achilles Heel primarily because of the poor drainage ,with reconstruction now complete we have nicknamed The Bath Tub -------The Sieve ! : )

Friday, 2 November 2012

2nd Nov 2012

Over the last week or two we have had several areas where we have stripped away old slippery astro turf paths on slopes and replaced them with rubber matting.
The Work In Progress.

Winter Aeration has progressed well both fairways and greens have been Verti Drained.

 Jim Working on The 7th Fairway 3/4 Inch Tines Stabbing Away !

   On to the Greens with 1/2 inch tines.

 The 7th Green Breathing After Aereation.

In preperation for winter works we have also been screening our own rootzone.

The Ultra Deck Screen Is A Great Piece Of  Kit.

We have also made a start with some bunker refacing.

This is the RHS Middle bunker on the 2nd. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Irrigation GPS Survey

The last couple of days we have had Adrian Mortram from R.H.A Irrigation Consultants in doing GPS Survey work to create an accurate up to date plan of the Irrigation System.
Over the next few years it is hoped that we can upgrade the system where needed in two or three phases and an accurate plan is the first step in this proccess.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Autumn Overseeding

We had the course shut on Monday and Tuesday this week to Overseed some Fescue & Bent  into our Big Course Greens . The Operation worked well with little disruption to the surface .

First Job Was Using Our Speedseeder  To Put In The Bent
 It Makes Thousands of Dimple Holes For The Bent Seed.

Then We Used Our Disc Seeder For Ploughing In the Fescue.

Clean And Tidy After a Cut and Iron.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Rough Management

With this season being wet wet wet we have seen the rough in a lot of areas getting too thick.We normally hire in a flail box collector about this time of year but have managed to purchase a second hand machine : ) this will  allow us to thin out areas when the weather suits us .The best season for rough thinning is autumn when its naturaly dying back.
New Flail Ready For Action !

One draw back we have at Cruden Bay is that a number of the extended roughs have severe contours on them which the flail will not safley tackle, to get onto these more challenging areas we have used our John Deere Rotary Terrain Cut 8800 .
8800 Sawing Away !
Any grass lying after the 8800 is either raked up if very heavy or blown well out off play with the Kubota /Tornado Blower.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Dry Cuts

The weather the last few days has been a lot cooler but more importantly dryer : ) this has helped us get some dry cuts in with less mess on outfield areas and a cleaner cut on our fine turf.

This is our Summer Worker Euan Little Cutting the 14th Green he has done a great job for us this season Thanks Euan !

In the last week or so we have had a demo of the Vredo Super Compact Seeder we used it to overseed our new JUMBO putting green.

We have also had a look at a Dakota 412 Fairway Topdresser.
There were WING shaped clouds following me around the course this morning lol here is the 11th green .

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Crumb Of Comfort

In the last Day or two we have dressed some grass pathways with Rubber Crumb ,this helps to cushion and protect the crown of the grass from being walked off with constant wear .This picture shows the crumb on the surface before it is brushed into the canopy .
Over the last few weeks we have managed to overseed regularly with Browntop Bent,and have also aereated with 8mm solid tines to a depth of 150mm.

The weather deserves a special mention please if anyone out there could be so kind as to send us some dry & sunny weather even just for a week it would be a great tonic for us all and the course !
With the summer being a washout the greens are taking more pitchmarks than normal. Please when repairing them DONT just hoof up the middle exposing the perfect seedbed for weeds ect ,it also looks hellish ! Pull/Fork the grass into the middle AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU WERE NEVER THERE .

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Irrigation Repairs

In the last week we have been replacing old worn out impact sprinkler heads with new gear driven ones on fairways.
The old impacts we are replacing have lasted well over the years but over time the nozzles,shafts and springs wear and the performance becomes uneven and unreliable.
Fairways Pop Ups on 1-6 now all have modern gear driven heads on them which are more reliable and give a better more even coverage .Over the next couple of weeks we will be replacing old heads on another 4 fairways ,improving the performance of the system when we do need to irrigate :  ) 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Middle Of May

We have set up our Dyna Seeder units ready for getting some seed in the ground, the weather over the  last few weeks has been very unsettled and wet not great for using these units because conditions have to be Dry or the funnels will block .

We have put out some signage around the course to try and encourage Golfers to repair a couple of pitchmarks per Green.

Our new Eclipse 322 Hybrid has been performing superbly on the Greens the Quality of cut and increased clip rate is delivering Smoooooother Surfaces to Putt On :  )
Weekly Dressings have continued .

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Spring Aeration

This week we are Verti Draining our greens with 8mm Solid Tines to a Depth of 180mm. Carrying out this operation is crucial in promoting healthy deep rooting grasses and has three main benefits 1. Aids percolation/drainage.2.Releives Compaction allowing deep rooting 3. Last and certainly not least gets oxygen down into the profile allowing gas exchange and the Soil food Web to Thrive, beneficial Fungi & Bacteria need Oxygen to work at breaking down organic matter and locked up nutrients making them available to the plant/roots.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Spring Dressings

Today we have managed to get our 5th Top Dressing of the Season on our Greens : )
Topdressing helps to promote smooth / true surfaces, it also helps dilute any thatch build up, and helps percolation/drainage its a win win win situation ! 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Soil Screening

We have just taken delivery of our new Soil Screener  :  )

This will allow us to be self sufficient in mixing our own soils ,top dressing and divot mix on site using recycled waste from refacing old bunkers,grass clippings turfing jobs ect.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Putting/Chipping Area Gets Major Refurbishment

The last big job this winter is to completley overhaul the Putting/Chipping Area between the Pavillion and the Driving Range.We are extending the putting area to create a putting course , filling in the old practice bunkers and building a new one in a safer location.The aim is to make this area a safer and more enjoyable place to practice Putting,Chipping and Bunker Play.
Old Worn Out Bunker

Filled in 2/3 of it and Shaped a Grass Hollow to mimic lots of on course situations!

                       To allow us to extend the Green this old Ridge was removed.
                                                         Turfing Away

                              New Practice Bunker Under Construction.                                                       

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Turf Nursery

We have just completed the construction  of a brand new turf nursery,its a big step forward for us as we will no longer have to rely on using the turf from the practice chipping green .