Yep...Harv's going to The Open .....yeeeee ha !!
The British and International Golf Greenkeeper's Association have chosen greenskeepers from around the world to assist the green keeping team at Royal Liverpool for the 142nd Open Championship in July.
The team is made up of course managers, head and deputy head greenkeepers from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and as far away as Vietnam......oh, and one very happy lad from your very own golf club....
Yep...Harv's going to The Open .....yeeeee ha !!
Weather and Tree Damage.....
Last year the total amount of rainfall we had on the course was 513 mm. This year to date, Redditch has seen an incredible 230 mm, in two months we have had almost half the amount of rainfall for the whole of last year.
The high winds caused some major issues with trees coming down
and a large amount of debris being a daily battle.
We've had several trees blown down, which we'll be cutting up as soon as we can. Transporting the logs and branches off the course will have to wait until ground conditions improve enough to allow us back on to it with the necessary machinery.
However, we have been collecting the smaller stuff up on a weekly basis.
For every negative there's a positive..
Although we've lost a lot of trees to the strong storms, its actually amazing how much the wind dries the course up.
View from right hand side of 15th....
Bunker Maintenance time ....
Course works.... bunker renovation
However good we try and get the golf course there is, unfortunately, always something that requires more work than others. This year (and if I’m honest, probably a good few years previous) it has been the bunkers that have been the biggest area of concern. The problem we face is the amount of contamination that the sand suffers from. We suffer from three forms of contamination from washouts, worm cast and the other from stones.
Washouts: This contamination happens when we get heavy rain or flooding and the sand washes down from the bunker faces. Once the sand has washed down the base (which is clay) the clay particles are much finer than sand particles and once mixed in with the sand, cause each space between the bigger sand particles to become filled and blocked. At this point the water cannot penetrate the sand and reach the drain and therefore the bunkers remain full of water for long periods of time.
Stone: Several factors contribute to stone contamination. One of which is caused by washouts, as they loosen the face of the bunker. Others include; settlement, incorrect sand depths, mechanical raking too far up the bunker face, too much drainage stone. Most of the stone contamination comes from washouts and settlement. However if the sand levels are incorrect when we rake we pull stones to the surface compounding the problem.
Worm cast: As the soil air to water ratio changes in the more traditional autumn months, you will notice an increase in worm cast activity. The wetter the autumn or winter, the greater the worm activity will be. This problem affects the bunker aesthetics and helps contributes to the soli and stone contamination.
Project on the 8th fairway
Step 1: is to remove the contaminated sand, redo any blocked drainage before lining the bunker base with astro-turf.
Step 2. Remove and save turf from around bunker in the shape we want to make it.
Step 3. By using clay we aim to create slightly higher banks. This will give them the perfect angle for the ball to roll to the base of the bunker.
This following quote was taken from the Thornbury Golf Club site "The idea of using astro-turf as a liner is twofold; astro-turf is permeable so it will allow water to pass through it easily allowing free draining bunkers, and because we are lining the entire base, including bunker faces, it should stop any contamination from washouts and stop any stone contamination".
Step 4. We then lay the AstroTurf overlapping towards the hole, and by tucking it under the turf.
The photo above is taken from the 6th fairway.
Step 5: We are using the same type of sand but replacing the old for new. The objective is to have 4 inches on the base and 2 inches on the face.
Step 6. By consolidateing the sand throughout with the heal toe action, (we're not pretending to be penguins... Honest) we then give the bunker one last role with the tractor.This will help firm the bunker and keep the sand in the faces.
All in all the work we are carrying (and plan to carry) out will dramatically improve the bunkers playability and should eliminate the problems that previously we encountered.
Spot the difference
Here is a perfect example of a new and old bunker (green side on the 12th).
The difference is unbeleveible considering it's the same sand, this illustrates how much damage the three types of contamination have on the bunkers.
Click on the button below§
Please watch the treeman video below
Big time skills in both these videos !!
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Hi I'm Harvey,
I've worked at RGC for 10 years and I'm deputy head of a team of 7 members led by Karl our Head Greenkeeper