Since my last course report in November there has been a lot happening around the course, firstly, machinery has started to be serviced by Graham Gilson, all machinery has been pressure washed and greased and are now ready for a full filter and fluid change along with any other repairs that need to be carried out to help reduce break downs throughout summer. The cutting units are to be sharpened and serviced out of house due to specialist machinery needing to be used to sharpen them.
On the course the winter aeration continues across all fine turf areas, with verti draining of greens, and slitting of fairways and approaches. Before the end of January I am hoping to slit the fairways again and make a start on verti draining tees and approaches (weather permitting) with the large 18mm diameter tines, greens aeration is to follow in February once other areas have been aerated.
The new tees that have been constructed/ are been constructed around the course are starting to take shape and most just require a final level and turfing (With the exception of the 18th), Matthew Forde this year’s senior captain has kindly offered to purchase the turf from the seniors competition fund so that the tees can be brought into play for the 2017 season.
The greens have been sprayed with a wetting agent (penetrant) to help firm up the surfaces of them, as the weather becomes wetter the clay soils that the greens are constructed on absorb the water and swell creating soft greens. The idea of applying a wetting agent is to allow the water to be pulled through the greens profile creating firmer dryer surfaces and in turn this helps to creates a truer surface due to golf spikes on the bottom of golf shoes leaving less of an impression on the greens surfaces.
As you may remember me mention last year the biggest issue about maintaining Drax golf course is that mowing the semi rough using our 3 deck Toro 3500 rotary mower takes one man approximately 35 hours per week, I am pleased to confirm that the club has recently purchased a second hand set of PTO driven 5 deck trailed rotary gangs (Proflex 120) that along with our Toro 3500 will make much lighter work of the semi roughs and tree areas allowing time to be spent on other areas of the course.