I apoligise for not releasing any information about the course until now. I had planned to write something for a few weeks now but its been a very busy and hectic april on the golf course. I also wanted to wait until i knew a bit more about the conditions we are dealing with.
Firstly a little bit about myself – My name is Gavin Matthews i am 46 years old and have been working within the golf course industry for 28 years, 22 of those as a greenkeeper and 6 as a Golf course consultant ans salesman. I worked at losby golf klubb when i first came to Norway before becoming head greenkeeper at Grini Gk in Baerum for 10 years. In 2011 i worked as a salesman selling fertiliser and providing golf course consultancy travelling around the country visiting many golf courses.
I am so happy to have this opportunity to maintain and take care of this beautifully designed golf course in fantastic surroundings. It really is probably the most picturesque 9 hole golf course in the country and has great potential. Greenkeeping and golf is my passion and i cant wait to have a full season back in the game again.
Unfortunatley this winter has been extremely hard, probably the heaviest winter for over 20 years. Combine that with a new build golf course and that has caused some major problems. Newly constructed golf courses take time to settle after major earth movements, usually 3 to 5 years and many areas on the greens and surrounds have settled and moved by as much as 15 to 20 cm. This has resulted in some major challenges for us when the melting period started. Removing water is the most important task we could do at this time and on some areas of the greens that has been almost impossible as the pictures i have attached will show. Considering the severity of some of these issues combined with the relatively late melting period and quantity of snow we have had, this will result in a late start to this season.
As a rough estimate we have lost 30% of the grass on the greens and that poses major challenges when trying to repair these areas that are blended with healthy areas of greens.
The weather has to be on our side and we need to allow the new seed to germinate and mature before we walk on it, cut it and most importantly play on it! The new grass that comes through needs to be strong and mature enough to handle play and the maintainance that is required when producing a putting surface. If we play on it too soon it will suffer tremendously and could just die away leaving us with large areas of greens with little grass that will soon be infested with Tunrapp! Which we dont want. We need the weather on our side and a little patience and i will do everythinmg in my power to have greens to play on as soon as possible.
Work that has been done –
We have verticutted, seeded, spiked, topdressed, sprayed and covered the greens.
Verticutting is to cut channels in the dead turf so we can drop the seed into the grooves ( seed needs soil contact) see video on link
Top dress with sand to cover over the seed and help to keep the grooves open allowing new seedlings to establish through the surface.
Spraying a dark green colour will help to maximise the usage of the sunlight and increase the surface temperature of the greens aiding in faster germination and growth.
Covering the greens helps to protect from cold nights and keep the temperature up as high as possible to aid faster establishment.
Now we have to wait and be patient, new growth takes time to establish and this process cant be rushed.We rely on the weather so lets hope for a few good weeks of it. Unfortunately at the moment i cant see the greens being ready for play before 17th may. I will keep you informed of the condition as the weeks go by, but for now thanks for your patience!