A head-bobbing bird
By this time the first fledgelings of Housemartins swifts and swallows have come together and begun their long migration to North Africa. The mature birds are still here rearing their second broods and busy catching insects to help them build up their fat reserves so they can last out the long journey ahead. I was mowing the 3rd green last Friday and was being watched by the male Marsh Harrier who has perched on the top of a dead tree the other side of the stream. I was quite surprised that he was not being mobbed by a crow or magpie, which usually happens when the harrier is about, well I felt that I was a tennis ball at Wimbledon. The harrier sat on his perch moving his head from side to side in synchronisation with the mower as I drove it back and forth mowing the green. I completed the green and moved on to the fifth, he sat there quite a long time preening himself before flying off to be with she who must be obeyed and his rather noisy and boisterous offspring, after rearing four children of my own and two granddaughters I know how he feels. A bit of personal time once in a while does not hurt and helps to charge the batteries.
Plans for the greens
The course has been through a bit of a battering over the last very dry ten weeks. The team have worked hard to maintain the quality of the putting surfaces and keep the green speed a consistent ten feet on the Stimp meter and true throughout the drought, a lot of hand watering has been taking place and spiking with our sarrel roller which helps the water to penetrate and get to the roots has been done. The rain when it did actually arrive was great, gentle and slow, penetrating the greens and starting to revive some of the fairways. In all a total of eighty-eight millimetres or three and a half inches in old money fell over a period of eight days, we are not out of the woods yet though, the forecast is for more hot weather during September and well into October. We will just have to wait and see. The heather on the course is already flowering and giving some great displays along the eighth, ninth, twelfth and fifteenth fairways. The team have been cutting back areas of bracken exposing the fescue grasses underneath and giving them a chance of growth before autumn comes knocking on the door. The team have put forward a plan for updating the eighteenth tee this winter and extending the red tee on the sixteenth, this will allow our ladies to have a bit more room to move and make a forward teeing position for the older members and young juniors who cannot make the carry to the green. We will be overseeding some of the fairways and giving everything a good verti-drain to try and get the grassroots a little bit deeper.
Top tips for moss control
If you are having trouble with your lawn at home with moss building up over the winter months, do not go mad with the wire rake or scarifier and pull it all out, all you will succeed in doing is spreading the moss spoors all over the place and quadrupling your problem. The secret is to kill the moss off first with a good moss killer, then commence with the rake or machine. A good spike with a mechanical aerator or garden fork would not go amiss, this would allow the rainwater to pass through the soil profile and thus keeping the surface dryer and stopping disease build up in the sward.
Pop into the Proshop
On my travels around the course, I have noticed that one or two golf balls are ending up even further in the deep rough than usual, I can only put this down to the very cold start this year and some of you are still struggling to get your swing going the right way. Pop into the proshop and book a lesson with Christine or Dan they will help you work the bugs out and while you’re there purchase those multi-coloured shorts you’ve always wanted (only joking) On a serious note there are some fantastic lines of clothing available, have a good look. Enjoy the rest of the summer.