We are now well into our winter programme and I am extremely pleased with the progress
we have made over the last month or so, given that we have a dramatic drop in temperature
and over 30ml of rain last week. Our golf course audits that we conduct at certain points
throughout the year compliment my observations and document a significant improvement
in playability and appearance of the courses as well as notable increase in readings on the
stimpmeter despite heading into the winter months.
With regards to what we have achieved on the courses so far and the plans for the
foreseeable future I will start by summarising the greens. The cutting of the Baroness has
been raised to a height of 7mm and the Baron raised to 6mm, and are now being hand cut
twice a week if weather permits to protect the turf from winter extremities.
Our end of season winter preparation programme began with scarification down to depths
of 25mm, and was followed with a top dress and Fescue/Bent oversee. We dressed with a
Medium/Coarse Sand on the bottom 27 Push Up greens to aid winter drainage, and a
Medium/Fine Sand on the Top 9 USGA Specification greens to accommodate winter drainage
and aid summer water retention.
This work was complimented with the start of a solid tine programme with 13mm tines to a
depth of 5” on the Baron and 3” on the Baroness, and fed with an end of season granular
feed. Iprodione was applied to control the recent Fusarium outbreak and Carbendazim was
also applied to prevent abundance of worm casting, both of which are notorious issues in
these types of weather conditions.
The greens are to be slit tined in two directions fortnightly and a light dressing is to be
applied at the back end of next week if ground conditions allow, along with an accompanying
winter feed which is to go down this week if weather permits. The tees boxes and aprons are
also going to be slit tined in two directions fortnightly and an extended release winter feed is
to be applied in early December when weather allows us. This will keep the turf nourished
over the winter without the issue of trying to find regular application windows.
The Fairways have been cut at 18mm for winter and our final cut has been completed prior
to mower servicing. We will continue to cut after servicing if ground conditions
accommodate it. Fairways are ‘Panel Cut’ on the Baroness and ‘Stripe Cut’ on the Baron. You
may also notice on your rounds that the semi-rough has now been re-shaped on both
courses; so for the first time at Beadlow Manor we now have two grades of rough. Fairways
are in the process of being slit tined which we aim to do fortnightly throughout the winter if,
once again, the ground conditions allow us to.
All bunkers have been edged and are raked twice a week, and the excess sand that we had in
stock from the spring is being used to top up thinner bunkers.
Drainage work has started with the strimming of ditches and ponds and this will be an on-
going process throughout the winter, as will leaf and debris clearance from drainage
channels. Extreme wet areas are being monitored and plans are being put into place to insert
drains in these particularly troublesome areas.
Tree felling work will continue after Christmas following last year’s work on the top 9 holes of
the Baron. Canopies will be raised to 6ft in the required areas and trees will be thinned out
to improve light and air access to greens and tees.
From a point of health and safety, we are aware that some of the bridges on course require
some attention and this is at the top of our list of priorities and will be worked on over the
next fortnight.
Enjoy your winter golf, and I look forward to seeing you all on the courses soon!
Daniel Szwajbak
Course Manager