COURSE MANAGEMENT POLICY
The underlying objectives of putting surface management are:-
(a) To produce a good level of usability year round, barring severe frost or snow.
(b) To provide a good standard of surface for at least 10 months of the year.
(c) To build in the potential to be able to produce very high standard of fast and true putting surface for determined periods during the main competitive season.
Annual meadow grass is still present in most of the greens. The policy is to continue to reduce this gradually, introducing and encouraging the finer fescue and bents to dominate. This can be achieved by regular mowing, at heights and frequency appropriate to the time of year and prevailing weather conditions.
Hand cutting will take place normally twice each week, which will also help minimise compaction.
Aeration must be carried out on a regular basis. Slit tine weekly, verti-drain at least spring and autumn and if weather permits repeat in December. Top dressing will be applied after verti-draining, using the recommended quality from an approved supplier, agreed by the Agronomist. Verti-cutting will be carried out fortnightly. Scarifying will be carried out regularly at an appropriate frequency depth of cut.
Fertilization is very important. Frequency, quantity and timing of application are variable: reference should be made to the recommendations of the visiting Agronomist.
Watering - Timing, frequency and quantities applied all need careful management; the policy is minimum irrigation, only enough to keep the finer plants healthy, which will discourage meadow grass and help promote a firm true putting surface. Any dry patches will be treated with wetting agents and hand watering.
Pesticides - Pests, disease and weeds all need to be strictly controlled promptly, using the approved materials.
Hole changing - The frequency of hole changing and the spread of pin sites affect greens considerably. The policy is to use the outer areas of the greens during the winter to preserve the centre of the greens for the main competitive season.
Drainage works. Drainage should be carried out as routine when needed according to priority.
The maintenance of the tees is a high priority. The objectives is to produce a playing surface with a firm level stance and uniform grass cover from which clean contact can be made to the ball for twelve months of the year. The winter tees will be maintained and given time to recover when they will again be used for the winter period. If necessary, man made teeing formations may be introduced on the more difficult areas.
Frequency and height of cut will be appropriate to season and weather conditions.
Regular aeration including regular slit tining and hollow coring is essential, and tees should be top dressed/over seeded at least twice each year. During the summer months there will be an on - going program of regular divoting using quality material and seed. Special attention will be given to those tees experiencing high wear, such as the par three holes. Applying plant growth regulators (PGRs) such as Primo Maxx should help improve the wear resistance as well as benefiting in other areas.
Verti-cutting and scarification to be carried out at appropriate frequency and depth of cut.
Fertilisation - The amounts, frequency and types of material should be applied as recommended by the visiting Agronomist.
Water - This is important on tees used through the growing season, where a program of continual renovation is in operation to repair damage due to wear and tear. Timing, frequency and quantities applied all will be appropriate to weather conditions.
Pesticides/Herbicides – Worms and weeds should be controlled chemically as needed using approved materials and methods.
Tee Box Movement - The frequency of tee box movement is vital to the even spread of wear. They should be moved daily in the main competitive seasons.
Drainage - This should be carried out as routine when needed and according to priority.
Bunkers should be well constructed and designed so that they are consistent in nature one to the others, drain freely, are visible and influence play positively and fairly.
There must be sufficient depth (at least 100mm) of clean sand above the binding layer within the bunker and the surface layer should be maintained in a loose condition over a firm base. The sand should be kept free from weed growth and stones.
Drainage - This should be carried out as routine when needed according to priority.
When drains are replaced perforated PVC pipe should be laid centrally in a trench 230mm below the bunker floor and back filled with pea gravel aggregate 8-12 mm gauge then covered with a geo-textile membrane. This should be cut to overlap the trench and then firmly tucked into the subsoil and firmed in before covering with the approved bunker sand. A full specification for bunker construction can be found in the STRI advisory leaflet 28.
The bunkers should be deeply raked every other day (Mon, Wed and Fri) and before any weekend competitions. Rakes will be provided for each bunker and should be placed in and not outside the bunker.
In addition bunkers should be checked on a daily basis and lightly raked where necessary.
Green surrounds may be defined as a mown area around each putting surface which will vary according to the layout of the green. Therefore we must consider providing good run - up conditions to the putting surface, maintain fair, consistent lies and a good attractive visual setting.
Mowing height and frequency of cut will be appropriate to season and weather.
Aeration is required as routine, i.e. slit tining, hollow coring and chisel tines. These areas should be verticut on a regular basis.
FAIRWAYS, PRIMARY CUT and SEMI-ROUGH
The underlying objective of fairway management is to produce an acceptable playing area giving a firm relatively even stance with relatively uniform grass cover, from which a clean contact with the ball can be made to produce a shot which can be controlled.
The first or primary cut has been introduced to improve definition.
The objective of semi - rough management is to produce of an area adjacent to the first cut which will attract a degree of stroke penalty.
Mowing frequency and height of cut will be according to the growing season. Shaping should enhance appearance and approach to the green.
Aeration should consist of regular deep slitting and hollow coring especially on the rig tops and possibly scarification at least once each year. Top dressing and over seeding may be needed to maintain good playing conditions.
Fertilizer should not be warranted on fairways where the object is to encourage the better quality grasses. This will certainly not be allowed on the areas of SSSI. However there may be some instances where very poor growing conditions, due to the very shallow depth of top soil, where careful fertiliser treatment (based on nitrogen) may be necessary.
Cutting heights for all playing areas have been agreed by the General Committee, see attached sheet at Appendix 8
Divoting - should be carried out as regular maintenance at least twice each year, using quality material and seed.
Pesticides and Herbicides - Worms and weeds should be controlled when necessary using suitably approved materials and methods.
DRAINAGE AND DITCHES
At Arcot Hall the dispersal of surface water is of paramount importance. Therefore the ditches must be cleared as regular routine maintenance to ensure the free flow from the drainage system. The drains flowing into these ditches have to be checked and cleared on an annual basis and checked after or during heavy rainfall. Additional drains will be laid as necessary in an ongoing improvement program.
It is the firm intention that the ongoing work to relieve compaction and thatch will make the use of temporary greens less necessary in the long term. In the meantime, under certain conditions, temporary greens will have to be brought into operation.
Acting on behalf of the Captain, it is the responsibility of the Head Greenkeeper, Secretary/Manager or the Chairman of Greens to decide on a day - to - day basis the need for temporary greens to be brought into operation. The considerations are:-
- Is the normal green too soft to take the traffic of the course?
- In frost conditions would the traffic on the course cause excessive damage?
- If the normal green is being worked on intensively a temporary green may be brought into action in order that the maintenance could proceed more quickly with greater productivity.
WORK ON THE COURSE
The Green Staff will be vigilant so that they do not delay play unreasonably. However, work has always to be productive and is especially important at the beginning of the day.
All players are therefore asked to give consideration to the Greens Staff whilst carrying out their duties by not stopping their work unreasonably, and by realising that it is in their own interest not to do so.