Latest course information
• Greens are cut at 4mm
• All greens have been verti-cut
• All greens have been top dressed
• All greens have had an application of ‘Stand Up’ (potassium silicate)
• All greens have been sarrel-tined
• All greens have had an application of HydroPro2 wetting agent
• All greens have had an application of +K to harden the plant off
against disease as we are enduring a very long drawn out spell of
• 12A Green has been cored, over-seeded and top-dresses
Tees & Fairways:
• Tees are cut as growth dictates
• Tees are divotted once a week
• 18th tee has now been hollow-cored, over-seeded and top dressed
• All tees have had an application of Nutri Smart fertiliser 11-0-11
• Fairways have been cut as growth dictates coming out of drought
• 12th fairway has had an application of liquid fishblood and bone
meal combination (Sound lovely huh)
• Strimming of bunkers, banks, and around tees is ongoing as growth
• We have had the John Deere 7200 Utility Mower on demo for cutting
Surrounds and again, like the Torro demonstration unit, it was streets
ahead of our present 23 year-old Utility Mower.
• Rob Butler has been in with his flail to cut some Rough areas and thanks
are due to the volunteers who raked and gathered up the cut grass.
Greens Renovation Work:
will commence on Monday 2nd September when Greener Grounds will vertidrain all Greens. We will then follow behind and hollow-core Greens 2, 6, 9,
10, 14, and 16. After this process we will over-seed selected areas where the
grass content is thin, then top-dress the Greens and brush in. Finally we will
finish off with an application of Apex fertiliser (4-6-4) to aid recovery. In that
week also, if time allows, we will try and get an application of HydroPro2
wetting agent on.
With the current soft conditions lets do all we can as members to repair all our
A pitch mark that is repaired inside 8 hours will recover inside 48 hours.
A pitch mark that is left will scar for months to come, please take care of your
If you would like to volunteer for bunkering duty on a Saturday/Sunday morning
please see Jon Clarke, with the limited number of staff and covering leave the
bunkers are done mainly by the Greens/Captain prior to comps every
Saturday/Sunday morning – HELP WOULD BE APPRECAITED
STRI QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS THURSDAY 25TH JULY 2019
Attendees (Chair): Captain, Jon Clark, Gwynne Davies
Members: Mark Diamond, Ian Murray, Andy Kendall, Dave Nicholson Snr, Roy Turner, Peter Scott, Gary Weston, Mark Day, Dougie Day, Fred Herbert, Matty Pearson, John Lowther, Darren King, Rob Leitch, Steve McDonald, Neil Tippins, Isaac Caine, Eric Edwards, Anne Edwards, Alyson Wood, Val Kirkwood, Barry Nicholson, Nick Doherty
Apologies: John Woodhouse, Martin Ellis, Dave Pearson, Pete Trelore, Dave Park, Annette Park.
Captain opened the meeting, welcoming and thanking Gwynne for making time in his schedule to come to the club and ‘host’ the Q&A forum. Gwynne introduced himself and gave a background to his vast experience and knowledge. Q1. (MD) In you view how would you describe the condition of the course
A: Greens are in good condition and are much improved from April (last visit).
Q2. (IM) What about the conditions of the Tees? Whats the remedy? Is re-turfing an option?
A: There are solutions available, however that is dependent on the available budget and resource profiles. Suggest verti-draining tees in September. Current practice is okay but needs refinement. Seeding is another option to consider. Re-turfing could also be done but is on the more expensive side.
Q3. (RL) We are limited / constrained by the current staffing levels, if we increased by say 10% what improvements would we expect to see?
A. 4 to 5 greens staff is the norm for a course of this size, current expectations is for 6 to cover leave, sickness etc. Must be able to maximise the potential available. This must be outlined in the Course Policy Document (CPD).
Q4. (DN) Due to the amount of growth, would it be beneficial to bring forward the customary maintenance week from September?
A. Course management is essential in making that decision; my advice would be to be done in August if not July.
Q5. (AK) If we were a privately-owned club would there be more authorization in the work being done?
A. There would be more revenue to undertake tasks, such as 14th & 18th Tee boxes, re-turfing is the best option but not cost effective, need to maximize advice given as there are multiple options but it really does depend on the budgets.
Q6. (BN) I offered to hand water tees last year but was declined, has the affected the condition of them this year?
A. It I not just a case of applying water, wetting agents and nutrients are needed, again availability of resource is essential, and watering must be maintained.
Q7. (VK) So if support was offered and declined, why was watering not undertaken?
A. Due to water table levels, not just a case of adding water, STRI advice may have been ignored. To recover will now need to scarify, apply wetting agents or re-turf.
Q8. (RL) What about the surrounds & collars? As a links course golfer should be able to putt from 30yards from the greens, however we have a lot of growth in way of i.e. 8th & 9th for example.
A. Growth in these areas is necessary and is for the average golfer. To achieve the higher standard would need the utilisation of better machinery that is more efficient, current machinery is dated; again this is all down to budgets.
Q9. (DN) What about the ‘Thatch’ problem on the greens, should we hollow core more often to achieve and improved base?
A. Advice was taken from STRI to implement a 3 year rolling problem and Hollow Core 6 greens per year, we are now I the 2nd year of that programme. Yes we may have missed an opportunity by not applying enough top dressing in these areas and needs improvement moving forward.
Q10. (RL) How often should hollow coring be undertaken in your mind?
A. STRI would have to take core samples from every green, analyse then offer advice. It is not a case of one size fits all. However, review of previous reports will be done to seek advice.
Q11. (MDay) When we did hollow core, we did not apply enough top dress and the holes were proud which has left the greens at a substandard level, what do we need to do?
A. Top dress as often as possible dependent on resource, attention to detail is critical. A Light sprinkling say 6 tonnes every few weeks is an option.
Q12. (NT) So if six greens were hollo cored last year, would it not be more beneficial in the long term to hollow core all 18 to enable a standardised base to work from, as we’ve all seen the benefits of the work on them six has improved the greens immensely?
A. Current programme is to do the 6 in September as part of maintenance week. We can get a quote for all 18 and then see if we have the funds available. The only problem is that the membership was up In arms when these 6 greens were done, but if we are to do this there has to be short term pain for long term gain, members must realise that.
Q13. (DK) Due to some fairways having poor grass coverage, would hollow coring be an option?
A. To hollow core fairways is a time consuming and expensive option. Alternatives such as different seed mixture and development of creative solutions are the more economic options.
Q14. (DK) Is the seed we use on the greens fit for purpose? A number of years ago, seeding trials were undertaken on hole 12a, what was the outcome of the findings?
A. Report to be found and reviewed for comment and advice.
Q15. (DN) For long periods of the year the course has had only one member of staff in, yet the membership still expect all the work to be done?
A. As a club it is the responsibility to not be in that situation again, however with only having three staff it is difficult, this year alone has been probably the worst for absenteeism on record. Club is looking to address this deficiency.
Q16. (MDay) So are we being irresponsible with lone working?
A. No, we have a lone working policy whereby the staff makes contact (vice-versa) twice during the day. Personnel safety alarms are a viable option.
Q17. (AK) Do you feel that yourself (STRI) are offering value for money, now we’ve had your advice what benefit is there in continuing with your site visits?
A. Gwynne went in great depths to explain the benefits he can bring to any golf club being an SME. If the club feels that the advice is nugatory then it is in their call to make. This was discounted as we need professional advice in order to develop and maintain the course as best as possible for the members and visitors alike.
Q18. (VK) What about weed control, it is a problem on some of the fairways?
A. This is referring to rye grass; to keep on top of this a ell managed weed control routine would stop this.
Q19. (NT) So we have over a number of years been given sound advice form STRI, what do the council intend to do this with this?
A. I can’t speak for what’s happened in the past, but we know as a club we need to move forward and ensure we act upon this advice. This will be done this year with the development of a course management plan which will outline what work e do and when. The key factor in all of this is looking at all the options we have and the cost to undertake them and which ones are best for the club.
Q20. (SMC) So what are the financial budgets are we saying we do not have the reserves or resources to maintain this work?
A. Whilst we cannot disclose the greens budget, budgets remain tight in the clubs financial plan. We need to create more revenue to enable us to do some tasks and the club is looking into how this can be both realistically and practically achieved.
Q21. (DN)In previous reports STRI advice has been to move the start of competitions later In the year e.g. May to coincide with the forever changing seasons, what’s the clubs thoughts?
A. This needs to be considered but we are at full capacity now with competitions so whilst the season duration is not decreasing the competitions are increasing and it’s a fine balance to fit everyone’s needs.
Q22. (NT) What is the scope of work for maintenance week in September?
A. This will be published In due course to the members via the Greens Blog on the website.
Q23. (DN) If some of the fairways are in poor condition should they be rotovated?
A. No, rotavating is a costly and destructive option, other solutions such as aeration is key and the more viable option.
Q24. (FH) Area to the top of the 13th towards the 14th tee is sparse and an eyesore, always getting a bad lie, what can we do?
A. To recover this area will need major construction work and will be costly and a strain on our resource and budgets. That being said; it should be included in the course management policy for consideration.
Q25. (RL) A number of years ago there was increase to membership fees to buy a bulk order of top dress, what is the expected levels of top dress to be applied?
A. 120 tones is an average, however more is good, again it is down to cost and resources. Solution could be, top dress heavily during certain periods and light dress (sprinkle) every 2-4 weeks.
Q26. (DK) The slits across the fairway that in the warmer climate have opened up, would they have been better being done by the ‘earthquake’ machine?
A. The ‘earthquake’ machine was used.
Q27. (PS) During the winter months the area top of 13th and in front of 14th tee were cordoned off with the assumption that work was going to be undertaken, yet nothing happened?
A. The area was cordoned off for Health and Safety reasons i.e. Rutted and wet, becomes a bog there never was any intention to do any work In this area as discussed previously. Also remember we were down to two staff from Oct – Jan.
Q28. (FH) Some of the fairways are in poor condition such as 12 being an example and advice a number of years ago was to do some trials to improve the surface condition, what’s happened?
A. This advice needs looking not, however this year trials have been proposed for seed growth and needs consideration by council.
Q29. (SMC) The presentation of the course in general (greens, tees, fairways & bunkers) is not to the standards we as members expect. What is being done about it and what is priority?
A. As of today the tees should be the clubs priority, the greens are ok and require little work to maintain them, bunkers can be addressed as require but will need an holistic approach to future development and maintenance.
Q30. (RT) What about the use of AstroTurf for bunker revetment?
A. The jury is still out on the benefits of this, but in STRI opinion the benefits will be long term. Might be suitable for a parkland or heathland course but does not lend itself to links courses.
Q31. (MDay) Fairways leading up to 8th and 9th greens have grown, why are they not being cut short to allow ‘running’ the ball up?
A. The 8th is grown on purpose to prevent a ball running from the green 50 yards down to the bottom. The 9th needs looking at; again the soil in that area is not the best and is inconsistent.
Q32. (RL) Currently the rough is brutal (elephant grass) and is impeding play, what can we do?
A. Only option is to flail and bale, to maintain and introduce a less penal rough a second cut needs forming, this can only be done by growth and a realistic management plan. Plan should look at doing a large volume cut twice a year.
Q33. (FH) Gorse management is an issue, areas between the 5th / 7th and 16th / 17th are showing signs of little shoots of gorse, what can we do about it?
A. There is no approved ‘killer’ that can get rid of this; remember gorse is all part of the ergonomic assets of links courses. A gorse management plan is needed; see the 16th tee for example.
Q34. (VK) When cutting holes should a cutting board be used?
A. Yes, custom and practice is to use a board to protect the area. This will be in the course policy.
Q35. (MDi) How often should the holes be cut?
A. Normally pin positions should be changed twice or three times a week, again this is dependent on resource and course conditions. The club need to make sure this is captured in the course management policy.
Meeting closed at 20:30 hrs with the Captain thanking the members for their attendance and Gwynne for providing his subject matter advice. Council need to take cognisance of all the topics tonight and consider for inclusion in the Course Management policy.
Furness Golf Club – Course Information
- •We are currently at full strength staffing wise with all 3 (Alick, Dave & Garry) on the course + Billy Marklew. • Bill will leave us on the 19th July, without Billy I dread to think where we would currently be with the condition of the course. From all at FGC thank you Billy!
- • Greens are cut at 4mm • All greens have been verti-cut • All greens have had an application of Triple Seaweed • All greens have had an application of Microdyne supplement feed • Greens 1,12,13,14 have had a light top dressing • At the end of September Greenor Grounds are on site to Verti Drain all 18 tees…much needed! • WC 22nd July Rob Butler will be on site trimming back some of the rough, looking at landing areas on 4,5,17 as a starter
- Tees/Fairways :
• Tees are cut as growth dictates • Tees are divotted once a week • At the end of September Greenor Grounds are on site to Verti Drain all 18 tees • Fairways are cut as growth dictates • The use of the seed that is on the 1st tee is helping with the preservation of the fairways, please keep using it! • 16th & 18th tees have been moved with blessing from the county, this has been done to preserve the 18th bottom tee, once we get some rain that tee will be seeded/attended to.
Strimming of bunkers, banks and around tees is ongoing as growth dictates • Strimming of ditches has commenced today Monday 8th July, as we have Gary back on site and are back to 4 men which allows this to happen • Irrigation has been on at night and also hand watering is being done through the day as we continue in drought conditions which show no signs of amelioration • We have a demonstration mower in at present from John Deer that cuts surrounds, this has improved the cut and highlights the gulf (OLD) in machinery that we currently have
Divotting Bags – Lets do OUR bit for OUR course: .
There is divotting bags on the 1st tee and a tub full of sand/seed, please fill up your bag .and fill any divotts you make. **Please look after our golf course, repair pitch marks and rake bunkers, there is no reason for not doing this and please remind your playing partners if they don’t do it** ITS TIME TO NAME AND SHAME THOSE THAT DISRESPECT OUR GOLF COURSE!!
If you would like to volunteer for bunkering duty on a Saturday/Sunday morning please see Jon Clarke, with the limited number of staff and covering leave the bunkers are done mainly by the Greens Chairman/Captain prior to comps every Saturday/Sunday morning – HELP WOULD BE APPRECAITED