Targeted seeding to weaker greens

On 10/08/2020 we focused our attention on overseeding some of the weaker areas of our greens with bent seed. The mixture chosen contains 30% Egmont and 70% Heritage, both top cultivars of Browntop Bent 

The areas in question are mainly heavy traffic entrances/exits, perimeters, greens 9,10,11 and PG where a little extra work is needed to improve the botanical composition of these new build USGA root zone greens.
Firstly we ran over these areas multiple times with the Greentek Sarel rollers to create dimples. We followed this up by drop seeding 80kg of bent seed and switching it into the dimple holes. Finally the greens were top dressed with 6 Tonnes of Hugh kings washed dune sand and brushed in to help seal over any of the dimples and smooth off any imperfections in surfaces.

Although very little disruption to surfaces we thank you for your patience as we attempt to change the botanical composition of the sward to a more desired species and in turn finer links like surfaces.

 

 

Big Butterfly Count 2020

We count butterflies because not only are they beautiful creatures but they are also extremely important. They are vital parts of the ecosystem as both pollinators and components of the food chain. However, they are under threat. Numbers of butterflies and moths in the UK have decreased significantly since the 1970s. This is a warning that cannot be ignored. Butterfly declines are also an early warning for other wildlife losses. Butterflies are key biodiversity indicators for scientists as they react very quickly to changes in their environment. Therefore, if their numbers are falling, then nature is in trouble. So tracking numbers of butterflies is crucial in the fight to conserve our natural world.
The data from this and other counts will also help us to identify important trends in species that will assist us in planning how to protect butterflies from extinction, as well as understanding the effect of climate change on wildlife.

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Rainfall Update

Rainfall is a key element of Scottish weather and it dictates how/when the golf course maintenance can be carried out here at Nairn Dunbar Golf Links.
We can thank ourselves quite lucky living in Nairn, its unique micro-climate gives us an average annual rainfall of around 590 mm whereas some areas in Scotland receive about 3,000 mm of precipitation per year.
So far in the rainfall totals for 2020 are as follows;
January 58mm⏸✅🌦
February 130.4mm⬆️❌☔️☔️
March 29.6mm⬇️❌🌞🌞
April 11.6mm⬇️❌🌞🌞
May 23.6mm⬇️❌🌞🌞
June 65.2mm⬆️❌☔️☔️
July 57.6mm⬇️❌🌞🌞
In July we experienced heavy rainfall at the beginning and the end of the month with almost no rainfall in between along with high winds which dried the surfaces out. Consistent use of soil surfactants and irrigation have allowed us to keep most surfaces within our targets for soil moisture content after only receiving 87% of our monthly average rainfall.
We have received a total of 376mm of rainfall Nairn Dunbar thus far. As you can see we seem to be experiencing a lot more extremes of either continued heavy rainfall or most recently prolonged droughts.
Most notably February where we had 229% over the average rainfall for the month. In April and May we only received 29.2% and 46.2% of our average monthly rainfall

Employee Promotion Announcement – Deputy Course Manager

Nairn Dunbar Golf Club are pleased to announce that Graham Burnett has accepted the vacant position of Deputy Course Manager.

 Graham is a 37 year old Assistant Greenkeeper who has worked as part of the Course 116875796_10223776472704776_1196717051380110599_o[1]Maintenance team at Nairn Dunbar Golf Club for the last 4 years.

Graham has accumulated over 17 years greenkeeping experience working at Nairn Golf Club as a Seasonal Greenkeeper in 1999 before being offered an Apprentice greenkeeper position at Baberton Golf Club in Edinburgh. He spent 10 years there before moving on to Swanston New Golf Club where he then spent 3 years involved in the construction of a new par 3 course, 6 new holes and a driving range.

During this time he has completed both SVQ 2 and SVQ 3 in Sportsturf maintenance, Introduction to Golf Course Management Parts 1 and 2, Pa1 and Pa6 Spraying Certificates, Chainsaw Certificates CS30/CS31, machinery maintenance certificates and continually engages in continuous professional development through the BIGGA CPD scheme.

Graham was interviewed for the position by Club Manager Kieran Maclean, Greens Convener Ian Duncan and membership convenor Ian Fraser. It was evident during this process that his qualifications, experience and intrinsic motivation meant he is the perfect candidate to fill the vacant Deputy Course Manager position and will play a key role in the progression of the golf course.

On behalf of our management and members we would like to congratulate Graham on the promotion and wish him good luck in his new role.

 

 

STRI – Performance Testing Visit

On Thursday 30th July we had our annual visit from Agronomist Gary Smith from the Sports Turf Research Institute.

During the visit he carried out a detailed performance analysis of our surfaces using the latest equipment and technology developed by STRI, giving us detailed data and analysis of our greens performance, enabling us to benchmark and monitor progress/improvement over time.

Measurements are taken for Green Speed, Smoothness, Trueness, Organic Matter, Grass Species, Firmness and Soil Moisture, providing us with data, which is analysed by the STRI specialists. The results are discussed with Course Management Team and through a combination of experience/technical knowledge and by reviewing measurement data, decisions are taken regarding maintenance procedures needed to continually improve the playing qualities/performance of the turf.

Green Speed – A Stimpmeter was used to measure the speed of our putting greens and how easily a golf ball rolls across the surface of the green. The Stimpmeter is a very low-tech device, essentially just a small, metal ramp that is angled down to a flat part of a putting green. How far the golf ball rolls across the green results in the “Stimp rating” of the green.

Smoothness and Trueness – The Trueness Meter was used to measure vertical deviation (smoothness) and lateral deviation (trueness) of a replica ball in mm/m. The lower the numbers, the more smooth and true the surfaces were. This is the the only accurate, effective and efficient method of measuring the smoothness and trueness of a golf green.

Firmness – The Clegg Hammer was used to measure the hardness or shock absorption properties of a surfaces and Records deceleration of a mass dropped from a standard height.

Organic Matter – We measured the organic matter content in our soil profile by taking core samples, providing us with percentage concentration at four depths within the soil’s profile( 0-20mm, 20-40mm,40-60mm, 60-80mm). This gives us information on the levelspresent in our playing surfaces and whether there is a need to reduce organic matter to enhance the playing qualities on our sports turf.

Soil Moisture – A Soil moisture meter was used to measure the volumetric water content in our soils allowing us to make better and more informed decisions relating to soil moisture levels and helping with irrigation requirements, and therefore improve turf health.

A comprehensive assessment of our Golf Course was completed and a detailed report on the findings will be compiled with further recommendations within the next month. This data will help us achieve our targets, allowing us to produce an Authentic Championship links Course that can adapt to changes and extremes of weather which will help us ensure the course is at its very best, delivering the true, firm and running conditions that are characteristic of “Links golf”

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Staff Training – BIGGA CPD Approved member Certificate

On 15/07/2020 Course Manager Richard Johnstone was awarded with a BIGGA CPD Approved member Certificate in recognition of his continued education and training in 2020.

The BIGGA CPD Scheme is made up of members who are looking to improve their professional knowledge and competence within the industry while developing skills and personal qualities necessary for the execution of technical duties throughout their working life.

“No professional should stand still – we’re all learning, all the time.

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Indigenous Sand Trial – ETL Golf Green Health Index Test

The year-round performance of our golf greens is pivotal to the success of our golf club. It requires a number of technical elements to achieve desirable ranges. Golf Green Health Indexing provides key data characteristics to assist us in making key decisions.In an attempt to become more sustainable we will be trialling topdressing the 14th green with on site indigenous dune sand. This trial is to ensure compatibility and make sure there are no negative effects before hopefully introducing to all 19 greens on site.

Before we start this process we have completed a ETL GGHI testing package which is supported by a technical report to provide benchmarking progress towards targets levels for this green which we will then be repeated in 10/12 months time to track progress

The data considers :

• Full Elemental Analysis (includes pH, P, K, Mg, Ca, S, Mn, Cu, B, Zn, Mb, Fe, Na & CEC)
• Organic Matter Profile (4 x 20mm Increments)
• Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity: 0-75mm
• Total Porosity, Air-Filled Porosity,
• Water-Filled Porosity & Water Retention: 0-75mm
•Bulk Density: 0-75mm

The benefits of sand topdressing are:

Improved Smoothness – Voids exist within the turf canopy between turfgrass leaves and stems, causing inconsistent ball roll. Sand topdressing helps fill these voids to provide smoother and truer putts.

Thatch Dilution – The layer of organic debris, stems, crowns and roots in the upper rootzone – i.e., thatch – can become concentrated and encourage mower scalping and localized dry spots. Thatch should be diluted with sand through practices like verticutting and sand topdressing to maintain good turf quality.

Increased Firmness – Turf produces organic matter in the upper rootzone that creates soft, spongy playing conditions. Regular sand topdressing, along with core aeration, improves surface firmness and resiliency.

Improved Rootzone – Sand drains well and resists soil compaction. The accumulation of sand from multiple topdressings over many years can improve soil physical properties.

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Staff Training – 6th BIGGA CPD Milestone Certificate

 On 18th May 2020 Course Manager Richard Johnstone was awarded with a 6th BIGGA CPD Milestone member Certificate in recognition of his continued education and training in 2020.

The BIGGA CPD Scheme is made up of members who are looking to improve their professional knowledge and competence within the industry while developing skills and personal qualities necessary for the execution of technical duties throughout their working life.

Continuing Professional Development Credits types have been divided into four categories to provide a greater range of CPD activities. The four categories are Education, Professional, Personal Learning and Networking. All BIGGA CPD credits are recorded in a lifetime transcript which is a list of all the CPD you have carried out, since registering on the CPD programme.

“No professional should stand still – we’re all learning, all the time. CPD asks you to think about and record what you’re doing, and plan and structure the most appropriate next steps.”

IMG_E6162[1]

Staff Training – BIGGA CPD Approved Members Certificate

On 18th May 2020 Course Manager Richard Johnstone was awarded with a BIGGA CPD Approved member Certificate in recognition of his continued education and training in 2020.

The BIGGA CPD Scheme is made up of members who are looking to improve their professional knowledge and competence within the industry while developing skills and personal qualities necessary for the execution of technical duties throughout their working life.

Continuing Professional Development Credits types have been divided into four categories to provide a greater range of CPD activities. The four categories are Education, Professional, Personal Learning and Networking. All BIGGA CPD credits are recorded in a lifetime transcript which is a list of all the CPD you have carried out, since registering on the CPD programme.

“No professional should stand still – we’re all learning, all the time. CPD asks you to think about and record what you’re doing, and plan and structure the most appropriate next steps.”IMG_E6161[1]

Staff Training – BIGGA CPD Approved Member Certificate

On 25th April 2020 Assistant Greenkeeper Graham Burnett was awarded with a BIGGA CPD Approved member Certificate in recognition of his continued education and training in 2020.

The BIGGA CPD Scheme is made up of members who are looking to improve their professional knowledge and competence within the industry while developing skills and personal qualities necessary for the execution of technical duties throughout their working life.

Continuing Professional Development Credits types have been divided into four categories to provide a greater range of CPD activities. The four categories are Education, Professional, Personal Learning and Networking. All BIGGA CPD credits are recorded in a lifetime transcript which is a list of all the CPD you have carried out, since registering on the CPD programme.

“No professional should stand still – we’re all learning, all the time. CPD asks you to think about and record what you’re doing, and plan and structure the most appropriate next steps.”Graham Approved cert April 2020