TLGC Newsletter - February 2021
Planned Greens Maintenance Brougnt Forward
Hopefully members have been able to read the STRI reports from last year (they are available in the Club Docs area of the Members Hub App) and are aware of the need for us to reduce the levels of thatch in the putting surfaces. We started this process last year with additional hollow core and dressing treatments and members were informed of the intention to continue this positive action though out this year starting with the use of a Graden machine in March.
However, due to a combination the sudden improvement in weather conditions and likely return to golf on the 29th March. Our Course Manger made the decision to bring the planned maintenance in March forward and it is being done right now. The reason for bringing it forward is purely to have an increased period of recovery before the members return to the course. The surfaces are still a little soft but on balance this decision made perfect sense, especially if temperatures remain as they are as the grass type we have begins to grow and recover well once soil temperatures reach around 10 degrees Celsius.
Effectively it is a deep scarification that removes a higher percentage of thatch than the hollow core process whilst at the same time filling the grooves with sand to firm up the surfaces and dilute the thatch levels further. This treatment works down to a depth of 20mm, but this is the depth requiring most attention, hollow core treatments will be used later in the year to reduce thatch at a greater depth.
Casual Golf Booking Changes
Whilst members have been away from the course, we have been reviewing many aspects of the club and the services offered to members. One of the challenges for both members and staff has been the number of different systems that we use. This sometimes creates a confusing experience as well as duplicating many of the data inputs required which clearly reduces our efficiency and effectiveness.
As result we are going to gradually bring as many of the operations and services we provide under a single point of access for all users. This is the Club V1 Member Hub. Many members will already have access to the Hub as it can be accessed directly via an app for your phone or tablet or via the website. (Which is also under review!)
The first aspect we intend to improve is the system for casual tee booking.
Up to now members needed to create an account on BRS and then link through to this from the CV1 Hub. This often-created difficulties so from now on we will be using the booking process provided within the Hub itself. The links below are brief videos of how to use get the access to the Hub if you have not yet registered for it. How to reset your password if needed and how to book a casual tee time.
Hub Registration Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iObOeDs8T1A
Password Reset Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF_Lx2xSB1s
Casual Booking Video - https://youtu.be/OVjXMcZ8xGA
As we are not yet back playing, we thought it was a great opportunity to let members have a play with this new booking process and so we have switched it on for the next two weeks. Obviously, this does NOT mean that the course is open, and members can play. Feel free to book sometimes and then go back in and see how easy it is to also cancel them. You can also book other members and they will also receive notifications of those bookings by email. The system will not permit a member to book a time that their membership category doesn’t provide.
In addition to the casual tee booking there are other aspects the Hub provides, and we will gradually introduce them to you over the next few weeks. These aspects include.
Bar Card balance, transaction info and top up facility
Membership subscription info and payment option
And in the future a separate member card account for the Practice Range with top up facility
If you experience any issues in gaining access to the Hub or in using it, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
TLGC Newsletter - January 2021
TLGC Newsletter - December 2020
Frost Damage on the Golf Clourse
Below is an article that members may be interested in to help the understanding of why we need to use temprary greens, in some cases when there appears to be little reason for them. It was written by a Course Manager in 2013.
When we make assessment at TLGC regarding frost conditions the policy is for only those with the correct experience to carry it out. It requires an assessment of each green as their specific environmental conditions mean that a blanket assessment would result in some greens being damaged. The most obvious example would be the 12th green as it sits in a hollow and is permanently sheltered so will not reach a playabvle condition when others greens might. Hopefully the information below will provide a greater understanding of the reasoning behind the use to teporary winter greens.
Frost Damage and the Golf Course
It is surprising how few golfers comprehend what grass consists of and how it grows. A basic understanding is vital if the effect of freezing weather on the plant is to be explained.
During the process of photosynthesis, the grass plant grows its leaves (green because of the presence of chlorophyll) and roots (white in its absence) by absorbing the gas, carbon dioxide from the air, and the liquid, water through the roots to form complex solid carbohydrates and at the same time releasing oxygen into the air. Soil is the medium in which the grass grows, it is not used up during the growing process. Grass growth is the absorption of mass from the air within the soil.
The solid carbohydrates, forming the grass leaf and root, contain water within their solid structures. The plant itself is between 60 per cent and 70 per cent water. The greenkeeper will have raised his height of cut to winter settings for all areas of the course, and the insulating properties of the grass leaves are in proportion to the length of grass, making the short grass on the greens the most susceptible areas on the course to frost.
Air (Hoar) Frost
The overnight drop in temperature will cause ice crystals to form both on and within the leaves of the grass plant. If the grass is trampled by the walking golfer or worse by the golfer pulling his trolley, the leaves will be ruptured. For this reason, many clubs prepare “frost greens” to prevent such damage being done to the finer grasses. The main effect of such damage is to delay the recovery of the grass plant in spring. I experienced a striking visual effect of this on a newly constructed tee. The ground was covered in hoar frost for the Christmas Shotgun Competition. One wag walked onto the new tee and drew a matchstick man attending the flag in the frost. It was still clearly visible at the end of May.
Because of the lack of insulation from the longer grass leaves, the depth of the frost is greater on the greens than any other area of the course. The greens freeze from the surface downwards, the ground becomes solid, sometimes to a depth of several inches. No more damage is done by playing on the course under these conditions, than by playing after an air frost. However, there may be a health and safety consideration to be taken into account because of the slippery condition on slopes.
The real problem arises when the air temperature rises and the ground begins to thaw. This thaw starts at the surface and gradually descends. Because the ground underneath is frozen, surface water cannot move down, and the top surface becomes soft. Walking on such ground, breaks the roots of the grass at the junction of the soft and frozen soil, effectively killing the grass. Under thawing conditions, it is essential the course remains closed. The greenkeeper will monitor the thawing of the ground with a long-pointed tine, such as a knitting needle, opening the course only when all the frost is out of the ground.
Ironically it is always a glorious day for golf with a warm sun in a clear sky that creates these conditions and golfers are often incensed that the course is closed. This is because the damage being done is below ground, it cannot be seen, and there is no objective way it can be measured. A delay of a couple of weeks before “good summer playing surfaces” are achieved, is usually the only evidence of such winter play damage.
It is always a difficult decision for the person charged with the responsibility of closing and opening the course during winter on a daily basis, to weigh the loss of the facility on that particular day to the benefit of earlier and better spring and summer playing conditions. What is essential is that the Club has a written Course Closure Policy, explaining to the members how and why decisions are made and that policy, once accepted, is fully supported by the club’s Management Committee. The more objective the criteria for winter closure, both for frost and water, the more consistent closure decisions will be. Such decisions should always be the remit of the professional greenstaff.
Caddy Car Damage
If ice crystals have formed inside the grass leaf, then allowing the use of trolleys will result in the leaves being broken as the wheels track round the course. However, because trolley users always follow the same route off tees and around greens, considerably more damage is done in these “high traffic” areas by the turning wheels as the golfers converge on the same small area. The longer the grass, the greater its insulating effect to ground frost in cold weather and the less damage is done to the grass plant by walking on it. The haphazard route of the golfer who carries his bags does little damage compared to that done on the regular routes of the man who “pulls”. It is the “fairway” outside the greenside bunkers around the greens, in particular, that suffers the most damage during winter play. It is these very areas that need to be in good condition to allow proper precision shots to be played to the greens during the summer months. If posts and ropes are used to deflect the wear from around the green and into the semi-rough, within a few days there will be a concentrated wear path by the side of the rope, produced by the passage of trolleys.
The real help to the greenkeeper would be the spreading of that wear. Members expect good summer playing conditions and complain when the staff do not produce them. However, they are not prepared to walk a few extra yards or play a shortened course for a short period during the winter months for the benefits of a course in much better condition for the rest of the season. I do not favour a blanket winter ban on caddy cars. The daily reviews should determine course closure/caddy car and buggy restrictions, based on the course conditions at inspection and the local weather forecast.
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