Category: Course Reports

Updates on the Course

An update from the Course   – Fusarium – end April 2019


A number of members have asked recently about damage to some greens.

What is the problem ?

What we are seeing is a disease attack called Fusarium.  Fusarium patch is the most common disease on Irish golf courses; a severe attack can leave disfiguring scars that will affect the playing quality of putting surfaces. Fusarium is a fungal infection of turf, caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale.

Fusarium is spread by wind, water, wheels and by foot traffic. It is during periods of mild cool wet weather and heavy dews that an outbreak of the disease takes place. Attacks appear during late autumn and through the winter.

Fusarium starts as small orange to red-brown circular spots 1-2 cm in diameter. If left unmanaged the patches increase in size and in the worst case situations, the entire surface of a green can be affected. When the fungus is particularly active, the patches have a brown ring at the outer edge. 

Fusarium Patches – What Are They?

Golf Greens are susceptible to Fusarium when the soil surface remains wet during prolonged periods of wet cool weather. Infected turf will recover when the plant becomes more active in the spring and is able to produce new healthy leaves restoring its vigour and colour. Our holes 13 -15,  which have been affected the most, are in sheltered areas and therefore more susceptible to attack.

The Fusarium fungus resides in the thatch of the green and is always present. You can’t exclude thatch and nor would you want to. Naturally occurring thatch at an appropriate depth and uniformity provides a natural resilience which contributes to the speed and consistency of play. It also acts as a singularly significant ‘recycling bin’ for natural nutrients (including nitrogen), released from decomposing organic matter and returned to the living grass plant tissue through the fibrous root system.

So, Fusarium requires constant monitoring and control. It is always there on every golf green waiting to strike!

Enough technical stuff, What are we doing about it ?

A twofold approach is adopted Prevention and Cure. 

Prevention… is a balance of continuing to remove the dew from the greens at every opportunity and increasing drainage and aeration. This is the right activity but many green keepers regard this as the equivalent of King Canute trying to hold back the waves.  Management of pin positions is also important particularly where greens are partially attacked. 

Cure… is the successful application of chemicals to manage the disease. However, chemical use has been reduced in recent years as products have been taken off the marketplace. There has also been an increase in disease resistance due to the over reliance on specific groups of fungicides. Therefore, it is useful to adopt a strategic approach when utilising fungicides to derive the best use for what is a relatively expensive resource.

It is important to note that the disease is always present. It happens every year, it just needs to be managed carefully.   

Having said all that, the best prevention and cure actions may not always solve the problem and as stated above, the Fusarium thatch is always present.

The good news is that the greens will fully recover during the spring as the growing season gets into to top gear supported by seeding. 

On the 1st May, staff over-seeded scars on holes 13 -16 to assist with the natural healing process.

It is testament to our Course Manager Dave, and his team, that we have not been completely over run with the disease.  Each year in autumn, the team prepares for Fusarium attacks.  Most members don’t notice the problem and therefore are not aware of all the effort that is put in by Dave and the team to control Fusarium.

As somebody said, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail !”

It is unfortunate that the disease is a little more noticeable this year but on the other hand, we are fortunate not to have suffered more.  Reports indicate that very severe attacks have occurred in other less fortunate clubs where whole greens have been affected.

John Curran,

Course Chairman


 

Tree Management Plan for Beech Park

Motion for AGM 

It is proposed that the Members of Beech Park Golf Club agree to a Tree Management Plan which will be conducted over the next 1 – 10 years. Including, the identification, mapping and tagging of the native trees on the site. Included in the plan, is the planting of Ash, Beech, Scots Pine etc. over the coming years. It also includes for the removal of some trees (Mainly hybrids) and replacing them with species natural to our course. This will add value in terms of Course playability, whilst having regard to local environmental demands.

Approval is sought by the present and future Course Sub Committee’s to carry out this Tree Management Plan as outlined.

Tree Managment Plan 2018


 

Course Report November 2018

Beech Park Golf Club

Course Report November 2018

Over the last few weeks

  • Disease pressure under control at present with some recovery evident on 13, 15, 18 in particular.
    • Scars will be present until spring to one degree or another.
  • Leaf litter well under control
    • Leaf vacuum is out on course clearing ditches now that most debris has fallen.
    • Full clean-up will be on going for another 3-4 weeks, weather dependant.
  • Mowing schedule is now down to a minimum to allow a body of grass develop for winter traffic.
  • Winter mats now in place, all mats checked to ensure slits for tees are present, mats washed and moved twice a week.
  • Large amount of winter roping complete, the remainder will be added as needed.

Over the coming weeks

  • Setup of course as and when necessary.
  • Continue top dressing of greens as weather conditions allow.
  • Liquid feeding and chemical applications to the greens as per schedule and weather windows.
  • If weather stays fine, we will begin sodding repairs around bunkers before Christmas
    • This will include slightly altering the lips of a few bunkers to improve the appearance and performance.
    • Bunkers will be topped up with sand in the spring
  • Begin tree pruning once leaf litter is complete
    • The pruning back of the laurel on 10,11 and 13 will take place in the new year.
      • We would hope to have member help with the clear-up on some of these areas
    • Begin fabrication of the extension to the trolley shed with on installation in the early part of the new year.
    • Continue pencil tine aeration of greens every 3-4 weeks throughout the winter period.
    • Schedule in another deep aeration process such as Air 2-G-2 for the early part of the New Year (subject to weather conditions)

Course Report October 2018  

Over the last few weeks

  • Air 2-g-2 carried out on greens the week of October 8th. Pencil tine aeration carried out on the same day.
  • Fertility program on schedule on all areas.
  • Disease pressure quite high in the last 2 weeks. 13th green in particular is going through a though outbreak. The 14,15,16,12 and 2nd greens also are at various degrees of problematic scar levels. Unfortunately, very little can be done at this time of year to push recovery as temperature’s are generally low with frost around at night. Various different fungicide treatments have been used in the last two weeks, hopefully this will put a halt to further development.
  • Regular maintenance work carried out.
  • Mowing schedule winding down as leaf litter is now becoming as issue
    • Leaf litter being mulched as much as possible.
    • New ditch on 17th is cleared on a weekly basis.
    • Ditch on 6th cleared as often as possible.
  • Shock wave aeration completed on all tees, approaches, fairways and walkways.
  • Timber on right of 5th hole cleared up from recent storm
  • Tri-angle plantation at 1st tee cleared in preparation for next phase of post and rail instillation in the new year.
  • Heights of cut on greens, tees, approaches, fairways and semi-rough all being brought up to winter heights at the moment.

Over the coming weeks

  • Setup of course as and when necessary.
  • Continue top dressing of greens as weather conditions allow.
  • Liquid feeding and chemical applications to the greens as per schedule and weather windows.
  • Winter roping will be deployed as late as possible.
  • Winter mats will be out on tees after this bank holiday weekend.
  • Leaf litter will occupy most of our labour resources between now and mid-December.
  • Reduce cutting frequency as weather conditions allow.