A Tap In Away From Opening
Throughout the sweltering heat of July we have been continuing the work necessary to get the golf course into a playable condition. The good news is the greens 1 & 2 which were turfed with the kind help of many of our members, have settled in well to their new home. Pictured below is hole 1 which, since the photo, has had a top dressing of sand and is now being cut regularly to 6mm preparing it for putting.
Top dressing is an essential part of green maintenance and helps smooth out the surface filling in all the bumps over time. Below is the 3rd green recently dressed which looks rather extreme, however with a few days and lots of water it soon returns to its former self.
The 5th and 6th greens below were dressed a couple of weeks ago and we have started cutting them at 4mm, close to what will be the playing length. There are still a few dry patches which has actually been caused by grubs (underground larvae of beetles) which eat the roots. These are a yearly problem for golf courses, especially when watering heavily in spring like we have had to do. Insecticide has been sprayed to try and solve the problem.
Good Grass vs Bad Grass
There is a constant fight on the golf course between good grass and bad grass, a fight that any head greenkeeper surely loses hair over. Unfortunately, La Resina over the years has lost that fight and subsequently become infested with much winter grass and lost a lot of summer grass which are a must for tropical locations.
Poa annua, the winter grass, dies in the summer heat but leaves millions of seed behind ready for next winter. This is not normally a big deal if there is plenty of tropical bermuda and kikuya. You see the lack of this grass in the bare patches around the greens and fairways. We have been promoting its growth as you can see in the picture below, but it takes time and will probably take another season to creep back into the places it left.
Hole 4 and hole 8 are continuing to give us problems. Not only the greens but also they seem to be the nightly meeting spot for a wild boar party. Enclosing the course with fencing and electrical wiring is top of the list of priorities. Green 4 will open with a provisional green until we can find the solution to the many problems in this area. We are keeping our fingers crossed for green 8, it is trying its hardest to recover.