Golf Course Agronomy
KEEPING YOUR COURSE IN CHAMPIONSHIP CONDITION, BY SUPERINTENDENT MARTIN MCGAVOCK
After a good stretch now into my tenure with Dreamland golf club, learning the course, the seasonal changes and challenges in Baku, a lot of positive progress has been made with the agronomy department. It has been a process of development through staff training, the maturing of the golf course and the closing out of all the small details that although not noticed day to day, have a very positive impact on our overall presentation of playing surfaces and landscaping.
Baku’s location and environment bring a lot of challenges, from severe winds which can affect the movement of bunker sand and trees to intense summer heat which pushes our cool season grasses to peak stress levels. Every season we learn more and adapt to these challenges. Using the best Turf management practices we have been able to keep the course in top condition, consistently.
One of the main features of the course which give it its character are the trees, around 1700 of them to be precise! The course was designed using, a variety of olive, deciduous and evergreen trees in landscaping. Olive trees have been our best performers adapting very well to the climate, therefore, we have added over 200 more olive trees in recent months. Once established the Olive really enhance the aesthetics, improving the depth and perspective of holes and benefiting the eco-system of golf course grounds.
Among current winter works are the establishment of our tree bases. Hazel nutshells (an amount totaling 72,000kg ) have been chosen as a mulch for tree bases, a job which is expected to finish in late Spring 2017. As a bonus to this work, we have a lot of extra turf from tree bases which we are transplanting to cart path edges damaged by traffic. I would ask all members and guests, as I do my own team, to try and please drive in the middle of the paths and not cut over corners and edges, this will keep cart path grass edges healthy, well presented and hugely reduce the amount of time we need to spend on repairs.
Consistent playing surfaces are achieved through adjusting grass heights from tee to green. Current tee height for winter is 13mm for green approaches and 14mm for fairways, the semi-rough is cut at 28mm, and outer rough is groomed at 51mm.
Should you have any questions regarding golf course agronomy and maintenance please don’t hesitate to contact me or stop for a chat if you see me at the club. I’m always happy to discuss our current schedule or share my professional opinions.