Written by our Course Manager, Craig Paterson.
April is already upon us and, although it only seems like yesterday that it was the start of the
This month brings the ‘real feel’ of spring, with longer nights and increasing
temperatures, which has now started to provide some essential turf growth and recovery;
although we did have snow only a couple of weeks ago and are still seeing regular early
morning frosts, so we must not get too carried away.
The weather forecast for the next few weeks looks relatively settled with a mixture of rain,
sunshine, and good temperatures, all these combine to make ideal grass growing conditions.
The increase in daylight hours is vital for our plant right now as it allows photosynthesis to
take place, simply put, the more photosynthesis that can take place the more growth we
Unfortunately, we suffer regularly from theft on both courses, with flag, pins, tee markers,
rope, tee mats all been stolen which was responsible for a recent issue with the green
sheeting from the 8th tee stolen. These have been replaced and the opportunity used to
upgrade the steps.
The greens are coming along nicely with most having good grass coverage. The greens which
are a little behind in terms sward coverage are being overseeded and we will continue with
this process until we are satisfied. Once we are happy with the grass coverage, we will begin
the process of refining the sward, this will involve lowering the height of cut, verti cutting
and top dressing and is when you will notice a difference in the speed and trueness of the
We have begun our nutrient program for the season with each green receiving a granular
fertiliser which is specifically designed to encourage early season growth and assist with
wear and tear recovery. We are also applying liquid fertilisers and biostimulants, these aid
the plant with photosynthesis and carbohydrate production both of which are essential for
good strong growth.
We are currently mowing the greens at 5mm, we will gradually reduce the height as we
begin the season and as the grass plant becomes strong enough to take the increase in wear
The tees are in a good position now with good grass coverage on most of them, this is
mainly due to the use of tee mats throughout the winter months.
I know that the tee frames were not everyone’s favourite, but we are now seeing the benefit.
Throughout the winter every tee has been hollow cored, scarified and verti drained,
continual use of these processes will vastly improve the condition of the tees.
We have increased our tee maintenance program this year, each tee has been fertilised and
overseeded, with more nutrients, seeding, and top dressing to follow throughout the
Although we are back on main tees, you will notice that the markers might be in the front of
tee position or markers joined together i.e., red, and yellow side by side, this is to protect as
much of the tee as we can during the first few weeks until the soil temperature rises
allowing for recovery to take place.
When the season starts they will return to normal positions to allow for general play scores to be submitted. Your patience is very much
appreciated on this matter.
We have recently purchased new cutting reels for our tees and aprons mowers, these reels
will vastly improve the quality of cut, the new units have less blades, which is are much
more suited to mowing the grass types that we have.
Long Term Greens Development
Over the past 15 months we have made continual progress in developing the greens putting
in a lot of hard work and effort.
To maintain this progression, we must continue with our aeration, top dressing, and de-compaction program and the greenkeeping team and I are fully committed to carefully managing this and all other aspects of our courses to ensure we provide the premier playing experience at Cawder.
The photographs below show that while this is by no means a completed journey, progress has been made and the differences at the beginning of the summer season are now being seen.