May weather was generally very dry with very few days of consistent rain making the course look very dry in places. Temperatures have been average with only a few very hot days, but it has been generally sunny and dry.
Despite having the irrigation system turned on and recalibrated from the winter shutdown it was only the last weekend in May where it worked automatically . To water manually means that nearly one hundred valves have to be turned on individually each time and back off again which is a very labour intensive job. Although we rely on irrigation you just cannot beat natural rain to help green up the course and normally through April and May consist rain will permeate deep into the turf to give it a great start to the summer season.
The greens are at their final cutting height for the summer and the grass coverage is generally very good with much of the earlier seeding starting to show through. Plantain (weed) coverage is fairly light and spraying of a selective weed killer has been delayed to June due to slow growth. Spiking, spraying and fertilising along with everyday cutting is paying off and the greens are of good speed and fairly true. In June the greens come into their top form for the year and every day we may empty our grass collectors two to there times on a full cut , but also with the increase in grass cutting comes the increased likelihood of oil and diesel leakes and breakdowns which in turn add further challenges.
We will be doing a further top dressing at some stage in June to fill in some of the low spots and holes on the greens.
The fairways had a full foliar spray two weeks ago and although there was not a huge difference in colour they did start to grow quicker and take on a slight greener colour. We are due to spray them 3-4 more times increasing the amount of concentrate each time and trying to coincide with more temperate weather. Hopefully we will get better growth and on them and it will help to fill in some of the bearer areas.
Tees and approaches and surrounds are due a late spring spray with fertiliser to green them up and promote growth along with a selective weed kill.
Generally the course is looking in good summer condition despite the lack of rainfall , most years somehow the rainfall balances out and I expect we will see some prolonged rain spells in the coming months