Front 9 Fwy Renovations

With the fairway in great shape, I keep asking myself why oh why are you still planning on ripping them up and then having a long recovery period before they are back in the same condition ? The answer is the same, if it isn't done, I know through the remainder of summer it will be next to impossible to keep the fairways in the condition they are in now.

Why is it that you ask ?
The thatch layer I have referred to when talking of the greens renovations is the main culprit and target for the Fairway renovations. Wintergreen Couch is a phenomenal grower and thatches up naturally very quickly, under high maintenance regimes this is more so. Generally at around 15mm to even 20mm is acceptable, any higher and if nothing is done, trouble is just around the corner.
Thatch as I have said before is the layer of dead and growing matter between the green leaf and soil, at 15mm or below in depth it is beneficial as it helps out compete weeds and helps retain soil moisture through warmer months. Over 20mm and this layer starts to restrict air movement into the soil and also acts like a sponge holding the moisture within the thatch layer and not infiltrating to the soil below. This leads to active roots remaining in this thatch layer, through hot weather the layer heats up and cooks the roots, with no or minimal active roots in the soil, or moisture, turf health suffers and large brown areas develop as a result. Excess Thatch also is a perfect place for Diseases and insect pest to populate rapidly.
At present soil plugs show we have in places 50mm of thatch tho 40mm in the most part and enough to believe that renovations are required to prevent a downward spiral of the fairway conditions through summer.


This plug is a perfect sample of thatch. The lighter colour on top (60mm) is the thatch and the darker colour the soil. 






Ideally I would love to Aerate and verti cut the fairways, however we must live within our means and so with the course we must maintain within a budget. The verti cutting will reduce thatch, and we plan to scroll cut at a lower height than normal fairway heights to reduce it more so.
The front 9 fairways will be severely disrupted and recovery may take some 4 to 6 weeks. During the process on non competition days individual holes maybe closed and some disruption on comp days should be expected. The process may take 3 to 4 days to complete and I have been informed the contractor cannot make a start till the afternoon on Monday, due to circumstances beyond their control.
Please check the notice board before play, as the match committee may decide to invoke Preferred lies on affected fairways.

The green staff apologies for the disruption to play, but appreciate your understanding of the importance of this work. 
Thank you.

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