Teretulemast EGCC hooldusmeeskonna blogisse!

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EGCC hooldusmeeskonna blogis kirjutavad nii hooldusmeeskonna juht Krzysztof Misiaczyński, meie oma kodustatud greenkeeper kanada-eestlane Paul Marley kui ka EGCC juhataja Hanno Kross.

Enamus bolgipostitusi on inglise keeles, kuid vahepeal satub sekka ka emakeelseid postitusi. Mida aeg edasi seda enam tõenoliselt saab eesti keeles blogi lugeda. Keda väljakul toimuv hooldusmeeskonna silme läbi rohkem huvitab, siis teile soovitame tellida uutest postitustest oma emailile otse teavitused.

Keskmiselt korra nädalas üritame infot anda ikka. Kommenteerige julgelt, tagasiside on meile oluline.

Snow!

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Hello Golfers!

Winter came earlier this year than it has in the past couple of years, so unfortunately we have had to close the Sea and Stone Courses a little bit earlier than we had hoped for.

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But just because the golf course is closed does not mean we have not been keeping busy down here in the greens department.  Last week we performed one of our last major tasks of preparing the golf course for the winter, which was blowing out the irrigation system.  All golf courses in cold climates do this towards the end of the season to prevent the water in the irrigation pipes and sprinklers from freezing and bursting pipes and nozzles.  If the water cracks any parts of the irrigation system these problems do not become apparent until the spring and can result in costly and time consuming repairs.

Apart from the irrigation blow -out we have been keeping ourselves busy with various odds and ends that we were not able to get to during the golfing season, and making preparations for next season.  One project that has proved to be very time consuming is thinning out the trees that surround 16 green on the Sea Course.  We have been removing trees from behind and around the right side of the green to increase light penetration and air-circulation.  One limiting factor that causes 16 green to be quite weak is that it is in the shade for most of the day.  By thinning out the trees we are hoping to get the grass more sunlight and improve the health of that green next season.

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16 green before.

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16 green after. As you can see a number of trees have been removed and shade should be slightly less of an issue next season.

Our objective while doing this work has been to remove as few trees as possible, while improving the light and air-circulation as much as possible.  The main reason for leaving as many trees as possible is because if we remove too many trees we change the character of the hole.  Having those trees surrounding the green makes that approach shot seem a little bit more difficult.

There are a couple of other areas on the golf course that we intend to do similar works on throughout the off season.

With all the trees we have taken down we are also spending quite a bit of time splitting and stacking firewood for the clubhouse for next season.dsc_0123

The weather forecast promises for the temperature to rise quite a bit over the next week, so there is a chance that the snow will melt enough for us to open up the Stone Course again.  Please look for further updates with regards to Stone Course opening on the Estonian Golf and Country Club website as well as on the club´s Facebook page.

 

 

Job Done!

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It has been a very long two weeks of brushing greens by hand to incorporate organic material into the soil profile, but we are finally done!  The weather helped out a lot by not raining during these last two weeks, so we were able to get all 18 Sea Course greens done very quickly.  The only minor delay we ran into was during the last two days when there was a frost in the morning and we could not get started as early as we would have liked to.

The greens have been fertilized as well, and those greens that were among the first to be done have started to recover quite nicely.  They still require some time to heal in the spring, but we are quite happy with what we have accomplished here in the last two weeks.

As mentioned in our previous post, unfortunately we are in that time of year where we start to experience frost delays in the morning.  If you go to the first tee on the Stone Course, or the 1st or 10th on the Sea Course and you see a “Course Closed” sign, PLEASE DO NOT TEE OFF!! The greens infront of the clubhouse are among the first to thaw, but there are many tees and greens that remain covered in frost for a while longer.  We have staff constantly monitoring the situation and we will open up the Sea Course as soon as it is playable.

The Stone Course becomes playable much earlier so we recommend playing up there instead.  And if you have signed up to play the Anniversary Course, please play the Stone Course first and check with the caddiemaster if the Sea Course has opened before teeing off on the 10th.

Frost delays are frustrating for everyone, but please be patient and we will open up the courses as soon as they are ready to play.

The weather forecast for next week seems to be a little warmer than it was this past week, so hopefully the frost delays in the morning will be very brief.

Enjoy the rest of the season!

Frost Delays

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Hello Golfers!

It´s that time of the year again when we start to experience frost delays in the morning.  These delays are just as frustrating for us in the greens department as they are for you the golfer because we cannot get any work done on the course when there is a frost delay.

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We have pushed the first tee times back until 10am in anticipation of frost delays, but should the course be free of frost when the greens staff arrives in the morning, we will release the tee times on Golfbox.  Please bear in mind that even though the first tee might be closed until 10am, it is possible that the course will remain closed longer should the frost not have thawed.

There will also be “Course Closed” signs on the 1st and 10th tees on the Sea Course, as well as on the first tee on the Stone Course.  The greens staff will remove the signs once the course is free of frost.  Please keep in mind (especially when wanting to play the Sea Course), that just because the greens you see from the clubhouse are free of frost does not mean that the course is ready to be played –  greens 1, 2, 5 and 11 often take a while longer to deforst.

Frost delays are just as frustrating for employees as they are for golfers, but keeping golfers off the greens is important to keep the turf healthy.   So should you arrive at the golf course to see a “Course Closed” sign at the first tee, please have some patience.  Go into the clubhouse, enjoy a second cup of coffee and we will have you out playing as soon as possible.

Next Step in the Process

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Hello Golfers!

We had great success with flooding the greens since our last update.  After our last update every day we closed two or three greens on the Sea Course to flood out all of the bad salts from the soil profile.  Upon completing that step we gave the greens a couple of days rest before we started the very labour intensive step of adding organic material to the soil profile.

This part of the process began a week and a half ago when we aerified and topdressed 16 green on the Sea Course.  Then last week we closed the back 9 on the Sea course to make it easier for us to get our work done, and to allow golfers to play the front 9 on un-aerified greens.

Every day we selected two greens to get done.  The first step of the process was to aerify the greens with large tines (these holes are approximately the circumference of your thumb), putting as many holes into the greens as possible.  Afterwards we applied zeolytes to the greens which are meant to help the plant hold onto moisture and nutrients.  The second to last step of the process was extremely time consuming and labour intensive (thus why we were able to only complete two greens per day).  We topdressed the greens with an organic material rich in humus which is meant to work with the zeolytes to increase moisture and nutrient retention.

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Greens after being topdressed with organic material.

The problem was, this organic material needed to be worked into the holes and the best way to do this was by hand using brushes.  To get this part of the job done as effeceintly as possible we had just about all of our staff helping out with this part of the process.

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Greens staff working the organic material into the holes by hand.

The final step was to give the greens a final granular fertilizer application at a higher rate than usual to replace all the nutrients that had been removed during the washout, and to help the greens heal and go into the winter as strong as possible.

Yesterday (10.10.2016) we completed this process on the back 9 of the Sea Course and got going on the front 9 today completing greens 1 and 2.  As of tomorrow morning (12.10.2016) we will be closing the front 9 of the Sea Course and re-opening the back 9 on summer greens.

Because this is a very invasive process which causes quite a bit of disruption to the putting surface we ask for your patience as the greens heal.  We will continue to roll the greens to get them putting as well as possible, as quickly as possible, but this work is something that had to be done with the long term health and playability of the greens in mind.

So far the weather has been fantastic to get this kind of work done – dry conditions and cool wind helps to dry the organic material making it much easier to work into the soil profile.  The current forecast promises more of the same so with any luck we will be able to finish this project on schedule.

Enjoy the nice weather while it lasts!

*Please note that none of these works have been done on the Stone Course.  So if you find putting on aerified greens to be very frustrating please consider playing the Stone Course instead of the Sea Course.

Griinide ujutamine

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Eelmisel nädalal alustasime griinidel väga olulise tööga, mida pole EGCC’s ennem tehtud – griinide “ujutamisega”. Tegemist on meetodiga, kus ülisuur veekogus viib oma raskusega griini pinnases olevad ained allapoole juurestikku. Selliselt nö “pestakse” griine paljudes ookeanide äärtes olevatel väljakutel, kus merevees olevad soolad jõuavad golfiväljakule ning viimased pärsivad murukasvu.

Meil on griinimaterjalide detailsed analüüside tulemused nüüd viimasest neljast aastast ning analüüsid näitavad teatud kohtades väga suurt fosfori ja soolade sisaldust. Soolade halvast mõjust looduses võib lugeda siit, kuid lühidalt kokkuvõttes on sool põhimõtteliselt taimele nagu mürk, mis tõmbab ta veest tühjaks, põletab ära ja taim sureb ära.

Ma olin ise alguses skeptiline selle meetodi osas, et kas tõesti vesi suudab need soolad ja mürgised ühendid viia nii alla kui vaja, kuid vesteldes erinevate partneritega maailmas sain kinnitust, et meetod töötab ja seda on tehtud aastakümneid. Minu põhiküsimus oli, et miks meil siis näiteks augustikuu suured vihmad soolasid ei vii alla ja kuidas kastmisvesi viib?

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Õiges vastused on juba päris teaduslikud, kuid põhjusi on mitmeid – esiteks ei tule kunagi nii suurt kogust alla otse griinile ning vee raskus ei ole piisavalt suur. Teiseks tuleb griinid enne tööd aereerida hästi sügavalt, meie poleme aereerinud tavaliselt 10cm sügavuselt ja selle tõttu me juured ka üle 10cm suvel väga ei ole. Oleks vaja minna kuni 25cm sügavusele aereerimisega. Lisaks on enne kastmisvee lahtikeeramist vaja griinid teatud ainega töödelda, et (ja nüüd läheb päris keemiaks kätte) aines molekulides olevad negatiivsed ja vees olevad positiivsed laengud omavahel reageeriks ja asi omavahel lahustuks ning toimiks. Keda polaarsed, mittepolaarsed ja ioonilised ühendid rohkem huvitavad, need leiavad kindlasti keskooli keemiaõpikutest täpsemaid vastuseid või alternatiivina internetiavarustest.

Griinide “pesemine” või “ujutamine”, mida me päevas saame ära teha kahel-kolmel griinil, on selle sügise hooldustööde osas väga oluline osa, kuid mitte ainuke. Lisaks sellele, et iga päev paar-kolm griini ujutatakse järjest 3h rohke veega üle, on vaja tõsta meie griinide mulla neelamisvõimet (ingl.k. cation-exchange capacity ehk CEC). Tegemist on siis näitajaga, mis annab ülevaate, kui palju pinnas suudab hoida toitaineid endas. Mida kõrgem on näitaja, seda rikkam on pinnas erinevate ainete osas. Me oleme kahe aastaga näitajat suutnud kahekordistada, kuid siit on omakorda veel minna, et saada CEC näitaja väga heaks (vajame veel kahekordset kasvu). Selleks alustame oktoobris griinidel suurte aukudega nö “junnitamist”, mis on sama, mis õhutamine (aereerimine), kuid selle erinevausega, et eemaldame vana pinnase august. Peale seda on vaja teha suur käsitöö, kus kõikidesse aukudesse paneme tagasi väga toitaineterikka materjali.

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Griinide “junnitamise” tagajärjel jäävad griinidele väikesed augud, mis on täidetud uue materjaliga

Jõuame ka seda teha päevas ühel-kahel griinil ehk pool oktoobrikuust läheb “junnitamise” ja materjali aukudesse uhumise peale.

Mida tähendab see golfimängijale?

  • Lühikeses perspektiivis nii eelmisel kui ka sel nädalal esmaspäevast neljapäevani kahte kuni kolme ajutist griinil mängupäevadel. R-P hoidsime nii eelmisel nädalal kui hoiame ka sellel nädalavahetusel griinid mängus.
  • Oktoobrist iga päeva 1-2 griini ajutist griini, millel teeme tööd ning vahetame sisu. Oktoobri keskpaigaks on kõikidel griinidel tööd tehtud ning see tähendab, et kõik griinid on natuke augulised, aga sügisel teevad seda tööd kõik golfiväljakud maailmas.
  • Pikas perspektiivis ma loodan, et oluliselt paremaid griine kohe mais ja juunikuus.

Kui me suudame olulisel määral vähendada soolade ja mürkide hulka pinnases, siis ei ole limiteerivaid faktoreid uue muru kasvatamiseks järgmisel aastal. Maikuus alustanud EGCC väljakute hooldusjuht Krzysztof Misiaczyński on ka imestanud, et peale ülekülvi on näha uue muru tulek, kuid teatud aja jooksul, kui juured kasvavad piisavalt pikaks, taim sureb. See on põhiline probleem EGCC griinidel olnud, et soolade ja fosfori sisaldus ei ole laksnud taimel oma loomulikku tugevust saavutada ja see on põhjus, miks me eelmisel nädalal juba alustasime griinidel suuremamahulisi töid. Võiks ju öelda, et oktoobri teises pooles ja novembris on aega teha neid töid küllaga, aga sellises mahus tegevused sõltuvad ka palju ilmast ning väga märjaga neid tehes rikume griinide pinnast oluliselt rohkem.

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Loodetavasti ilmad on soodsad ja aitavad ka veel sügisel griinide taastumisele peale suuremahulisi ettevõtmisi kaasa. Me töötame väga intensiivselt, et sellest jamast, mis meil viimased kaks hooaega on olnud kevadel griinidel, välja saaksime. Meile kõigile on griinide kvaliteet kõige tähtsam ja oleme julgelt võtnud ette tööd septembris, et tulevikusk pakkuda jälle kvaliteeti, mis paneks silmad särama juba kevadest meie aktsionärid, liikmed ja külalised.

Me teame ka seda, et väga palju negatiivset tagasisidet hakkab tulema, kui griine õhtutame ja selle tõttu päevas on kaks kuni kolm ajutist griini praegu. Aga olen öelnud kogu oma meeskonnale, et tähtis on see, et tulevikus me saaksime olla uhked oma väljaku üle ja sügisene mängijate tagasiside, et ma pidin ajutisel griinil kaks rada mängima, ei kaalu üle seda, et järgmisel aastal saaksime pakkuda oluliselt paremat puttamispinnast meie väljakutel.

Kasutage ilusaid ilmu ära ja tulge mängima. Kellel 18’st griinist kaks ajutist griini käib sel nädalal väga närvidele, see saab mängida väga heas korras oleval Stone Course’il, kus me neid töid ei tee (kuna pole vaja).

Tervitades,
Hanno Kross
EGCC juhataja

PS. Loe ka Krisi viimast inglisekeelset postitust “Kuidas üks klubiliige mind idioodiks kutsus” ja Pauli postitust sügistöödest

 

Message from Head Greenkeeper

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Hello golfers!

Yesterday I heard that one of the members had called me an idiot for ruining the greens when they were “almost good.” What you have to understand is, we are doing this work because it has to be done and not because we want to. It is my understanding that in recent years the greens have been decent in September and October, only to have major issues again in the spring. This work is best done now towards the end of the season so the greens can recover a little bit before winter and are ready to go in the spring.

I understand that this is an invasive procedure and there will be some disruption to the putting surface, but we will do our best to get the greens rolling as good as possible as quickly as possible. In the coming weeks we will also be aerifying greens with large tines and topdressing with a material rich in organic matter to help the greens in the long term.

If there was another way to do this without disrupting the putting surface, rest assured we would do it that way. Unfortunately, as the saying goes: to make an omlette you have to crack a few eggs!

I realize that this has been a frustrating season for everyone, but this work has to get done to improve the long term health and playability of the greens, and hopefully avoid this kind of frustration in the future.

Thank you for your understanding,
Kris
Head Greenkeeper

Fall Projects

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Hello golfers!

First things first: The rough has now been cut down to its usual height of cut at 51mm.  We had hoped to get the rough cut down sooner to what you are accustomed to but because of the large ammounts of rain we received after the Estonian Stroke-Play Championship we would have done more damage to the course than good had we tried mowing the rough.  And just when the course had dried out enough to start, another significant ammount of rain came down preventing us from mowing.  But with the nice sunny weather we have had these last 10 days we have been able to cut down all of the rough, except for a couple little areas that have not yet dried out.  Because the height of cut came down somewhat dramatically, there is quite a bit of clippings in the rough but those should disappear as we continue to cut at 51mm.

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Our biggest job over the coming weeks is going to be flushing out the greens and increasing the amount of organic material in the soil profile.

Flushing the greens- this step of the process is meant to flush all the salts and nutrients out of the soil profile.  We will accomplish this by turning the irrigation on one green at a time for three hours.  So if you happen to be golfing and see a green that is flooding do not be alarmed!!  We are doing that on purpose.  The water applied to the greens will force all the bad salts and nutrients very deep into the soil profile (one meter deep, if not deeper) where it will not affect the plants.  This is a step we must accomplish because the harmful salts are what negatively affects our greens the most in the spring.  During the winter months the salts go deep into the soil profile where it is warmer.  As spring arrives and the soil temperature starts to rise, the salts rise up through the soil profile into the root zone.  These salts then eat away at the roots which kills the plant.  By flushing out the greens, our goal is to force the salts so deep that they will not rise up to the root zone during the season.  This part of the process is not a one time thing, it will have to be performed about once a season.  Many seaside courses in Scotland flush their greens every two or three seasons because the salts coming off the sea will start to negatively affect their greens and flushing them out helps the greens for a couple seasons.

The next part of the process is increasing the organic material in the soil profile.  The material which our greens are built upon is a very large and round sand particle which makes it difficult for water and nutrients to “grab on to” the sand and keep it plant available.  By increasing the organic material we will improve water retention allowing us to water less frequently which will help the roots grow deeper into the soil profile, as well as help keep nutrients available to the plant for a longer period of time.  To increase the organic material after flushing the greens we will be aerifying quite deeply with large, hollow tines allowing us to remove as much of the bad greens sand as possible.  We will then topdress the greens with a soil rich in humus and work that material into the holes.  This is a very labour intensive process and causes quite a bit of disruption to the putting surface, but is a very necessary part of the process for the long term health of the greens.

The last part of the process is to replace all of the nutrients we washed out of the greens.  This will be accomplished by giving the greens a large dose of granular fertilizer.  The fertilzer will be added late enough in the season that it should not cause the turf to grow rapidly, but will remain in the soil profile throughout the winter and be plant available in the spring to give the grass the nutrients it needs to start growing right away.

This project is our main priority over the coming weeks.  We will continue with our regular cutting and maintenance practices, but as time and weather allow we hope to work on such projects as improving drainage on various parts of the course.

Enjoy the nice weather!