Germinal’s A28 Ultrafine Ryegolf mixture has been used to overseed damaged fairways at Wildernesse Golf Club in Kent.
Investments in course improvements include a partial bunker refurbishment programme, new groundcare kit, extra staff, a new irrigation system and hydrant points for fairway watering.
“The money that’s been spent has made a noticeable difference to our ability to keep the course in tip-top condition, but we’re still very much at mother nature’s mercy,” said Course Manager, Mark Todd. “Alongside the loss of so many fungicides and pesticides in recent years, weather extremes are our biggest headache, so we’ve worked hard to improve drainage around the course, with gravel banding drains and drill and fill aeration helping the wetter areas to cope with the worst weather.”
An irrigation system was installed 11 years ago but doesn’t include full fairway watering. Mark said: “During last summer’s drought we were watering the course throughout the day, which wasn’t the most efficient way of operating, but it got us through the drought period relatively comfortably and with only few areas really suffering from the lack of rainfall. I was concerned we were going to have to do some fairly extensive overseeding work to alleviate the damage caused by the dry weather, but in the end the team’s hard work paid off and, in addition to our routine overseeding programme for our greens and tees, only had to overseed three fairways.”
Damaged fairways were overseeded with Germinal’s A28 Ultrafine Ryegolf mixture – a blend of 45% Mirador (slender creeping red fescue), 30% Highnote (chewings fescue) and 25% Cabrio (ultra fine perennial ryegrass).
“We use the same mixture on our tees and have found it produces a fast-germinating, fine-leaved surface which is hard-wearing enough to be used all year round,” Mark adds. “It produced new growth within a few weeks of being sown on the fairways and has subsequently given good coverage, even in places where there’s relatively little soil to retain moisture.”
The Wildernesse fairways are also verti-drained to a depth of 14" once a year and mown to a height of 13mm. Tees and approaches are aerated with a 13mm solid core tine and receive monthly top dressings, while the greens are hollow cored with 13mm tines, solid cored with 6-8mm tines, and overseeded with Germinal’s AberMajesty mixture – a 50:50 blend of AberRoyal and AberRegal browntop bentgrasses. The greens are also injected with compressed air twice a year to relieve soil compaction and aid drainage.
“We use bentgrasses religiously when overseeding the greens in the summer, and also as part of our February renovations if needed,” Mark explains. “We drop-spread and brush in half of the seed, with the remaining 50% applied in a sand carrier when we’re coring the greens. It’s a cost-effective way of overseeding our push-up greens as the AberMajesty helps to keep our greens largely disease-free and works well to outcompete poa annua. And because the seed germinates quickly, we’re able to get the greens back to their best in as short a time as possible which is exactly what our members want and expect.”