Greens Report May 5th 2019 from David Steel


  1. We have been introducing a new strain of grass to the damaged areas on the Premier Greens. The cultivar is a Velvet Bents which is hard wearing grass with superior disease tolerance. This has been introduced via a simple micro tine and sand loaded top dressing process. We will continue top dressing every second week at an enhanced rate of ¼ ton per green this to aid drainage.  I am very encouraged with the progress we are making. We then intend to level the surfaces to increase thatch breakdown in tandem.

  2. We continue to actively target the moss growth with chemical control. Please bear with us as the appearance of the moss will change colour from green to black/brown during this time. We will then use the vertical cutting units to target removal which is proving very successful.
Mr. Barry Robinson will bring along some photographs to our next meeting to show the original scars, the newly germinated Bents grass and same area 2 weeks later with the patches reducing.

  1. I’ve instructed to double the volume of top dressing to mitigate the tine marks on the green and decrease any undulation in run. Hopefully you will notice this as you enjoy your golf this week.

  2. I’ve instructed two additional fertiliser applications of which both have now been applied to speed up the processes above moving into peak summer/competition play.

  3. We’ve also decided to apply a second wetting agent to slightly enhance our approach, the second application will be applied to all greens 3rd week May 2019.
Longer Range Report 
  1. I’ve decided to bring the annual soil analysis forward to have a good look at the makeup of the root zone, I expect an update in the next 2 weeks and I will report again on my findings.
Bunker Works 
  1. We will be working on the rabbit damage to the bunker faces of 13 and 15 we shall be applying a repellent spray and covering the affected area with netting to prevent digging.

  2. New drainage to right hand bunker on 6 with fresh sand added, completed 1st week May 2019.

  3. Although the sand depth is improved I’ve instructed a new sand application to be added to bunkers on certain holes where quantities fall short of expectations.

Investment Update (£68,520 in the month)

  • White measured markers, to follow ordered yellow and red will arrive in the next week or so.

  • £3,000 of additional sand has been purchased specifically for the Premier course which will be applied starting 13.5.19.

  • £30,000 has been committed to replace all 75 green side sprinklers for the Premier Course and replacement is due the 2nd week of May 2019. Super news for the condition of the green condition.

  • £35,000 new Toro Greens Mower has been committed for the resort, mainly to be used on the Championship course here at Portal.

I sincerely hope you continue to enjoy the golf experience at Portal.

David Steel Managing Director – North West 

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

GREENS REPORT APRIL 28TH 2019



1 All Portal’s courses have now been measured by Eagle Golf in preparation for the World Handicap system. In the coming weeks, you will see new coloured disks on the tees; these are the distance reference points which will replace the coloured posts (not blocks).

2 Fertilizer and dressing has been applied to all tees and greens and with the help of the rain after Easter will activate properly so that we will see the benefit in early May.

3 To help with the irrigation of the greens on the Premier course, new sprinkler heads are being fitted enabling the sprayed water to cover the whole green; this work will be completed by the end of June (weather permitting). Please be aware of staff working on the greens while you are playing; there may also be a requirement for a green to be closed temporarily, in which case you should play to the relevant winter green.

4 A new greens mower (large investment) for the Championship course has been purchased and should arrive in early May. This will help the putting surfaces to be a lot smoother.

5 You may have seen a number of worms and leather jackets on the surface of the greens recently. This is because of a compound in the latest fertilizer, which gives these grubs a burning sensation on their skin; this then enables the birds to pick them up without digging up the greens. If you see the leather jackets, please kill them with your pitch mark repairer.


Steve Houlston Greens Co-ordinator 28.04.19


Courses Update August 2018

Holes in greens – these are mainly caused by crows searching for various grubs, i.e. worms, leather jackets, etc.

Before October 2017, it was possible to buy commercial chemicals that could be applied to the greens to kill the grubs. However, the use of these chemicals is now illegal so the Greens’ staff are looking for alternative methods to control the grubs and also arranging for the numbers of crows to be reduced. The holes will be filled with a suitable soil, sand & seed mix.

Watering Of Greens - this is ongoing provided there is sufficient water pressure to fill the tanks at night. The Water Company has a problem getting the necessary pressure up the top of the hill. This means that one of the staff has to come in each evening when the clubhouse has closed to switch the water supply from the Premier clubhouse to the irrigation tank and then switch it back in the morning for the clubhouse use.

Geese - from September our vermin control team have been given permission by DEFRA to cull them.

17th Path Premier - new manhole covers are being fitted in the next few weeks and, when completed, red shale will be spread on the length of the path. The red shale is currently kept on the car park by the practice ground at the Championship as that is the only location we can get a 38 tonne articulated lorry on site to dump it. The Greenkeepers will bring it over as required.

Use of Buggies and Trollies - please remember to take buggies and trollies outside of the green side bunkers and not between the bunker and the green. This helps to prevent the grass between getting worn out and muddy (now that we are starting to see a little rain) giving it chance to grow back and provide a better playing surface.

Raking Of Bunkers - the bunkers on both courses are raked on a regular basis by the Greens’ staff; however, they also need players’ assistance. Please make sure you the rake bunkers after you have been in them. When raking, push the sand towards the front of the bunker and don't drag from the front to the back. This helps to prevent those nasty downhill bunker shots we all hate.

Steve Houlston
Greens’ Co-ordinator.


GREENS UPDATE

Greens Update

Our Head Greenkeeper, Barry and his team are working hard to keep our courses open during this very wet period. Greens have recently been tined and a 'wetting agent' sprayed onto all greens - this gets the water off the surface quicker and sends it through to the 'root' zone, where it can support the green during dryer periods. Most courses in Cheshire were closed over the weekend, but Portal Courses remained open and playable.

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