Golf Course news 
New £34,000 Greens Mower for Bedfordshire Golf Club 
A new Toro 3420 Greensmaster has been purchased to update our range of course management equipment with the latest technology. This machine matches one we purchased two years ago, so that we can now provide uniformity on all our greens.  
The Toro 3420 provides us with several benefits over previous mowers as follows: 
The 'precision brush' gives a cleaner and more precise cut on all greens, which will provde members with smoother and more even putting surfaces. 
All electric motors reduce the risk of hydraulic fluid leakage by 90% 
Matches an existing greens mower to provide you with uniformity on all greens 
Greens staff familiarity with Toro 3420 means no new training required 
Greens Renovation...completed on 18 hole Stagsden course this week 
Hollow coring/greens renovation takes place twice a year at Bedfordshire Golf Club. We appreciate that it can be frustrating to play on uneven and sandy surfaces, even for a short while, but the hollow coring of greens, tees and even fairways is an essential part of most golf course maintenance programmes. It’s a recognised and proven technique carried out every year at most UK golf clubs and is so important in providing top quality greens during the summer months. 
What is hollow coring? 
It’s the physical removal of cores of turf from a playing surface. The holes are generally 13-16mm in diameter and of varying depths depending on the reason for the tine. The cores are ejected, swept up and removed. When completed, a smaller mass of soil will occupy the same area of green/tee/fairway. 
Why is it done? 
Course traffic causes the ground to become compacted and hardened. This means drainage is less efficient and the grass’s roots are prevented from absorbing oxygen. Hollow coring allows the compacted turf to expand and air and moisture to be more easily absorbed. 
Secondly, hollow coring helps address the problem of thatch. (Thatch is a layer of grass stems, roots, and debris that settle and accumulate over time.) A thin layer is acceptable but too much thatch will hold water like a sponge. 
Finally, hollow coring removes accumulated fibre in the grass’s root zone. It exchanges a poor soil for a better one through top dressing. That’s why the greens are normally covered in sandy top dressing immediately after they’re cored. 
When is it done? 
Hollow coring is generally done outside of the main playing season: often in the spring and autumn. It’s important that the hollow coring is completed when the weather is not cold and wet, so there’s time for growth and for the holes to seal up. 
The best time to hollow core is during the summer months as there will be a quicker recovery, but this coincides with the prime playing season so we try to avoid doing it during this period to minimise the impact on your golfing time. It’s a difficult balancing act for green keepers, but it must be done at some point during the year and ultimately is for the benefit of the golf course and all who play on it. 
Is it a treatment for diseased greens? 
It’s generally accepted that drier surfaces will be less susceptible to diseases like fusarium. As hollow coring is a good way of improving drainage it’s also a way of preventing the spread of disease. 
I hope that this information explains the importance of hollow coring and why we carry out this process. The greens team appreciates your co-operation during this time and we can ensure all members that the golf course, and most importantly you as members, will see the benefits of this work during the summer’s months. 
Spring is here at last... 
As the weather starts to improve and the serious golf season gets under way it is worth us all taking a moment to reflect on the long golfing winter months from November through to the end of March. Five severe storms between November and February brought torrential rain and winds of up to 94 mph leading to the MET office labelling storm Doris as a “weather bomb”! 
Add to this numerous frosts and ongoing cold ground temperatures, and it is safe to say we have had a typical English winter. 
Throughout this period we have been able to play our golf, day in day out out, on a full course. Only on a few occasions when frost was coming out of the ground did we have to play on temporary greens. 
It is worth remembering that most weekends throughout the winter, there are in excess of 200 pairs of feet walking on our tees, greens and fairways in all weathers and the course gets little respite from continual play in poor weather conditions. I am sure you all agree that our dedicated team of green staff do a fantastic job in presenting the course in excellent condition for our pleasure. 
Bunker renovation work 
Recently, the greens staff have completely renovated two bunkers, front right on number 3 and front left on number 16 (below). The bunkers have had new drainage, a hard core base and a liner fitted (the material used for the liner is similar to the material used on the pathways). The sand will take a little while to bed in and we may experience one or two plugged balls during this time but I am sure we will all benefit from the fantastic job that has been done. 
Apart from the improvement in the condition of these two bunkers for play, many man hours will be saved as they were two of the bunkers that suffered most from flooding and flash storms. 
Finally, a gentle, but important reminder 
To all golfers - we are seeing an increasing number of divots left on the fairways, unrepaired pitch marks on the greens and bunkers left unraked. Clearly this is not the way any of us would wish our golf course to appear and does not show respect for other players! 
Please remember - replace divots, repair pitch marks and rake bunkers - this benefits us all.