Head green keeper
Phil Pack.
Assistant green keepers:
Tony Wilson, Jean Wilson, Andy Pain & Roy Broome


Shropshire Green Competition

Firstly, I would like to thank all the greens I visited on Monday the 15th of August for their hospitality allowing me to take samples and assess their greens.

All the greens were assessed using the criteria below and the assessment was set against the standards created by the Grounds Management Association,  Performance Quality Standards, (PQS)

1. Green coverage: - Desirable and undesirable grasses, weed content, moss and algae content and pests and diseases.

2. Soil profile: - length and density of root, depths of thatch, layering in the profile.

3. Conditions of the pan and surrounds.

There were many positives on the greens I assessed but there were also a few common problems. The main one being the amount of thatch on the greens, thatch on a bowling green has many negatives such as preventing water and nutrients to enter the soil where the roots needed it, creating a soft and slow bowling surface, and reducing the bias of the woods as the wood creates its own track in the soft surface. Below is a photograph of a profile containing approximately 25 mm thatch.


Clubs that have thatch on their green, need to plan to reduce it as part of their autumn renovation work, please don't try remove all the thatch in one year, plan a 3 year programme and please only scarify to the depth of the thatch if you scarify deeper you will bring up soil covering the remaining thatch which will make it more difficult to remove in future years.

Considering the summer, we've had the degree of drought stress was not a factor which affected the assessment as the availability of water and irrigation systems will be different for many greens.

Considering the assessment, I have listed the top three greens below and  congratulate all the green keepers and club members on the quality of bowling  surface is I assessed.

1st. Cleobury Mortimer, bowling green.

2nd. Trench, bowling green                 

 3rd.Edgemond bowling green.

Just a few general points, root growth was very good on most greens, but a couple of  greens had as little as 50mm. regular aeration approximately once a month through  the autumn and winter with a solid or knife tine will greatly improve root growth which will help the green survive through dry periods.

Also, I recommend an annual soil test to check on soil pH and nutrient levels to ensure the green is having all the feed that it needs and to reduce costs.

Again, congratulations to the green keepers and club members on the standards of greens I assessed in Shropshire.

Alan Lewis MSc NDT FinstG