GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE
MONTHLY REPORT – February 2020
Course Manager, Robert Bacon
Our progress this winter has often been hampered by the weather, however we have made improvements throughout the course that we feel will enhance your experience of playing your course over the months ahead.
1.5m (around our yearly average) of rain has fallen on our course in the last 6 months. To say this has been challenging would be an understatement. We did get 3 days of frost in November but other than that it has been very mild, with January 3oC above average, and very very wet. With only 9 dry days in the last 110 keeping the course open at all never mind playable to any degree has been nigh on impossible. Storm Ciara and Dennis have resulted in several trees falling on the course which we will get to once this period of high winds has passed and the area is safe. The next 2 storms in this sequence have been named…. Ellen & Francis….I can’t wait.
The greenside bunker was in desperate need of renovation. There was a 12” build-up of sand between the bunker and the green, the lip was overhanging, and the base was uneven which made uniform sand distribution impossible.
The 12” sand build up has been removed with the removed sand being used to soften the slope at the rear of the green. New drainage ditches have been dug awaiting the pipe installation. Once drainage has been installed, we will place the new sand into the bunker. New turf is scheduled to arrive in the next 7 to 10 days. Progress on this job has been hampered by the dreadful weather as we look to minimise the damage caused by our traffic around this bunker.
Weather permitting this will be completed by the end of February.
The path at our first tee, like several others, had become potholed and rutted due again to the appalling weather. The path has now been excavated, drained and resurfaced using rubber mats. Further improvement in the flower beds etc is scheduled in this area.
Perimeter Greens Drainage
During the 3 dry days we have had this winter we begun to install drainage into the low-lying perimeters of several our greens. Greens 1, 10 and 18 have received this work. Unfortunately, we had to remove the gravity defying drainage already installed in these areas. Drainage in these areas is complete and awaits turf. This has been delayed due to weather…AGAIN.
Drainage Inspection Holes
Drainage inspection holes have been dug on several holes, namely 10 & 14/17 with a wildly varying degree of success. The old clay tiles on our course, usually responsible for the water bubbles that appear, can range from between 3” deep to 3m so finding and repairing them, especially when the whole surrounding area is saturated, can prove very difficult. Where we have found tiles we will repair, backfill and turf. The holes in which we have not found tiles will be given a chance to drain down, failing that these holes will be pumped out backfilled and turfed.
If you have been on the course at all recently you will have noticed some large yellow areas on a couple of our greens, namely 2, 5 and 12. This is similar damage to what we encountered on our 7th green last winter. This damage is caused by a wetting agent product we use to attempt to drive surface water deeper into the profile to keep our greens playable through long long periods of rainfall. In an ideal world you would allow the greens to dry down for several days before applying this product ahead of the next period of rain…this is impossible for us given that we don’t get several days of dry weather between rain periods. These areas will recover just like our 7th green did. We have purchased grow mats, that will be used once the 40mph winds have gone, which will expedite the recovery process.
It goes without saying that careful consideration will be given to using this product in the future.
Using holes 1 & 11 through 18…
This was a decision that was discussed at length. It was decided that on the occasions, of which there have been many, that the condition of the top half of the course would determine that we should close then we would play the restricted course to provide golf as often as we could throughout the winter months without causing significant damage to some of our wetter holes up top.
Approaching the start of the season
Prior to the end of March, we hope to complete the following works…
- Aeration and Hollowcoring of all greens
- Aeration & Topdressing of Tees
- Aeration of all Fairways & Approaches
- Aeration & Topdressing of all winter traffic walkways
- Sand top up in all bunkers
What can our members do ahead of the start of the season?
- Please repair pitchmarks
- Please use a fairway mat wherever you can
- Please be patient and try and understand any restriction placed on the golf course through this very challenging weather period.
Robert Bacon – Course Manager
Upcoming Club events
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