The past week has seen us make slow progress with work on hole 5. Bad weather, staff shortages and even a break-in at the greenkeeping complex have resulted in progress being slowed on the job that we had expected to have finished by now. So far we have completed the revetting work on the first two bunkers and around three quarters of the turfing has been carried out.
Some comments have been received about the depth and steepness of the revetted faces of the bunkers. I will deal with the depth issue first; sand still needs to be added to the new bunkers to bring it up to the finished level. In the case of the 2nd left hand bunker this amounts to a lot of material as this bunker floor is being raised by about a foot making the step in at the back of the bunker no more than about 10 inches. With regard to the steep angle of the revetted face, there have been requests to construct these at a 45 degree angle to the bunker floor. This would be inappropriate, revetted greenside bunkers should have an angle of between 60 and 70 degrees. This figure is arrived at for a number of reasons - it lessens the chance of sand coming to rest on the bunker face which ultimately kills the turf, it lessens the chance of a golf ball coming to rest on the bunker face which is a nightmare for golfer and greekeeper alike, it ensures that sand movement within the bunker is minimised as more protection is offered from the wind and finally a 60 degree angle of bunker face creates an appropriate penalty to the errant shot. The player always has the option of playing out of the bunker sideways or backwards if they feel unable to tackle the "steep" face directly.
Yesterday we were visited by two employees of the States of Jersey Environment Department, Environmental Protection Division. The purpose of the visit was to test the quality of the water in our boreholes and to ensure no contamination is taking place from pesticides or other chemicals. Testing is carried out twice each year and involves testing the water on site for pH, conductivity, temperature and alkalinity. Samples are then taken back to the lab for further microbiological and pesticide analysis.
The results of the latest testing can be viewed on a pdf file by clicking here for reference, our boreholes are numbered J128a and J128B
If you would like to find out more about this topic you can visit the States of Jersey website by clicking here
Following some delays due to fixtures and inclement weather, work has resumed at the 5th. 7 full days have passed since we began stacking the turf and as you can see from the image below we have laid it just in time. The yellowing of the grass has occurred because the plants have been deprived of sunlight for too long. Any longer and the grass would have died. Unsightly as it is at the moment, the grass will green up quite quickly and will suffer no lasting damage.
Bunker revetting is progressing well. We have now almost completed the first bunker and the other two have been started. We aim to have all three finished by Monday.
Today we finished shaping the base layer then we started to bring back in the top soil. The material was spread to an even depth and firmed up using a small tractor.
The raking of the top soil was carried out by hand. At this stage stage of the job attention to detail is critical to ensure a good end result. A good deal of skill is required to make sure the ground flows in the correct way with no unnatural looking slopes and smooth transitions from the existing turf. In the image above Ollie, Matt and Kev can be seen doing a good job of raking out the soil to get it ready for turfing.
The first piece of turf is laid on the finished surface by Kevin Le Farrell.
Meanwhile, the base layer in the first two bunkers was laid out. This largely dictates the final shape of the revetted wall so it is vital tthis is done correctly. The base of the bunker must also be level and firm to ensure the bunker remains stable for years to come.
Most of our day was spent removing excess sand from the site. Some shaping work was started around the first two bunkers.The stakes in the bunker were used to establish how high the revetted faces will need to be in order to see them clearly from the fairway. Incidentally, the height required is nowhere near the top of of the stakes! If you click on the image then zoom in you may just be able to see some yellow tape which is tied to the green and white post. The tape marks the approximate height of the top of the new bunker face.
The excavator arrived today allowing work to start on the removal and shaping of the soil. First of all we scraped off the top soil and piled it up for use later.
We then spent the rest of the day removing sand to the desired levels. The excavator loaded tractors and trailers with material that was dumped in an area adjacent to the 15th tee. This material will be mixed with composted material to form a sandy loam for future use.
Today work started on the refurbishment of three bunkers on the left side of the 5th green. The area was marked out immediately prior to the turf cutter arriving on the scene.
The turf was cut using a 12 inch wide blade to a depth of 1 inch. It was sliced into pieces of 2 feet in length. Of a total work area of 550m2 just over 50% of the turf will be reused. All reusable turf was lifted by hand and stacked to one side.
The remaining material, which was too weak to be lifted and relaid, was removed mechanically and taken to the composting area to be left to rot until ready for screening into divot mix. The shortfall in turf for this project will come from our nursery area at Corbiere.
We have an excavator on hire from tomorrow which will be used for digging out the bunkers and for rough shaping work on the surrounding ground.