Saturday, 14 May 2011

More Gorse Clearance

 A few weeks ago we cleared more gorse from between the 4th and 5th holes. Degenerate, woody bushes were pulled out from around the trees to create a slightly more open feel to the right side of the 4th. A number of sharp rush plants can be found in this area but these were being severely compromised by the encroachment of gorse. During this process we tried to protect the sharp rush from damage.

Following the clearance work an excavator was used to scrape the brash from the ground to expose the natural seed bank beneath. This helps to accelerate the regeneration process.

Once recovery takes place we expect the area to contain a healthy balance of young gorse plants, sharp rush and open grasslands.

 In time we will tackle the rest of the gorse between the 4th and 5th as it is all becoming well past its best.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Hole 8 Gorse Clearance

The rather old and tired looking stand of gorse to the right side of the 8th hole was recently removed. This had become very unsightly in recent years and had encroached into to to such an extent that visibility of the road that crosses the fairway had become severely restricted.

An excavator fitted with an attachment specially adapted  for pulling gorse was selected to carry out the work. In only three hours a 40m x 8m stand of degenerate gorse mixed with bramble was removed and burned nearby.
As can be seen in the video below, the remaining material was mulched with a heavy duty flail fitted to a high powered tractor. This par of the job took a mere 30 minutes to complete.

Although this has left the area  fairly clean and tidy, we will need to go back to treat the bramble re-growth in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Course Update

The putting surfaces have performed reasonably well recently following the work carried out during the maintenance week. Micro-hollow tining, scarification and top dressing work was undertaken on all greens with the principle aim being to reduce organic matter (thatch) in the base of the sward.
Currently, Poa Annua grasses in the greens are seeding, causing surfaces to be slightly bumpy especially later in the day following the early morning preparation. When time allows, brushing the greens prior to cutting is being done to minimise the effects of this temporary condition. When the seeding subsides solid tine work on the greens will resume to maintain the efficient movement of air and water through the soil profile. Ironing is carried out around three times each week to further promote smooth surfaces.

Following exceptionally dry weather conditions throughout April, nightly irrigation is taking place on all areas of the golf course. Around 10mm of water is being applied across the course each week in an attempt to maintain a healthy balance of soil moisture in this early part of the season. Frighteningly, 10mm of irrigation across the course equates to around 400,000 gallons of water, which is more than one third of the reservoir pumped onto the golf course each week! Bearing in mind our irrigation water is derived from ground water with moderately high ph and bicarbonate levels and thus not as good for the turf as rain, it is little wonder that the course team are desperate for a good downpour.

Driving Range Sponsorship
We are delighted to announce that an agreement has been reached with Brewin Dolphin to sponsor the driving range. Brewin Dolphin are one of the UK and Channel Islands leading private client investment managers. Ten thousand new balls have been ordered along with some extra signage and we hope to have this all in place by end of June / early July. 

Chipping Area Practice Tee
Essential maintenance work is currently being carried out on the practice tee at the chipping area. This work is necessary to reinstate the surface following the winter months when cold temperatures meant that no recovery from wear was possible. To hasten recovery, top dressing and overseeding work has been carried out and the tee will be closed for around two weeks. As an alternative, a practice mat has been situated behind the main tee to allow wedge shots to be played to the designated landing area.

Green Staff Safety
Following a number of near misses on the golf course in recent weeks players are reminded of our staff safety policy with regard to working on the course during play.

  • Green staff have priority on the course before 9 am.
  • If green staff are working on or around the green with the flagstick removed then players must wait until it has been replaced before playing to the green.
  • At all times, staff will aim to cause a minimum of disruption to play and will only hold up play briefly and when absolutely necessary.

Any player who deliberately hits a ball to a green with a member of the course team clearly working on it and the flagstick removed will be reported to the Management Committee and will face disciplinary action.