Thursday, 28 November 2013

Buggy Policy

We are currently preparing a draft Buggy Policy. The purpose of this document is to establish a standard for the safe operation of all ride-on buggies operated on the golf course. The document also sets down the criteria to be applied and conditions to be met when the Club considers applications for buggy use. Once fully adopted, all buggy users will be required to read and sign the policy before using a buggy.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Driving Range Ball Dispenser

A new driving range golf ball dispenser has been purchased and is due to be installed during December. The new machine will be located in the same place as the old machine but will include a new payment system. Hard plastic credit card style cards will be made available to members who can then pay for credits to be loaded onto the card. Credits are deducted from the card at the ball dispenser. Individual tokens will also be available for the machine for those not wishing to purchase multiple credits.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Pitch Marks

A large number of unrepaired pitchmarks are currently visible on the greens. These blemishes not only disrupt the smooth rolling of the ball across the surface but also provide a catalyst for turf disease and weed invasion. Please be diligent in the repair of your pitchmarks, good greens depend on it!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Open Forum Meeting

Members are advised that an Open Forum is being held in the clubhouse on Thursday 28th November at 7.30pm. We would like to give Members some initial information with regards to plans for possible further significant course improvements on the back 9, but would, of course, welcome any questions you might have with regards to the course in general. As previously, we will be delighted to take questions on the evening, but if you have anything specific you would like to raise, a little notice will give us time to make sure we have all the information with us to respond your queries fully on the evening.

Course Update

Project Work
This winter we have a number of construction/renovation projects planned across the links with the aim of further improving the quality of the golf course.

The 8th tee will be levelled, new irrigation added and re-turfed. The existing turf from this tee will be used on the side of the 11th tees, an area that is subjected to high wear. A temporary tee mat is in position on the 8th hole and will be in use until March next year. Similar levelling work will take place on the 15th yellow tee. No tee mat will be needed in this area however as alternative grass tees will be used instead.

Bunker renovations will take place on holes 3 and 8. This will entail rebuilding the revetted wall and topping up sand levels. Larger scale bunker renovation work will take place on the 17th hole. The two bunkers on the left side will be completely reshaped with the aim of drastically improving both visual and playing characteristics.

A path extension is underway on hole 12. This work, which includes drain installation, is being done to further fine tune traffic management in an area that is subjected to high levels of wear and tear. Some planting of Marram grass has taken place nearby to ensure the new path section remains out of site when viewed from the tee.

We have almost completed our first winter project. Reshaping and contouring of the walkway from the right side of the 10th tee has been undertaken to widen the access towards the 11th tees. This area had become rather worn over the last two seasons due to the way the ground contours caused a bottleneck when players were exiting the green complex. A considerable amount of material has been removed from the end of the mound in this area and shaped to ensure consistency with the surrounding land. Green surrounds quality turf has been used to give the best match with the surroundings. Turfing work has been extended up to and beyond the 11th tees which means the whole area will need to be protected while the turf beds in. All players are being directed to the left of the 10th green and the 11th hole is being played from the ladies tee.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Barn Owl Conservation

We recently had a visit from the Barn Owl Conservation Network who installed a new owl box. We currently have a pair of owls in our existing box and we hope the new accommodation will attract more of these beautiful birds.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Maintenance Week Update

I am happy to report that all planned work on the greens has been succesfully completed. The weather has been kind and with 9 holes closed each day we were able to get everything done by lunchtime today. The greens will need some time to recover from the intensive operations but the tine holes are mostly all filled already. There is quite a bit of sand still visible on the greens but we hope this will grow out over the weekend allowing us to shift our focus to surface refinement from next week.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Maintenance Week

Maintenance Week  
Our annual autumn maintenance week runs from Monday 23rd – Friday 27th September. We will carry out a number of vital operations to the putting surfaces with the aim of decreasing the amount of organic matter present in the upper profile of the rootzone. We plan to core the greens using a 13mm hollow tine, deep scarify in two directions, over seed and top dress. Weather permitting; we will apply around 3 tonnes of dressing to each green. This procedure is a fundamental part of our course maintenance plan and represents the single most important week of the year from a greenkeeping perspective. To enable the work to progress uninterrupted, restrictions will be in place with 9 holes open for play only on each day until the work is complete.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

June Course Update

The year so far has proved to be very challenging from a course maintenance perspective. Poor weather conditions have meant the playing surfaces are slightly below expected levels for this point in the season. Some of the grasses are still in the seeding phase and this has been more vigorous and longer lasting than usual causing green smoothness and pace to suffer. Regular brushing, double cutting and rolling of the putting surfaces is maintaining standards to a reasonable level but aeration of greens has been suspended until the seeding has stopped. We can expect to see a significant decrease in seed heads over the next fortnight or so which will allow a resumption of regular needle tine aeration. This, when coupled with sufficient top dressing is the key element of our in-season greens maintenance program and is entirely necessary to produce the desired putting green performance.

How ironic that as the closely mown playing areas have struggled for growth this year, the rough areas have seen growth in abundance. The current length and density of the roughs is causing some problems from a playing perspective. With this in mind we have cut extra rough areas on holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 17 and 18. This still leaves some dense patches on the course but we can already see it beginning to die back now that the wettest weather seems to be behind us. Rough grassland management is not as simple as just keeping it all cut down. We must balance the needs and desires of the player with those of the grasses to ensure we have a healthy and robust sward for the remainder of the year. These grasses provide an aesthetically vital frame to each hole and give crucial definition between holes. There are ecological matters to consider also; the marsh harrier is just one of the bird species that are enjoying the current conditions. Wild orchids have had their best year for some time and countless other flora and fauna have been able to exploit the productive conditions this season.

Old Trolley Shed
The unsightly wooden shed situated between the 15th tees and 16th green is scheduled to be removed in the next few weeks. Specialist contractors will be used to remove the roof section before the rest of the structure is dealt with by the course staff.


New Bunker Rakes
A different style of bunker rake is being trialled in some of the bunkers on the course. This is to try to minimise bunkers losing shape during the days play. It is hoped the new rakes will stop too much sand being moved around causing over softness and contributing to the problem of downhill lies. Players should find the rake lighter, requiring less effort to use. Please remember to leave rakes outside the bunker on the side away from the normal line of play.