All planned maintenance works on the greens have been completed successfully. Pencil tining, over-seeding and top dressing operations were carried out on all putting surfaces.
Pencil tining was done using a 10mm tine to a depth of 75mm. This process helps improve the movement of air and water through the upper profile of the rootzone, which helps create an environment for healthy grass growth. Seeding works were carried out with our Vredo seeding unit. The introduction of seed at this time is required to out-compete the invasive annual meadow and rye grasses. We selected varieties of fescue and bent grass seeds as these species provide fine, wiry turf that is naturally resistant to both drought and disease. Top dressing was then applied to help smooth the surface following these fairly aggressive treatments to the sward. With reasonable weather we can expect the greens to fully recover in around two weeks.
The exceptionally wet weather over the winter months highlighted some drainage issues on the 4th, 5th and 7th holes. In an attempt to improve the situation we have recently installed extra land drainage pipes on the 4th and 5th fairways. These new pipes have been linked into an existing drainage system which was also repaired. The 7th hole will have work carried out before next winter.
The high water table has caused the bunkers around the 5th green to be flooded for a number of weeks recently. I am pleased to report that four of the five bunkers in this area are now back in play.
The tee complex on the 8th hole and the yellow tee box on the 15th hole have been levelled, enlarged and re-turfed over the winter months. These surfaces had become very uneven over the years and were in need of improvement. Although the work was completed a number of weeks ago, both surfaces will require at least another two weeks before they are fully ready for play.
A number of bunkers have had a lining installed beneath the sand. A geotextile material was added to bunkers on holes 3, 17 and 18 during the recent bunker refurbishment works undertaken on these holes. The most visited bunkers on holes 10, 11 and 12 have also been done with the aim of improve the performance of the bunkers from a playing perspective.
I am delighted to report that the installation of the new driving range will commence in late summer. The new range enclosure will be a vast improvement on the old structure which was destroyed in storms at the start of last year. We plan to make significant improvements to the four “outdoor” bays at the same time. The new range is due to open in October and I am sure we will all enjoy the new facility when the time comes.