Friday, 28 November 2014

Course Update

As we move towards the winter months the tasks being undertaken on the golf course become more varied and unusual. The post will discuss some tasks that have taken place recently.

Sub-Surface Aeration
All putting surfaces have been solid tined using a 9.5mm diameter tine to a depth of 75mm. This improves the movement of air and water through the rootzone. In the coming weeks we will solid tine greens again this time using a 12mm tine working to a depth of 250mm. Beyond greens we have also solid tined all tees, surrounds and green approaches. Work on fairways is ongoing with nine completed so far.

Turfing of Path Ends
Worn path ends are in the process of being stripped, rotovated and returfed. This year we are using the turf from the 1st tee complex as this matches well with the surrounding areas. Turfed areas are roped off to ensure they can establish properly. 

Bunker Construction
Every year we refurbish a number of bunkers across the course and this year we have selected one bunker on each of holes 10, 11, 12 and 18. Work on the 18th has been completed although the bunker will remain out of play until the end of the winter months.

1st Tee Renovation
We have started to renovate and re-shape the teeing areas on the 1st hole to improve this tired looking area of the golf course. Within the scope of this project we aim to address a number long standing issues with this tee complex the most obvious of which is the consistently poor performance of the yellow tee box. This tee is too small to cope with normal levels of play so it will be extended into the area currently occupied by the back half of the red tee. The three tee surfaces will have surface levels restored to ensure all shots can be taken from an even stance. We will also replace and reposition all of the irrigation pipework and heads as this tee was not included in the irrigation system replacement project in 2007/8. While this work is going on we will take the opportunity to change the tee banks on the road side. The hedge is being removed as this has become rather unsightly with gaps and dips along its entire length. Marram grass will be used on the new banking which will provide a natural looking finish. The steps to the new ladies tee will be reduced in size and a new set of steps will be built to access the yellow tee. As this project progresses, the tee will eventually have to close to allow the work to be done. Arrangements have been made to move the red tees to the site of the green tees and to move the yellow/white tees to a temporary tee located on the hill beyond the bottom car park. When this work is complete we will remove the hedging located at the top of the slope to the bottom car park as shown in the image below. This will improve visibility when entering or leaving the bottom car park. Where the hedge has been removed we plan to create an attractive planted area with the bronze Mythical Fish currently located in the foyer of clubhouse relocated outside and used as a centrepiece of the newly planted area.
Clearing the hedge from the 1st tee
Rough Grassland Management

We have recently undertaken work in some of the roughs with the aim of thinning out the grass to improve playability. In selected areas on holes 2, 3 and 18 the grass has been cut short, arisings have been removed and the areas have been scarified. This process will be repeated annually which will enable these areas to become progressively less dense and thus easier to find a ball and then play out of. We hope to extend this operation to cover many more rough grass areas in future with the aim of creating well defined, wispy rough that frames each hole without it being overly penal from a playing perspective.
18th rough before

18th rough after

Driving Range Enclosure

The new driving range enclosure is now fully open with all ten bays operational. Wooden bay dividers have been installed which both look good and meet safety requirements. The area in front of the enclosure requires to be landscaped and this will be done soon (it has been airbrushed in the images below!). With the new enclosure and the revamped external area we feel the driving range now offers a fantastic environment to practice golf and hope to see as many members as possible taking advantage of this facility.