Friday, 29 January 2016

Ecology Update

This week as part of an ongoing ecology focus for the golf club we have been working on transforming an area of degenerate gorse on the 8th carry into a natural sandy waste area. This is part of continued work to improve the links characteristics of the golf course, improve sustainability and enhance species diversity.

The gorse in question was old, degenerate and encroaching on the carry which was blocking the view of the left half of the fairway. Hopefully members will now appreciate the improved view and also that we have managed to create an area of fantastic ecological significance at the same time.

These two photos show the original degenerate gorse.

The gorse was cut and removed for burning. This of course left the are open to regeneration however we wished to transform the area and not simply allow it to return to its original state.

The gorse stumps and roots were removed where there was not room for burying.

Where possible, holes were dug and the roots buried to prevent regrowth. The natural sand that was excavated was then replaced on top.

Clean sand was brought in from another area to give the area better presentation and improve the sand depth.

Natural dune species were then selected from other areas of the course. These included natural Fecsues, Bents, Dune Rose, Marram and Heather along with many others.

Some of the Marram was more efficiently transplanted using a front loader to dig out as much root as possible.

As you can see from these before and after photos the area has been truly transformed.

The area has gone from supporting a single mass of degenerate gorse to 20-30 different species of natural dune plants and grasses. This has improved the links characteristic of the hole and provided a great habitat for local species. The team are very proud of this work and hope that the members also appreciate the ongoing program of links restoration.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Winter Construction Update

Whilst the weather all over the UK hasn't been ideal to say the least, we have managed to make good progress with our winter projects this year. Members will have noticed that most of this work has concentrated on the 16th hole with some bunker construction also on the 18th and path end repairs over the whole course. 
We apologise for the current closures on the course however the rainfall has been extreme for the start of the new year and whilst we are currently verti-draining and using an air injection machine to combat the water, the sheer amount of water has necessitated some course closures.

16th hole progress

All three fairway bunkers on the 16th have been rebuilt this winter along with all of the tees. The bunkers have been raised so that there is less of a step into and out of the bunker and this should help members who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in the trap. 

The bunkers also had to be raised to that they were more visible from the new, lower tee complex.

Work on the tee complex has been time consuming as there was a lot involved in their construction. This was all neccessary as the railway sleeper wall had become unsafe. We also wished to remove the metal handrail as it was unsightly and blocked the stunning vista of St Ouens bay. 
The white and yellow tees have both been lowered by around 3 feet, with the yellow tee being moved to the left giving a straighter line into the fairway. I believe the membership will agree that this has vastly improved the aesthetics of the tee and now gives an infinity effect over the bay. Members driving on the 5 mile road will also notice that the handrail is no longer visible from the bay.

All of this work on the mens tees meant that the ladies tee would also require relocating as it now blocked the view of the fairway. The next project was to lower and move the ladies tee to the left. 

The work on the ladies tee has improved views and also now fits better into the landscape without the sharp bank right in view from the mens tees.
The greenkeeping team now awaits the arrival of turf from the UK early next week. Once the areas have been turfed they will have a chance to root in preparation for the beginning of the golfing season.