This week, our woodland management program has continued between holes 4 and 7. Mark Marks, our external Chainsaw Instructor, has been running another training course on site.
The fantastic work carried out by these guys is really starting to demonstrate excellent improvements to the woodland on the golf course. Mark is carefully selecting trees that have no nesting birds in residence and also trees that, in his professional opinion, warrant removal. What we are not aiming for is mass deforestation!
This essential work, that forms part of the golf course masterplan, and is covered by our tree felling license, will eventually result in woodland that allows trees to mature correctly and develop to their full potential.
Too many trees on the golf course are distorted, diseased or underdeveloped due to the fact that they were planted too closely together. However, the real plus is that this work is being completed virtually free of charge. The golf club is providing lunch & drinks for these guys but that is a bargain really!
In time, the thinning of woodland in this area should allow more sunlight and air to circulate around the 7th tees. As a result, we should see better growth on these tees that currently lie in shade.
It has been another dry week. Perhaps too dry really. We had 2 early morning frosts this week that have not assisted with the much wanted increase in soil temperature.
April showers have been mainly absent to date and this lack of moisture combined with cold nights and cold mornings really aren't what we need.
However, we managed to get the sand installed in the new 2nd greenside bunker. Feedback has been really positive. Freddy said that it plays great. That is good enough for me!
These areas will really kick on with some more rain and warmth. Let's keep our fingers crossed for some of that!
We have also opened the new tees at 4 and 8 too. They look great. Please abstain from taking divots off them!!
We have prepared the course fairly well this week with tees, fairways, approaches and rough being cut. We have also started with a light verti cut on some greens. The remainder will be finished next week along with another top dressing. Firmness is fine. The main problem is uneven growth that is linked to cold soil temperatures.
Oh to have the ability to manipulate Mother Nature! If only!!
Really pleased that we have completed the 4th greenside bunker this week. It looks fantastic now that the sand has been installed. It has been quite a journey so below, I've provided a photographic timeline.
We are very pleased with the results and we hope members can now enjoy (or not!) this additional hazard at the 4th hole.
Elsewhere on the golf course, all tees, fairways and surrounds have been cut. Greens have been topdressed to restore surface levels. They should even out in the next few days.
What I am very pleased about is that we have just received the results of soil tests from 4 of our greens. They indicate that the aeration and topdressing we have carried out over the last year is helping to reduce thatch levels and improve greens surface firmness.
This week, we have had our Chainsaw Instructor back to the golf club with 2 candidates carrying out a Rope & Harness course. They have targeted more trees at holes 1, 3 and 8.
We will ensure all the brash is clear next week. What is certain is that this fantastic work really is opening up sight lines on the golf course. Soon, we will start work with stump removal and this should finish off this work nicely.
Freddy has posted some photos on the golf club Facebook page too so please check them out.
We have also been fortunate to have a demonstration of the Imants Root Pruner from Campey Turfcare. This great machine can prune tree roots up to 20 inches deep and 4 inches thick.
So hopefully, several areas on the golf course will see improved grass coverage this year. What is even better is that this machine causes minimal disruption to the surface. It is barely noticeable where we have used the Root Pruner. Thanks to Phil Lockett and Nick Fletcher for carrying out this work.
The renovated bunker on the 1st hole has been finished with sand this week. In time, it will have proven to be a worthwhile remodelling exercise. Once the new turf has fully rooted, we will remove the shuttering.
The 4th greenside bunker has now been fully edged and the drainage installed. Next week, it will be fully sanded and then soon be ready for play.
Whilst we were at the 4th, we took the opportunity to address what was a permanently wet area on the green surround. The problem was 2 inches of thatch that acted like a sponge in retaining water. Beneath this, the soil is sandy and free draining.
We have drained this area now and hope that, in time, once the area settles down, puddles in this area will become a thing of the past.
Let's hope now for some more settled weather after having 2 inches of rain over the last week. Fortunately, the course had held up fairly well.