Looking back through my golf course photos, I thought it would be good to see how the 4th hole has developed over the last year.
The above photo is from last summer. The right side of the hole (as it is played) is heavily populated by poplar trees and it was always a really demanding tee shot with no margin for error. Watching golfers continually chip out sideways from the trees was painful viewing!!
The above photo shows the early stages of tree removal near the old fairway bunker.
The sheer scale of the clear up operation was just huge, given we only had a tractor and trailer. It did take a long time but then it always would with 45 poplars (approx 70 feet high) removed.
Strategic golf hole design should always offer risk & reward. Now, this area is much more forgiving for tee shots slightly off target.
At least any golfers not finding the fairway will get a chance of playing to the green now. That surely will help to speed up play and improve the chances of making par.
Obviously, we would like this area to be absolutely perfect now but in reality, that was never going to happen without stripping away all the poor turf and returning this entire area. Our budget just didn't stretch that far.
Not only that but the remaining poplars and their huge invasive roots will continue to compromise the surrounding turf in their endless search for water. Golf courses are great places to grow trees. But poplars should never be planted on golf courses. They compromise turf quality way too much. So for the time being, we will continue to seed, fertilise and mow this area but it will never be ideal.
However the above photo shows that this hole is now much fairer. Plus the definition from closer mowing adds real definition to the main playing surfaces on the 4th hole. Now that is a real improvement!
Have a good weekend and enjoy your golf!