Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas one and all

Well, we haven't posted for a while now. The blogger app has disappeared from my phone - therefore catching a spare minute in between baby duties is rare!

We have managed to get the winter tee mats out now. They are a marmite issue with golfers and whilst not everyone's cup of tea, they give the tees a bit of a break from divots. We hope to get the last permanent mat installed by the 6th tee soon. The one above was installed at the 1st in November. It looks really good and should make a nice addition to what has become a truly transformed 1st tee area since last winter.

A good few trees have been removed recently. The ones above, right of the 11th tee, will improve the line of sight from the 2nd tee to the 2nd green. Tree encroachment often occurs gradually and before long, only half a tee is usable for golfers, increasing wear on that part of the tee and making the other part off the tee redundant. Hence the regular concentrated wear patterns to the left and centre of the 2nd tee during the main season.

The line of trees taken out of the right side of the 3rd hole were, again, part of our course masterplan to improve safety considerations to the housing left of the 3rd. But they also provide more of a direct golfing line into the approach and green. Such a tough hole, with trees galore, can be a bit of a chore sometimes without dozens of trees in the way of the approach shot into this green.

The stump grinder was brought in a week ago and about 40 stumps were removed. Each of these areas will be re-grassed in the run up to spring. They all need to consolidate first with some rain and compacting. Then we can re-level these areas.

With such a wet 2016, it is interesting to note some of the wet areas on the golf course. All of these areas have sat wet all year and since the horrendously wet winter of last year. You will notice them as you play. The area above behind the 7th tee and the areas below on the 8th and 9th holes.

The one thing these areas all have in common? All of them sit in shade all day long because they are north facing. Interestingly, all of them are close to trees. So the myth that tree roots absorb water is something of a nonsense. These areas will always sit wet so long as they get no sun or wind to dry them out. Trees serve a limited purpose on golf courses. If turf is suffering due to tree issues then tree removal is the best solution.

Recently, the greens were top dressed again and they were aerated with our slitter. The continued aeration and topdressing will continue to maintain dry, firm greens surfaces. Our greens should, without too much heavy rain, withstand winter golf and hopefully negate the need for temporary greens which will never be anything better than a hole in a fairway.

The greens are looking fairly good considering we are now officially in winter. They are not lightning fast but that cannot be expected at this time of the year. At least we have the opportunity to keep them in play for as much as possible. 

The leaves are nearly all gone now. A few odd piles remain but those that affected play the most are now gone. We might be able to start some winter work now!!!!

That is all for this year. Please enjoy your Christmas and New Year. All the best to each and every one of our members!