Golf Course Update - in order to keep members fully updated of developments on the golf course, we will be distributing a course update following every Committee Meeting.
Course Update - DECEMBER 2020
As most members are aware, we have been experiencing a very difficult time over recent months with persistent heavy rainfall on a daily basis, causing us to have to close the course due to saturated ground conditions on more days than we had hoped or envisaged.
As the attached records (click on the attachment above) show, we have had a 50% increase this year on our previous 10-year average total rainfall for the year. This has left many areas on the course extremely wet and muddy and unplayable for the heavy volume of play that we are experiencing. It has also increased the amount of worm casting significantly which we unfortunately now have no chemicals available to spray as they are all banned. The increased play with trolley use has a severe detrimental wear-effect on turf in wet conditions and this is why we are asking members to carry clubs to reduce damage over winter months wherever possible.
The unfortunate closures are very much in line with previous yearly totals with very few days lost in main playing competition months but are mainly now due to rain, fog or frost delays rather than snow in winter months. There is definitely a trend over recent years to drier colder spring months followed by much heavier rainfall periods throughout year.
We have also been able to do very little grass cutting and course preparation on all areas due to the fact it has been too wet to get machinery out on course without severe wheel tracking taking place.
As we have been operating with reduced staffing numbers over the last few months our leaf clearing tasks have taken up most of our time recently to remove all of the debris from around the course and thankfully now, most of the excess leaves are now cleared. This is an essential laborious task which has to be completed each year to improve turf health and keep the course tidy.
We hollow-cored greens and tees much later this year due to business levels but have unfortunately been unable to get any sand topdressing on any areas due to excess wet conditions. All areas have also been deep-spiked to try and improve water percolation.
Our old heavy clay-based greens ie 11th, 15th and 17th have really suffered with recent weather and are very saturated and soft. We hope to do some gravel /sand banding works to these areas this winter but unfortunately the conditions at present are not conducive to such work. Most other soils based greens are slightly drier after some drainage works but they are very prone to damage from foot traffic and wear in these extremely wet periods. Winter greens will be used until there is a significant improvement in underfoot conditions.
The 16th green drainage and turfing works, have all been completed and will be back in play early next season.
All greens, tees and approaches have recently been fertilized to improve turf health and have been sprayed with a dew dispersant to help improve surface dryness and fusarium disease outbreaks which thankfully have been fairly few so far.
All fairways have been sprayed with fertilizer and iron to improve appearance and turf health, this will also help to reduce moss ingress over winter months.
Drainage at rear of 3rd green /4th tee has been installed and this will dry up area significantly in the future. The addition of rootzone and turfing to these trenches will be done shortly as ground conditions improve.
We have installed new grass dump bins at rear 6th/11th and 8th greens and this will help tidy up these areas. Further ones will be done at 9th and 4th shortly.
The pathway at right side of the 11th tee has been re-leveled and cleaned up. New blaize has been added to surface and raked out and consolidated. Further blaize will be added to existing pathway around to 9th tees shortly.
The irrigation system has been drained down and blown out to prevent frost damage over winter months. It was in use 57 days from early spring until the end of august and was vitally important during the early spring lockdown period. We used approx. 225 thousand litres of borehole water in this period, mostly at nights and enabled us to maintain much more grass coverage on greens and tees and improved surfaces greatly. Usage was reduced later in the year when weather patterns worsened.
I would like to thank my staff for all their efforts this year and all weekend juniors and volunteers who have helped with divoting etc throughout year.
Wishing all of our members a good Christmas and hopefully a drier and more playable 2021.