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 - MARCH/APRIL 2022
Following a very dry and unusually mild January we have experienced a poor spell of weather throughout February. For reference the total rainfall for January was 56mm which is almost half of our average (101mm) since 2010. This meant very few course closures and some days play on the main greens.
February’s rainfall total was 146mm which is around 45% higher than average (101mm) since 2010. On top of this we had two reasonably heavy snow falls in February of 6 inches and 5 inches. Unfortunately, this resulted in a significant increase in closure days with unplayable conditions.
Staff – We have made some good progress with regards to staffing issues with Ryan Winton who has worked with us previously re-joining us in the middle of February and we have also appointed a new Deputy Head Greenkeeper (Alan Green) who will be with us on the 23rd of March. On top of this Jamie Findlay (one of our weekend boys) has been working with us extensively since the beginning of February and this has helped hugely.
Jonathon and I both completed a 4 day chainsaw course in mid-January which is essential for tree and scrub maintenance going forward.
Winter Projects – With reduced staff for most of the winter period it has limited some of the projects set out in the winter project plan, most notably drainage works on 11th, 15th & 17th greens. With the start of the season fast approaching this work should now be priority for next year’s winter plan. In the meantime, these three greens will need additional coring work done when weather permits.
All grass dump boxes have now been upgraded with the completion of the ones at the 15th & 16th.
The greenside bunker on the left of the 8th, which had collapsed due to the front lip being too high, has been stripped, reshaped and returfed. Sand will be added once the turf has had some time to knit.
The fence alongside the 12th tee which had rotted badly and collapsed in several places has been removed and rebuilt along with a new edging board along the path. The fence will be painted in the coming weeks.
The hedges behind the 3rd & 9th tee and behind the 6th tee have been trimmed back and a significant amount cut off the top to reduce the height.
The boundary hedge along the Western Road and along the 18th on Orchil Road has been cut by a contractor. Some work will be carried out by us to tidy around the trees in the coming weeks.
We have begun clearing several areas of gorse throughout the course. Between the 6th & 11th, the area left of the 6th green and around the 12th pond have been completed and other areas are on-going. This will improve playability and also the area at the 6th green will allow a lot more airflow and light into the area. Tree canopies have been raised and tidied as we go.
A lot of time has been taken up with general tidying of debris caused by the high winds we experienced during the two storms. We were extremely lucky and have come out of this fairly unscathed in comparison to some other clubs not too far away, who had severe damage and loss of trees.
Broken and dead trees have been cut down and removed at 6th, 7th & 11th with a few more still to be done.
Tree surgeons have been in and cut down the dangerous split larch tree at the 12th & 13th tees. They have also done some stump grinding work along the 12th, these holes will be cleaned out and cores added to level.
We have started this week with course furniture maintenance, cleaning and repairing benches, bins and tee markers. Sanding and repainting as required.
Greens - All greens were solid tined with 12mm tines at the start of February to open the surface, allow some air into the profile and help improve drainage. The wetter greens at the 11th, 15th & 17th were also deep tined with larger 19mm tines at a depth of 8 inches to further aid drainage properties. With the unusually mild January period we had some good growth and managed to get them cut during the dry period. Growth has slowed with the colder frosty mornings but cutting will be done as required.
Topdressing and fertilising will be carried out in the coming weeks.
Approaches/Tees - All approaches were deep solid tined at the start of February with 19mm solid tines to help aid drainage and allow air in.
All approaches were cut in January and cutting will become more frequent as growth increases.
Tees have had little work so far but will be getting spiked top dressed and fertilised in the coming month. Divoting will also be carried out to aid recovery before the start of the season.
Winter Greens – Cutting has been carried out regularly although this has slowed as weather deteriorated. Daily cleaning has taken place along with outlines being painted weekly. Holes have been changed as and when required.
Irrigation – The irrigation contractor has been in this week to do the system start-up and check over all sprinkler heads. System is now primed ready for the season.
All remaining winter works will be finished off in the next few weeks and our focus will shift to preparing the course for the busy season ahead. Edging of all bunkers and adding sand as required will become priority.Shaun McNaughton