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 August 2019
With constant, extremely wet weather continuing into August the course has become very soft and wet in places over recent weeks.
Growth in all areas has been exceptional with great difficulty in getting areas cut in dryer conditions without leaving excessive amounts of grass cuttings lying over the course. To this end our tractor blower has been used non-stop recently and has proved to be a very valuable piece of equipment in trying to present the course in good condition.
Greens have been recently solid tined and hollow-cored and all areas cleaned up and rolled where possible. Sand topdressing will be completed twice this week to infill holes and greens brushed if conditions firm up a bit.
Greens are too soft and wet at this time to scarify but hopefully some over-seeding will be done to poorer greens shortly.
We are having to use pedestrian mowers on greens more often to reduce wheel tracking and compaction in softer areas but is much more time consuming on a weekly basis.
The wetter greens which have anthracnose (basal rot disease) on them will be hand spiked and poorer thin areas seeded to improve grass species and discourage further disease outbreaks.
Earlier spiking works that created criticism from members proved very valuable in keeping greens drier and course staying playable in poorer weather conditions.
Localised wet areas that have appeared recently at left of the 1st and rear of the 3rd are being exaggerated by water tracking along new irrigation routes and will have to have some drainage installed when conditions and time permits.
Fairways have been hammered in the landing areas in wet conditions and are an area that has let course down this year, Also some bunkers have become very hard and compacted with heavy rain. Sand has been purchased and some greenside bunkers will be rotovated and topped up as time permits.
Wet mucky areas on paths will be cleaned up and red blaize added where required.
Concerns have become apparent over ongoing health of many large larch trees around the course especially around 16th and 12th greens. Those trees have been shedding needles very early this year and are suffering from a fungal spore infection which has become more apparent after last year’s severe stressed drought conditions. They could be on way out very quickly and further investigations will be carried out with qualified specialists.
Some long rough areas have caused concern for members and some visitors this year. Growth has been very dense and thick in low lying areas with wet weather with golf balls being difficult to find. All inland courses have experienced similar conditions in such a wet season. Usually we try and cut and collect grass in some of these areas after the Club Championships i.e. left of the 5th, 6th and 14th, but conditions have been too wet and other grass cutting areas have kept us fully occupied to keep playing conditions at a premium. Cutting without collection or clearing is not an option as excessive nutrient will be returned to ground and golf balls will be harder to find with grass lying on top. Scoring has not excessively been affected in weekly medals and CSS has not been dramatically increased with straighter hitters being rewarded for better shots and good course management.
We are disappointed to see so many trolleys and buggies taken on to the tees by members this year. This is totally unnecessary and very poor etiquette in general.