Tuesday, 26 March 2013

More path replacement

Despite the cold weather and frozen ground we continue to complete some of the jobs on our winter work programme.
The path between the putting green and 1st tee has needed replacement for a number of years. Much debate within the greens committee has taken place. The 1st choice material was a bonded rubber material, but due to a cost of over £5000 was dismissed.
It was decided to go with the red shale we have used throughout the course. But to install the plastic netpave on the slope down to the fairway. Hopefully, this should prevent washout and if successful will be rolled out onto the rest of the course.
We also took the opportunity to widen the path around the starters hut and extend the parking area around the putting green.
A new bench will be installed before the start of the season.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

What a differance 10 years makes!

10 years ago the course at Hopwood was a very different animal, but as we know, people have short memories. Here's a few reminders of what the members had to put up with on a daily basis.

 This is a picture of the putting green in March 2003. Nice disease scars.

This is the 5th green following the disastrous drainage work that was carried out by contractors in 2002.

This is the old greenside bunker on the R/H side of the 8th green in 2003

This is the front R/H side bunker on the 2nd hole in 2003.

This is the site of the pond in front of the 10th tees.

 And for those of you who criticise our tree removal policy, here's a picture of the putting green and 1st tee before we gave the area some light.

With our greens surfaces disease free and with 100% grass cover we are ideally placed to for the start of the season. Lets hope the bad weather forecast for the weekend is short lived and Spring is just around the corner.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Frustrating week,

The weather has held us back this week, with frost deep in the ground from Monday thru to Thursday. Even today when the rain came, the water sat on the surface unable to penetrate the frost.
We had planned to scarify all the fairways and semi rough, but that quickly went out of the window. Instead we spent 3 days getting on top of our machinery maintenance, 
Many of you may not know that we carry out all our machinery repairs and servicing in house, without the need for expensive outside dealers. This means we are able to save the club a huge amount of money and it gives the staff a real insight into how the machines work and what ongoing maintenance they need.

We did manage to carry out some work on the course, concentrating on repairs to the ditch crossing on the 10th hole.
As you can see, we have used the plastic Netpave material underneath the red shale. This, we hope, will stabilise the shale and prevent washouts in periods of heavy rain. If this is successful, we intend to repeat the process on some of our other damaged paths.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Busy week at Hopwood.

Its been another busy week on the course as we've been getting stuck in to many jobs before the cold rain returned.
Our aeration work to the greens went really well, with soil conditions perfect for cracking and heaving the soil under the greens. We followed on with the micro-tiner and also rolled them to restore the surfaces and close the holes over. We then ran the hand mowers over them as well. This has been the most successful aeration treatment we have completed in the last 2 years.

We also applied a slow release organic fertiliser to try and move any available growth forward. But judging by the forecast for the week ahead, the won't be much warmth about to help us.

We've also carried out some re-profiling work on the corner of the 14th hole. This is to help  with visibility for the 2nd shot. It became obvious after we removed the trees, that the view was still restricted by mounds of earth. Now the mounds have been removed, golfers should be able to see thru to the green. The area will be seeded and should fill in very quickly.

The majority of the turfing jobs are completed. But next week, we will restore some path ends and turf over some of the drainage lines we have exposed. 
We've slit the fairways in preparation for the scarifying and sweeping we will carry out this week. We will also finish the application of Iron to the fairways and semi-rough.
Full steam ahead to the start of the season.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Irrigation work.

Over the last few years we have had a number of leaks and bursts in the irrigation system, following damage caused by floating debris smashing into the pipework across Trub brook.
When the system was upgraded many moons ago, for some reason the 2" main pipes were installed above the normal water line of the brook. This is ok in periods of normal rainfall, but as you know, normal is not a term to describe the recent weather.
When the water level rises, debris from upstream smashes into the pipework, cracking it or even worse severing it.

To combat this, we install the 2' pipes in larger tubes filled with concrete (for re-enforcement and weight) and bury them in the bed of the stream. This is a photo of the pipework at the 16th prior to being covered. We have also replaced the pipes at the 4th & 13th.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Busy week at Hopwood

Another dry week has meant we've managed to get loads done and start catching up with our outstanding jobs.
We've rebuilt the large practice bunker on the front field, it's already been turfed and when the turf has rooted we'll do the final shaping and fill it with fresh sand.
All the stump holes have now been turfed, topdressed and tidied.
3 of the areas with drainage problems have been sorted (2nd, 5th & 15th), once these areas dry out we will soil and turf the trenches.
Our 2nd cycle of aeration is nearing completion on the fairways, semi and walkways. As soon as we finish, we can start scarifying the fairways and approaches ready for the start of the season.
We hope to deep tine the greens again next week as soil conditions are perfect. This will be followed by micro-tining and a light roll. This should provide the soil under the greens with many cracks & channels for drainage and root growth.
Fingers crossed for higher temperatures as well.