Friday, 6 December 2013


At this time of year the surface of the greens can soften due to rainfall and lower temperatures. Added to this, the lower temperatures result in little or no growth to aid recovery from any damage.
This is why it is even more important to repair any pitchmarks you make on the greens.
The picture below shows a fresh pitchmark and 2 unrepaired marks. It could well be April before they recover.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

November 2013

It's been a busy month on the course. Our plans to drain the 12th & 14th greens have been put on hold due to the wet weather in October. There's no point in making a mess and the quality of the work suffering due to wet soil conditions.
We have plans to do some remedial drainage work on some of the greens in the next few weeks, but more about that next month.


It has become apparent over the last few years that members trollies are getting heavier and bigger. During the winter months this creates many problems with traffic management and wear on the golf course. With golf being a 365 days a year sport, many heavily trafficked areas require a rest to help them recover. This is the reason we attempt to control movement around the course using white lines. Unfortunately, human nature always tends to take the shortest route.

         Worn area due to trolley traffic at the back of the 15th green.

Next week, we will putting out ropes to shepard golfers away from these areas. We know they are unpopular (they get in our way too),  but they are a necessary evil on an inland North West golf course.
We are not the only clubs who use them as the below pic from Royal Liverpool last week shows.

Another issue with trollies, are the smooth wheels which in wet ground conditions spin and smear the surface damaging the turfs natural           drainage. Many clubs have now introduced a winter wheel policy and it is the club's intention to implement this for next winter.

More information about this change will be posted on the club's notice boards throughout next year and Brian in the Pro's shop will be providing many options for trolley users.

Self Seeded trees.     

Due to the size of the site at Hopwood, the self seeded Birch and Oak trees can quickly get out of hand and before you know it large areas have become copiced. This year we have had a chance to dig out over 7,500 plants varying in size from 1 - 6ft high. The time spent doing this will have a major impact on the course in future years. We have to do a lot of work in this area just to stand still. The photo below shows the dip in front of the 5th tee's where we removed over 50 young trees.

Winter mats.

From Monday the 2nd December winter mats will be in use on the fairways. The 1st, 5th, 7th, 10th & 11th fairways must be played with a mat from the fairway. The remaining holes will be marked with white lines. Shots inside these areas must be played from a mat. This should help our fairways stand up to winter play and preserve the turf for next spring.