Friday, 22 January 2016

Weekend Update

A busy week with some real progress (at last).

The course had started to dry out nicely, with some cold weather keeping the rain at bay. The snow cleared during Monday and the course was fully open by Wednesday.

We have started our program of bunker renovation. The oldest bunkers have raised faces and the sand is badly contaminated following years of washouts. It is our aim to restore the bunkers to there original design and install a blinding carpet to prevent future issues with contamination. The steepest faces will have the "Bunker Mat" material, while the base of the bunkers will have a more economical material fitted. Some slight alterations will be completed were needed to prevent some drainage issues.

The Air2G2 is still being used weekly on the greens to aid firmness and drainage.

We have also re-surfaced the buggy path on the 5th hole as it has suffered badly during the recent floods.

Next week will see more bunker work and the laying of turf in many small areas around the course.

Fingers crossed the weather stays kind to us all.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Weekend Update

Another difficult week weather wise, but it finally looks like we are set for a spell of dry, cold weather. This should help lower the water table in the soil. 

Due to the saturated soil conditions, it has been really difficult to move around the course with equipment, so work has been limited.

The area on the L/H side of the 5th green is particularly bad. The drains in this area have struggled to cope with the volumes of water passing thru them. We have made some small repairs and improvements to them, but drying out will be a slow process. On the plus side, we appear to have improved the washing of sand in the L/H greenside bunker. The new trench will be turfed as soon as possible, but turf is in short supply, again due to conditions in the turf fields.

The wet area on the L/H side of the 15th is drying up nicely, now the drains have been extended and stoned.

As always, the Air2G2 has been out on the greens pumping fresh air into the soil profile. We will continue with this right into the spring to prevent turf die back. The Captain has more info regarding this on his Blog.

We've also spent a lot of time around the clubhouse & Pro's shop, clearing beds and pruning shrubs. The gutters and roof channels have also been cleared of debris.
We also have started the servicing and repair of all our machinery so it is all ready for the start of the season.

With conditions hopefully drying out next week, we have plans to renovate some of the bunkers effected by stones and over-hanging faces. Care will have to be taken to minimise damage while completing this work.  There is also tidying to complete around the 1st tee area and long term the construction of a new path to the ladies tee.

Wrap up warm this weekend, I think its going to be a cold one.

Mark & the Greens team.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Weekend Update

Why are these updates dominated by weather info you may ask? 
I really wish they weren't too, but the weather impacts so much on everything we do and is the controlling factor regarding play on the course.

As you will all be aware, we are in a prolonged spell of record breaking rainfall. Since this spell started around the  5th November, we have had a total of 484mm of the wet stuff! That's a total of 4.8 million litres on the greens alone in 9 weeks!
Its remarkable that up to today (8th Jan) we have only been closed for 5 days.

The conditions have deteriorated over the last week to such an extent that we are no longer able to move around the course without creating damage. Despite wide tyres, 4 wheel drive and keeping to the deep rough.

The greens have held up surprisingly well, only softening during the last 2 weeks. With this in mind, I did manage to apply a liquid micro-nutrient package to them on Monday, which included a product called Roca-stem, which aids water movement thru the soil profile. The tractor did create some wheel marks, which were removed with a quick micro-tine. The surfaces have firmed up very nicely since, but the greens remain saturated.

We also managed to install an interceptor drain between the 5th green and L/H bunker. This should reduce the washout of sand in this bunker. We have also carried out some small drainage work on the L/H side of the 5th green & 15th fairway. Please avoid these areas until they dry out.

As you can imagine, controlling and minimising traffic around the course is vital when conditions are this poor. With this in mind, we have renewed the white lines in front of the greens and put some ropes out to protect vulnerable areas.
If you are in a position to carry your clubs when playing, please do. It really does reduce damage.
Winter wheels are another option, as  this stops electric trolley wheels spinning and smearing the surface.
If you must use your heavy electric trolley, try to reduce its weight and keep away from any obvious wet or muddy areas.
All the above measures will reduce damage and help us keep the course open as much as possible. Your co-operation is greatly appreciated.

Fingers crossed for a change in the weather soon & Happy New Year.

Mark & the Greens team.