T: 01246 279256
Every few weeks, our Course Manager, Nick Miles, will publish a short note explaining the work being done to maintain our wonderful course.
What work is being done on the greens?
After what has been a horrendous spell of weather, golfers can be left frustrated with temporary greens and a wet course. After speaking to Nick our Course Manager, he has gave me some info that will hopefully answer some of your questions
As we speak the greens are being sprayed with a penetrant/due dispersant with phosphate; this is in layman’s terms is done to help keep the plant strong and fight off disease.
The more severe greens work that started back in February, has been a combination of verti draining 8 inches deep, hollow tining 13m in diameter which goes 4 inches deep. 30 tonnes of top dressing has already been applied, with an additional 20 tonnes being added and brushed when the weather dictates; so as soon as possible. This application and brushing will complete the winter/ spring greens preparation.
Although disruptive to play on the greens, this work is essential to gain the greens to the condition expected in the playing season.
It is becoming apparent that the moment the course starts to dry up it either snows or rains heavily for a few days! Since the snowfall at the beginning of December we have recorded 225.5mm of rain and over the whole site that equates to 109,508 cubic metres of water, no wonder the course is saturated.
The disease prevention programme that I introduced this winter has been a great success. The only drawback has been the fact the greens have been too wet to play on. I have a few ideas as to what has been causing these problems and I am looking at making some changes. Firstly, there are obvious drainage problems that will have to be addressed in the future. Companies are developing new ways to drain ground which are less disruptive to the playing surface and we shall be looking into these. Secondly, the wetting agent we have used for the past 2 summers may have locked too much moisture into the top profile causing it to waterlog during the wetter months. I am looking into other products that will send the moisture deeper into the soil and firm up the top profile.
Weather permitting, over the next couple of weeks we shall be doing our Spring maintenance on the greens. This will consist of verti-draining, hollow-tining, fertilising and top dressing. The plan is to spread the work out so that we cause less disruption to the course and to play.
I hope you all agree with me that the lads have done a great job on the 9th hole clearing the Blackthorn and with the help of Trevor Watson laying a fantastic looking hedge.
The recent weather is making life as a greenkeeper very frustrating! Since the beginning of December we have had nearly 150mm of rain and snow forcing us to close the course more than we would like. As everyone should be aware by now we experienced some recent vandalism on the course. Fortunately, the damage was mainly superficial. The worst area was the 14th green and this will take longer to recover due to its location and the severity of the damage.
The two bunkers that we have renovated on 11 and 15 have now been turfed to allow the grass to establish roots before we put sand in. The drain lines next to the bunker on 11 have also been turfed. We shall also be turfing and rubber matting some more path ends and any worn areas around the course. The revamped Par 3 winter tee mats are working well although the bad weather has highlighted the need to move the 8th so that it isn’t sitting under water.
Lift, Clean & Place
A ball lying on a closely mown area through the green may be lifted without penalty and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, he must place it within six inches of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.
A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it is placed, Rule 20-3d applies. If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other rule apply.
If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.
Note: ‘Closely-mown area’ means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.
Through the Green, a ball that is embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground may be lifted, without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.
Exception: A player may not take relief under this Local Rule if it is clearly unreasonable for him to make a stroke because of interference by anything other than the condition covered by this Local Rule.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE.
Match play - loss of hole;
Stroke play – Two strokes.
T H Glover
3rd October 2017
• 5th Hole Install new drain into sump pond dug out behind Hope Hut. Laterals coming off the main drain to stop area getting wet during winter. Main drain to be dug out with digger, laterals using trencher.
• 9th Hole Dig out area that blisters during winter to see if there is a joint there and repair.
• 11th Hole Install new drain next to right hand fairway bunker through trees into brook. Laterals coming off the main drain to stop area getting wet during winter. Propose to change bunker whilst working in that area. Bunker to be reshaped. A new drain installed and new sand. All work to be carried out with digger. Pipe and fill in narrow ditch next to tee.
• 16th Hole Install a main drain from fairway across to ditch on right hand side at the top end of the copse. Laterals coming off to dry up semi rough beyond trees. Main drain to be dug out by digger, laterals using trencher.
• 17th Hole Pipe and fill in ditch dividing carry and fairway as it is not improving the hole or taking any water as planned.
Plan is to have Steve working on trees Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This will be working hole by hole removing all lower hanging branches and any suckers growing from the base. Main focal point will be on 9, tidying up the willow following the storm damage and working on the ditch line up to the pine trees. Regarding any tree removal around the 18th green, I feel that this should only be undertaken if the membership is in agreement.
Having discussed the pros and cons of liners with Steve and Wain I feel that this could be an expensive exercise that may or may not work. Therefore, I would like to propose that we under-take a 5 year plan that involves us removing the existing sand, reshaping bunker if required, checking drains and putting new sand in.
Continue using the rubber mats at the ends and top up majority of paths this winter. Work to be carried out on 10, 14 and 15 as a priority.
The latest STRI report is available to download here.
The correct way to repair a pitchmark:
Insert your pitch repair tool just outside the back of the pitchmark. Pull the turf towards the centre of the hole. Repeat this same motion on all sides of the hole.
Gently tap the repaired area with the base of your putter.
This action stretches undamaged turf over the ball mark providing instant recovery.