February Course Report

I’m going to have to start with the obvious: The weather!

The weather has been and continues to be far from ideal. The consistency of the rain has been the biggest problem as this has not allowed the course to dry and, along with the warm temperatures, has kept the grass growing, all adding up to be the toughest period of my career.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the position of the Tee markers. They have been back on some Tees as we are trying to spread the wear to allow play all year round and as a result the course is understandably playing too long for a lot of our members. I believe that the solution is to place all yellow tees on the mats that are available and keep the whites on the grass tees where we can. This will allow for everybody to decide amongst themselves before the start of play where they want to play from and in effect have a slightly shorter/longer course to choose from. This has already been done and in fact will help limit the winter damage on the grass tees.

Finally all the machinery maintenance in which every bit of equipment has been looked at and any fault has been sorted, will put us in a good position when the ground conditions are right to get the course back to where we want it?

Another job that is close to being completed is the building of a whole new range of course equipment. This includes new tee markers, 150 yard markers, tee plates and yellow and red hazard posts. All these new additions have been made from scratch and as a result the saving has been around 60% cheaper than retail price on similar items. We will also be introducing new hole cups, flags and pins at in due course. I’m confident this will be a big improvement of the overall aesthetics of the golf course.

To add to all of the new course furniture, we are currently in the process off edging, spraying and weeding all the paths and steps on the course so everything is ready for us to get back out on the course when the time comes.

The verti-drain has been out on the fairways and we have managed to get all but a few done which will help with draining the surface water and hopefully giving us a few more days play. We have also managed to cut a few fairways and Tees but unfortunately this was stopped by a recent heavy shower and currently this is all it takes with the ground conditions as they are.

In the last week we have managed to apply some granular low rate fertiliser to the greens to strengthen the plant. We have also sprayed a preventative fungicide and dew dispersant to minimise the risk of any disease. While we had the opportunity we put small holes in the greens and sprayed products that will pull the water down through the soil profile and away from the surface. Along with this, we mixed in some products for the roots and overall plant health, which will help them develop and grow and see us through this period to ensure they remain healthy and able to deal with the current conditions.

Unfortunately, I had booked the Air 2G2 in for 2 days at the end of January as previously said but again due to the incoming rain I had to cancel it. This was a shame as the greens we ran the demo on have shown good results after heavy rain in reducing the puddles on the playing surface. This job will be done but it is essential it is done in the right conditions so we will have to wait for another opportunity.

We still have plenty of planned work to do, the right hand side of the 15th is well under way, we have cleared most of the area but there is more to do. I would also like to start the left hand side of the 6th and do the same with that as this has also started to creep in to play.

Chris Marker
Head Greenkeeper