26/09/16 – 28/10/16
On the course
It has been an extremely busy month both in Course preparation for tournaments and with the beginning of our Winter Course Improvement projects. Temple played host once again to the TP Tour on the 10th Oct and the team work above and beyond to produce what was classed by many as the best conditions the course has been in for the last two years and I agree, the team worked exceptionally well and once agin the course held up to some extremely high level golf with the winning score of -2. All Gold Board competitions are now finished and with Nov around the corner we have now raised the height of cut on the greens to our Winter height and therefore the green speed will naturally reduce, the trueness and smoothness will however remain just as high. Greens, Approaches and Tees are all performing extremely well at present and I feel confident going into the winter period that they will perform highly throughout the entire winter period.
As I mentioned, the Winter Course Improvement plan has begun with the creation and addition of three new Willie Park Junior Short Course Tees on the 11th, 17th and 18th. An entirely new tee has begun to be built on the 16th hole which will be a replacement for the current poorly performing mat on the left hand side of the hole. The new position on the right hand side of the tee will mean a decrease in wear and tear crossing the hill, during the winter period. Also with the reduction in length whilst bringing the right hand side bunker back in play should make for a fantastic winter hole, the tee will be fully grassed and irrigated so there will be a nice surface to play from all year round.
As I am sure you are aware, the green side bunkers at 5 and 7 are being reconstructed and reshaped, they are currently awaiting the bunker liner to be added and then we will be able to turf and close the project. The back left hand side bunker at 5 has been removed to make way for an extended collar and run off, both from bunkers at 5 have been reshaped to fit better with the surrounding terrain. The bunkers at 7 have changed slightly with the two on the right hand side being reduced in size. These bunkers will be open for play in Spring 2017.
We have also started the extensive tree work on the 8th tees, cutting back and removing the tree line on both sides to create better airflow and light infiltration whilst also offer fantastic views across beyond the golf course and at the same time reducing the health and safety risk of the hole by increasing the view of the hole and the flight of the golf ball. This work will run on until Christmas.
Elsewhere, we built a winter mat on the 8th tees next to the ladies tee, we have used the mat from the 9th white tees. The 8th tees are some of ourt worst performing tees and where possible we will use the mat during periods of poor growth through the winter so as to help the tees recover from summer play and be perfect once again for the beginning of the season in spring 2017.
The meadow rough has begun to be scarified and will continue to be scarfed all the way through the winter period to thin the meadows for the following season.
The fortnight ahead
Once again, a busy fortnight planned. Next week is our disruptive maintenance with vertidraining aeration on all surfaces, greens approaches, tees and fairways, this will take all week. An extremely heavy topdressing will be applied after on all but the fairways. This will help keep greens firm through the deepest parts of winter by increasing water infiltration and percolation.
Both the 15th and 16th greens are planned to be fully drained starting 7th Nov and will remain out of play until Christmas to allow for full recovery, with a view that both greens will be firm and fully playable again through even the wettest periods of weather.
The 9th white tee construction will begun, plans are to double the current platform size, extensive woodland reduction surrounding the tee is also planned to create increased airflow and light infiltration.
A very busy last month and an even busy following month, but all this work will pay dividends for the 2017 season by developing the golf course further once more.