14/11/16 – 27/01/17
On the course
It has been a long but successful Winter period to date, with many course improvements ongoing and/or completed.
Firstly, it has been a number of weeks since my last blog post so to recap on the past 2 months, we have now completed the bunker reconstruction at holes 5 and 7, the bunkers will remain GUR until April 8th for which the sand will be added and then opened up for the main season, the reason they will remain GUR is to allow the newly laid turf to root and establish. The back left hand side bunker at 5 has been filled in and the area regraded and re turfed, this area will be maintained at approach height and will serve as a collar run off from the green.
The 8th mat has been complete and has been in play for a number of weeks now, this is to save the wear and tear on the main tees throughout the winter and at the beginning of the playing season all three main tees will be in perfect condition as apposed to in poor condition and then requiring a long period of time through until May to repair.
The newly enlarged White tee at 9 has now been all but complete, there is just the cutting in of the newly laid turf to be completed once the frost has disappeared and the turf is more pliable. This tee will vastly improve the playing characteristics of the hole.
There has also been a lot of woodland work completed, namely the 14th woodland edge. The woodland edge here has been thinned to allow light and air into the centre of the woodland which will in turn promote growth from the centre and also the road side, by thinning the edge the playability and fairness of the hole will be vastly improved. The entire length of the hole, from tee to green, has been thinned, and even on to the 15 Yellow tee which will allow better growth and recovery to this teeing surface.
This week has seen the start of the individual tree felling across the site, numerous trees have been noted for removal within the perimeters of ‘dead, dying or dangerous’ also those trees that are non native which are impeding native trees will be removed. The woodland management team are 50% through this project at present.
The fortnight ahead
With the thaw of this ground frost which as been with us for nearing three weeks now, we will hopefully be able to cut all surfaces and applying recovery treatments, also the bunkers which have been frozen for just as long, will be repaired, edged and fully raked.
Tree work will continue with the individual tree felling, coupled with canopy lifting of numerous copses across the site for increased light and air flow, as well as specific tree improvements around the clubhouse.
Our last remaining construction site is the 16th winter tee, this will continue from Monday and will be completed by the weekend and ready for turf, this tee will not be used until the winter of 2017 as it is a replacement for the current winter mat, so instead a fully irrigated and grassed tee will be used during the winter months as apposed to the current mat.
I am extremely happy with the current condition of the course throughout all surfaces and beyond, wear and tear is to a minimum, worm activate is very low, green sward density and health is perfect and with the meadow roughs receiving added attention this winter, the playability will be far better for the upcoming season, once the warmer temperatures return our beautiful site will be lifted to competition standard extremely quickly.