22/01/18 – 09/02/18
On the course
What a fantastic two weeks we have had, a true two weeks of winter with biting cold and hard dry frosts. This cold snap has allowed us to scarify the meadow roughs for a second time, and here’s hoping we are able to scarify for a third time as well, meaning the meadows will be even better and far more playable than last year, perhaps we will even increase some areas of meadows to tighten driving lines for those longer hitters!
The woodland work has continued strongly these last two weeks, the woodland edge along the left hand side of the 4th and 5th holes has been complete and looking fantastic. Not only does this visually improve both holes, but also playability wise the woodland edge is far fairer and will allow a recovery shot rather than a lost ball. The woodland management team have now started on opening the beautiful vista at the 8th tees further and at the same time will clean up the woodland edge around the 9th white tees. Another small but important change has been the scrub bushes at the left hand side of the 15th which are being removed, this will open up a lovely view to the magnificent chestnut tree on the 14th as well as a view through to the 14th green itself. Most importantly this work will allow the entrance of the 15th tee to be far wider, spreading the wear and tear during the winter.
The course itself is as clean and tidy as I have ever seen it during January/February, albeit I have only been here 3 years, but either way I am extremely happy with how all surfaces are performing and the definition we have going into early spring. The additional Toro Proforce blower has made a huge impact in helping us clear and tidy the course and increase daily presentation, investment in machinery is so important and will continue to improve the golfing experience.
The bunker construction at the 1st, 12th and 10th is now fully complete and turf growing in nicely, the meadow turf looks fantastic around the 12th fairway bunkers and will give a stark contrast during spring and summer against the fairway and bunkers. The view from the 12th Tee is nothing short of stunning, I cannot think of another course where one can stand on a teeing ground and see 10 different holes (11 if you stand on the ladies tees), the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 17th and 18th (and the 5th off the ladies tee). A view we can be truly proud of.
The fortnight ahead
Continuation of the woodland work, finishing the 8th and the 9th, then onto further developing the Copper Beach behind the 16th Green, there are areas on the 15th and 17th which will be addressed also. The 17th bunker sand will be replaced and a small area of remedial turf around the 11th bunkers will be repaired ready for the season. Trench work will begin at the 9th green to serve the Halfway Hut so this will no doubt cause some disruption. Further scarifying meadow roughs when possible and general turf maintenance through February.