17/09/18 – 30/11/18
On the course
Wow, how time fly’s when one is busy. October and November have now come and gone and there has been a huge amount of work achieved on the course with a lot of great steps forward ready for the new season in 2019.
October saw the beginning of our winter construction projects, with the first project being the 2nd fairways bunkers. The 2nd fairway bunkers have been moved forward to create a slightly more difficult shot for the longer hitters whilst also giving a slightly fairer tee shot for the shorter hitters, yardages were worked out exactly to create this change. The bunkers are now complete and look fantastic, they change the dynamic of the landscape and fill what was once before a visual void. The 2nd greenside bunker has also been taken away and replaced with a run off zone, this will create a slightly more difficult approach shot as it runs the risk of running further away from the green left, whilst at the same time giving a fairer recovery shot back onto the green, again this looks fantastic and will really make for a different hole moving into 2019.
The current construction project is the 14th bunkers and green bank remodelling. The front left hand side bunker is being removed and a run off approach created in its place, this is to create a risk and reward teeing line for the longer hitters with the risk being the treeline angle of the tee shot and the reward being a far easier approach into the green, removing this bunker will also create a far fairer approach shot for the shorter hitters and the tee shots favouring the right hand side of the fairway, now the approach shot offers a fair bail out area if the green is not possible. Again, a fantastic change and one which will create a great match play hole.
There have been some minor improvements made to bunker edges which have suffered form the drought, bunkers at 5 and 7 have been stripped and re-turfed, we have also taken the opportunity to slightly improve the mounding around the bunkers.
Woodland work has yet to begin but the troublesome Sycamore at the 13th hole has been removed for health and safety reasons, the tree in recent years had started to lean fully over the yellow and red tee. A benefit to the removal of this tree is the improvement of the surface of the tee itself, it will now receive full sunlight, far better air movement and have less leaf litter.
All surfaces are now into their winter mode, we have raised the height of cut on greens to 5mm, they are now just fully recovering from the full winter maintenance programme of Vertidraining, coring and slitting with a heavy sanding, this process will mean the greens will stay fully playable throughout the winter. Fairways are the last concern from the tough Summer we have had, however it is now just four fairways which may need a little extra help in early Spring so I am confident that the course will be its perfect self March 1st as usual.
The fortnight ahead
Moving on into the Christmas season, the 14th construction project is the main area we would like to complete before the end of the season but this really is weather dependent. Other small improvements will be made to the left hand side 3rd bunker and right hand side 13th bunker. The 8th Mat has now been moved for health and safety reasons and will be opened within the next two weeks for the winter. The 8th hole played from the mat in its new position offers a mid range par 3 down hill and removes all wear and tear from the grassed tees.