02/03 – 13/03
On the course
Over the last two weeks the weather has been very kind to us allowing us to present the course and mow green surrounds, fairways and approaches on a regular basis giving the course good definition for this time in the year. Further work was completed on the bunker edge renovations with just one remaining bunker to finish. Work has now started on the grass bunkers throughout the golf course. This year the grass bunkers will be maintained to a minimal height of cut using strimmers to allow a variety of recovery shots to be played which is in line with the original ethos of the Willie Park ethos in design.
Greens and tees were once again topdressed and this will be adopted on a fortnightly basis throughout the entire season. The new teeing platforms on the 5th, 6th and 9th have received their first cut and will be back in play as soon as the temperature increases and growth is seen so as to allow recovery from divots. The 14th green has been core aerated and heavily dressed after being back in play during the previous weekend.
All rakes in the bunkers throughout the golf course have been replaced improving the general presentation of the bunkers and the course in general. The ball washers have also been audited and are in line to be refurbished and redistributed. All scrub work has now been completed for the year, however a last tree has been taken out on the left hand side of the 7th fairway, the space and viewed gained by taking this non-indigenous tree out is remarkable and from a playability point of view it has decreased the penalty from a slightly misguided shot just off the fairway. The view from the tee is greatly enhanced allowing full sight of the green, flag and maybe more importantly, the bunker.
Fairways 9 and 18 have been fertilised using the warmer temperatures of late to help growth within the next few weeks, these fairways will specifically play slower than others as for the natural gradient taking the golf balls away and towards the boarding hedge. The 15th fairway will also be considered for this maintenance programmes as well. All walk off areas from greens have been fertilised, again to help persuade growth during the coming weeks to aid recovery, this has been coupled with hand seeding and spiking.
Another mole has been caught on the 9th tees, however another mole behind the first tees which has returned still alludes us. Finally, the course benches are slowing being refurbished and placed back out on the golf course. There are a number which will be refurbished in situ.
The week ahead
Next week will see the start of drainage works to the 17th yellow tee, I foresee this taking no more than a week from start to completion, however it will be a further two weeks until the tee is reopened for play to allow drying and draining time. Trenches will also be dug behind the 5th, 6th, and 9th tees to root prune, this will help the turf fully establish and recover far better, with the vision of allowing play to these tees, weather permitting, throughout the entire winter. All benches will be refurbished and replaced on the golf course as will the ball washers.
Work will also take place within the maintenance facility, clearing an area for our large trailers to be stored which will free up space within the maintenance compound, also general tidying to present a more professional front of house.
The two small copses to the left of the 9th fairway will be thinned allowing a fairer recovery shot rather than an absolute penalty shot.
General course maintenance and presentation will continue and further emphasis on fertility will be placed in preparation for the first maintenance period on the 30/03 – 31/03.