It has been just over six months since we began playing golf after lockdown during which time our course has been busier than normal. After a cool Spring period when there was little growth, I felt that from June to mid-September our course, on the whole, looked good, particularly the Greens which played the best they had been for a number of years. I would like to thank the Head Greenkeeper and our Greens Team for all their hard work. I, therefore, hope that you enjoyed your summer golf.
The Greens Committee are however aware that some of our fairways have not looked their best although one has to remember that fairways 4 to 16 have a sub-strata of sand. In this respect, it is disappointing that the previous programme of seeding the fairways over the last few years has not been very successful. Therefore, in association with our agronomist, we are trying something new! A section of the 13th fairway, approximately a third of a hectare, is currently subject to a trial of a water retention agent to see if it is possible to produce and maintain a good covering of grass in this area. If this trial works then the Greens Committee will be looking to extend this programme on the other fairways over the next five years or so.
I am pleased to report that our scheduled maintenance programme for mid-September was carried out with the exception of some of the overseeding, the overseeding programme will recommence in April next year. Indeed having played the course on Friday and Saturday I would say the greens have fully recovered to what they were. It is therefore pleasing that the amount of topdressing and treatment that has been applied over the last three years has improved the standard of our Greens. It would however be greatly appreciated if players would repair pitch marks even if they are not theirs.
The autumn/winter programme of work has now begun. The following, although not an extensive list, is an indication of the work to be carried out:
A further top dressing will be applied to the greens at the end of October.
Weather permitting slitting of the tee boxes and aprons will happen every 2 to 3 weeks.
Spraying for the eradication of leather jackets will be carried out at the end of October/beginning of November.
Fairway spiking will begin in November.
As part of our commitment to the Junior section, the junior tees are due to be upgraded during the winter.
New pathways to be constructed on parts of the 4th, 8th, 12th and 13th fairways. This work is however subject to the required materials being available at this time. Currently, we experience problems with supply.
The roping off of the aprons. This work has already commenced
The cross bunkers on the fourth are to be redefined as four separate bunkers as originally designed.
Carrying out any further work to the area to the right of the 7th Green. The HGK indicates that the majority of this area is coming on nicely but there are a couple of areas that need attending to.
The benches situated around the course will be brought in by the end of October for maintenance and repainting.
The broken tee peg cups will also be brought in.
The implementation of a new practice bunker.
We are also having to replace one of our water tanks. This is going to be at a cost of £12,288 plus VAT.
It has also been decided that rakes should be left in the bunkers after use. We obviously need the cooperation of members to carry out this policy.
As in previous years, the white tee markers will be taken in immediately after The Captains Drive-In.
On the Greens Team front, Tom Carding has now commenced level three of his greenkeeping course and we wish him well with this. You may have also seen on the Club’s Facebook page that Karl Johnson retired on the 13th of October and we wish him a long and happy retirement. Currently, the plan is to replace him in the Spring.
As your Greens Committee and in conjunction with the Greens Team we strive to continue to improve the course where ever we can. I hope that you will continue to enjoy many happy hours of golf at our course.
Chair of Greens.