COURSE UPDATE 22nd NOVEMBER 2017
The rainfall totals for the 19th, 20th, & 21st November total 61.3mm or 2.41 inches.
The combined rainfall for the whole of April & May this year was 69.9 mm or 2.75 inches.
The area to the right of the 7th green has had over 60m of drains installed. The right-side bunker has had the drainage upgraded along with work on the bunker banking to prevent wash-down.
Grid drainage has been installed at the path on the 3rd, to prevent wash down onto the grassed walkway area.
The drainage system in front of the 10th tee has been improved with grid drainage installed at the end of the path; a large sump has been created with many existing broken drains being repaired. Work has started on a problem drain close to the 10th green. We have also removed 4 larch trees behind the 10th green.
Utilising a lot of the material from the previously mentioned projects, the white 11th tee is being made larger and will be raised to provide a more defined tee bed with more tee placements than the previous one. Similarly, we have started work on the white 4th tee to gain extra tee placements through the summer. This involves stripping turf off the tee and banking, correcting uneven levels and replacing the turf.
Both the bunkers on the 2nd hole have had the sand exchanged.
The first phase of work on the new practice area has seen over 1,000 tons of material moved up to the driving range tee and levelled to create a sub-base for the tee extension. The tee is now larger by 1100 square meters, and requires the addition of rootzone for the final levels. A road has been made to the site of the new chipping green, where we hope to remove the top vegetation and create and complete the mounding. Unfortunately, due to the wet ground conditions we have had to stop work in that area until conditions improve.
We are trailing a new product to improve walkways around the course in winter.
GRASSTRAK is a polymeric grass protection mesh that offers protection to the crown of the grass. There are two areas where we have installed this mesh walkway, they have been placed on the 3rd hole in front of the left side tee that we now use in winter and from the halfway house down to the 10th tee. We will be monitoring the performance throughout the winter.
During wet spells course maintenance carries on with leaf collection, clearing out streams & ditches, tidying wash-down on the paths and bunkers. When conditions are suitable vital aeration work is carried out across surfaces on the golf course in the form of verti-draining, slitting and Air2 injection to encourage surface water to drain through the upper soil profiles and improve rooting. We also use wet periods to provide refresher training, competency assessments and risk assessment reviews, for the staff and apprentice in line with the Health & Safety policy.
As we move into winter, tee mats will be introduced to those tees where we start to see significant wear, particularly the par 3s and short par 4s. We endeavour to remain playing to the greens for as long as possible throughout the winter, however in periods where a prolonged cold/frosty spell is predicted and play to the greens would be detrimental to the long-term health of the green, play will be to the apron.
The driving range will remain open throughout the winter, but to retain grass on the tee for next spring, mats will be in use to practice from.
The S.T.R.I are carrying out a 4-month trial with a fungicide on the lower tier of the putting green/captains tee and the temporary 17th green on the large practice ground.
The wet weather does slow down progress on those winter projects we currently have underway, we do hope to complete on some soon and move onto improving the path in front of the white 18th tee, and improve/enlarge the tees on the 15th,9th & 11th. We also plan to improve the drainage of the lower tier of the 7th green as mentioned in the S.T.R.I report.
Effects of play on golf greens under frosty conditions
Damage caused by play during frosty weather falls into two main categories.
Firstly, when frozen, plant tissues are easily bruised by players feet. Following a thaw, it is often possible to see brown footmarks for several weeks, particularly around hole sites. The greater the weight of play in hard frost, obviously the greater becomes the extent of the damage. Affected areas remain thin for long periods, affecting the trueness of the putting surface, and are more susceptible to disease in spring.
Secondly, long term damage is caused when play takes place after a sudden thaw. In these conditions the top 13mm or so becomes soft whilst the underlying soil remains frozen. Root damage occurs from the shearing action as players feet move the soft, unfrozen surface across the frozen sub-surface. This disrupts putting surfaces and creates weak areas that may not recover before the height of the competition season.