Information från Course Manager

Member update no5 – 14/05/2021

Dear members,

The warm days and nights arrived earlier this week and they are most welcome!

We are now seeing our seeds germinate and seedlings beginning to grow.

We will continue to work with covers, fertilising, watering, and mowing our damaged greens with the aim of bringing them into play as soon as possible.

The greens in play are still being maintained at a higher than desirable cutting height but this is to protect the new grass plants while they are establishing. As they become more mature and their rooting becomes stronger we will gradually reduce the height of cut. The same greens are also being fertilised more than is usual, again this is to aid establishment of new plants in the damaged areas. The extra fertiliser along with the high cutting heights mean the greens will be slow and not so smooth but please remember there is a reason for this and it will be temporary. We will try to have all the greens open and in good condition as soon as possible.   

We are not mowing fairways, tees and approaches as often as I would like but this is because it has been too cold until this week for good growth to occur, so the mowing has been infrequent. The cold conditions magnify the wear and tear damage from foot traffic as there is little to no recovery during cold weather. However now our fertilising is kicking in due to the rise in temperatures, meaning we will get good growth and begin to see the grass being more vigorous and able to better withstand foot traffic. So soon will be mowing our playing surfaces with our usual frequency, and soon after that we will begin to lower cutting heights also.

We are being cautious with allowing golf cars. At this time of year when we are building density in week and thin areas of green surrounds etc, cars being allowed out in conditions that are two wet can cause significant damage. It is sensible to be very careful concerning golf car use at the moment. 

I will be back soon with another update.

Best wishes

Alex and the team. 

Member update no4 – 29/04/2021

Dear members,

The 18-hole course opens tomorrow and I would like to welcome you all and give you some information on the status of the golf course.

Regarding greens, as I have already informed, they almost all have damage to a certain degree. Some worse than others. I am confident that while some greens that will be open really do not look very attractive presently, with an increase in daytime and night-time temperatures they will recover relatively quickly. We will still have greens 1, 9, 15, 17 and 18 under covers and the damage on these is more severe and will take longer to recover, and for certain, even longer if we open them too soon. The greens are being cut at 5mm so presently they are not fast or very smooth, but this will improve as the damage repairs.

The fairways and tees are in good condition for the time of year, but the cutting heights are presently quite high and I wish for the density to increase, particularly on the fairways, before we lower the height of cut.

You will see some damaged areas on holes 15 to 18 which are covered. This is the best way to get speedy recovery from the small damaged areas left over from the ski track. Please treat these areas as ground under repair and move your ball accordingly if it lands on one of these areas.

The weather forecast is more favourable for germinating seed and growing grass from Monday onwards, and if accurate, this should help with the recovery I wish for.

I would like to wish all who play, an enjoyable time and wish everyone a great 2021 golf season.

I will be back next week with another update.

Best wishes

Alex and the team. 

Member update no3 – 20/04/2021

 

Dear members,

Thankfully, we have been getting some warm weather during the days this last week even if the nights and mornings are still cold. We have been getting frosts most mornings though. Presently the weather forecast is for cold temperatures (single figures) from Thursday until the end of April. This is normal for this time of year and it gives us the usual challenge, trying to establish grass and get a speedy recovery on our damaged greens with temperatures not really suited to achieving this. We are planning to open the 18-hole course on the 30th of April. When we open it is almost certain there will be 5 greens which will still have covers on, numbers 1,9,15,17 and 18. Of these I expect 1,9 and 15 to recover first and 17 and 18 to take a little longer. We have seeded, top dressed, fertilised, covered and we are now watering daily to try to get fast germination from the seed we have used and to try to encourage recovery from any plants within the disease patches where the crown was not damaged and new growth can emerge from.

The uncovered greens on the 18-hole course all have some disease patches and over the next 2 to 3 weeks we will be seeding these patches to help speed up their recovery. The fairways and tees on the 18-hole course are in great shape for the time of year and it should not be too long before they are in very good condition, hopefully May will bring some warmer weather and help with this process.

The 9-hole course will open tomorrow (21/04/21) but it is highly probable there will be a frost. Unfortunately, the 9-hole greens have been affected significantly by the disease and 7 of them will be covered when we open. 6 and 8 will be uncovered and the flags on the greens, the rest will have a flag in the fairway or approach. Greens 3,5, and 7 I except to be the first ones to have the covers removed and I expect it to take a little longer before 1,2 and 9 are brought into play.

I am not happy to open with so many greens still under covers, recovering, and all I can say is please be assured we will be doing everything possible to bring them into play as quickly as possible. I want to make sure that when I open them to play and lots of foot traffic, they are in a state of sufficient health that they will continue to improve. I do not wish to run any risks of opening them too soon and the opening having a negative impact on them.

Regarding the construction work planned for the 18-hole course there has been a change of plan. Due to various challenges the contractor we had planned on using cannot get his machines to the club until the 5th of May and cannot get a crew of ‘finishing’ workers until the 14th of May. After discussing this and considering the challenges we have with the greens this spring, the decision has been made to postpone the work until the Autumn. We now plan to close holes 6 to 14 from the 4th of October allowing the contractor to work on those holes without having to work around golf. From the 4th of October we will keep holes 1 to 5 and 15 to 18 open so there will be a 9-hole course for members to play. Once the contractor is finished with holes 6 to 14 (should take 2 weeks or less) then we will close the rest of the golf course and complete the work on those holes. The benefits of this plan are that once the greens are up to scratch this spring there will be no disruption to play (excepting specific maintenance) after this until October. Also, the turf that will be laid after the construction will require less watering and it will get a more suitable period to ‘bed in’ get rooted. The capillary concrete we are installing in the bunkers is also requires less after care maintenance when temperatures are cooler.

 

I will be back next week with another update.

Best regards

Alex and team.

Member update no1 – 31/03/2021

 

Dear members,

Since my last update the weather has unfortunately become colder than was hoped. It was considered to open the 9-hole course with some temporary holes in the fairways on the coming but the cold and wet weather has halted those considerations. It is now planned to try to open the 9-hole course next week. Which day we open it will be decided after the weekend when we can make an assessment which considers the future weather forecast and the volume of rain that fell over the coming weekend. When we do open the 9-hole course it will be with at least 4 (possibly more) greens out of play and covered.

This weekend and during next week all our seasonal staff will arrive and I am hoping that this is well timed with the improvement in weather that is presently shown for next week.

I am still hopeful for an opening of the 18-hole course on the 24th of April although it is rather likely that there will also be 4 or more greens out of play and covered when we do open.

We will be working hard to try to force as much recovery on the damaged greens in the shortest time possible.

Presently the plan is for our construction project to begin during the final week of April. It is still possible that COVID restrictions may create some challenges with start date of the project and the number of contract workers available to the lead contractor. I will inform more about this with each of my updates and as situation becomes more reliable and sure.

I would like to hold a ‘members help day’ on Saturday the 17 of April. Any help from volunteers will be very gratefully received.

I will be back next week with another update.

Have a good weekend.

Best wishes.

Alex and team.