During December some of the membership will have noticed the removal of non-native tree species from the 14th hole on the left and right sides. Management of this area of the course will have great agronomic benefits with increased sunlight and airflow to the hole. During the winter this may seem like a drastic change that will leave the hole to open to our neighbouring properties, but please be assured that this work is vital to improve turf health (see below image for sunlight diagram). The Greens committee have obtained an ecology report for the course which emphasises the practices across the property to allow our native species to thrive and grow.
Speaking to some of the members they have stressed a concern on the life span of our current Silver Birch copses. The greens team are working on a long term vision with a creditable ecologist on what native species would give us the most longevity to the course without damaging course structure.
14th Hole Drainage
I am pleased to say the team have carried out a successful installation of a full drainage system on the 14th. The hole will now become more playable through the winter month similarly to the work that has been carried out in the previous two winters. In the coming months the team will look to add some secondary drainage to the area in the form of gravel banding when ground conditions allow.
A member of the greens team has just obtained his irrigation technician qualification. The team have begun the installation of new irrigation heads that will be replacing some of our less efficient heads around the course. Other sprinkler heads around the course will be raised back to the correct level and depth as over the years they been installed poorly and once they become just 5 degrees out of level they will lose 10% efficiency.
Reed clearance is due to commence on the 30th of January at the 8th irrigation reservoir pond this is hoped to help increase capacity. A bore hole specialist is due to visit also at the end of the month to also carry out some tests on our current well to see if we can increase efficiency.
The path improvements have begun and the 10th path has been completed. The team have now begun the tasks of the 12th and the 14th/17th path new timber is going to be installed with the same materials that we have added to the 10th. The product we are using is visually more appealing and will be more economical for the club. Steps are been added to the 4th and 6th tee areas this will allow easier access to these areas, also a small path area is potentially going to be added to the left hand side of the first hole to help the team manage golfer traffic better.
I would first like to thank our membership for patience during the 5 days of play on temporary greens in December. The greens team are wishing to eradicate temporary greens as much as they can but the priority first and foremost must be turf health. It is very rare that English climate is subject to a fast thaw where temperatures rise from negative eight degrees Celsius to 12 degrees Celsius the following day, again thank you on your patience during this time. After the Christmas break the team have aerated the greens and applied a granular winter Biological feed. The aim of this practice is to allow some recovery and improve turf density after winter pressures that have presented themselves.