COURSE REPORT MAY 2018
The weather has most definitely not been our friend this spring. We have gone straight from a wet cold never ending winter, in to a warm very dry early summer. This has left us chasing our tails a little with early season jobs. We are now however, starting to get on top of everything, hard to believe, as when I check back through the daily works diary, it’s only 4 weeks since the greens were so wet and soft I couldn’t put a machine on them without it leaving wheel ruts.
Like I have said, we are getting there now, though there are a couple of areas that have been damaged due to the wet conditions, these are namely, back left on the 3rd green, back right on the 5th green, and a little bit to the back left of the 9th green. The damage to these areas has actually been caused by trying to cut greens when the ground was soft and unstable, which caused scalping. If we had had normal weather conditions through spring, i.e. a little warmth, and a little rain these areas would probably have self healed by now, we are working on these areas (extra fertiliser, and manually watering), and they are now slowly starting to recover, we will continue to do this and hopefully, they will recover properly in the coming weeks, if not, we will patch them with turf from the big practice green.
The 10th and 11th greens are recovering from remedial drainage work done in February, and again the recovery process has been slow due to weather conditions, these areas have had a cut today(Monday), and there is a noticeable improvement in both, I hope to have these areas back in play by the end of May.
Like I have said already, the weather has been very unkind, at a very busy time of year for us, installing bunker sand is normally a very straight forward job, done early April, this had to wait, and was only done 2 weeks ago, this was due to the fact that a trailer full of sand would have sunk to its axel in some areas due to the very wet ground conditions, this job is now done, and we installed sand in the following bunkers, all on 8th, all on 14th, all on 18th, all on 15th, both fairway bunkers on 9th, all on 17th, 7th greenside, and both bunkers on the 10th fairway. I do have a little bunker sand left in stock, so if anyone has a particular bunker in mind that is not on the list, then, let us know please. I am aware that some of the bunkers have become compacted, and we are working on loosening them up now.
The plantations have now all been cut back, again, a job behind schedule, the biggest problem we have had this year, is that, as well as doing all these early season tasks, we have had to be cutting grass at the same time, early growth has been very strong due to the amount of moisture in the ground along with high temperatures in the past 2/3 weeks.
We have today started spraying of the tree bases, and this will be completed this week.
The completion of the tree bases will see us caught up with all the early season tasks, and I believe we are in good condition, despite the small problem areas we have that I mentioned at the beginning of this report.
In other areas we have had a recurring problem with the path from the 3rd tee leading to the fairway. It has continued to wash out, despite a few attempts to remedy with a quick fix. I have given this matter a lot of thought, and I believe I have a solution. I am going to dig the path out completely, install board edges the same as what we have done on the new paths, I am also going to install cross boards in the path (hopefully to prevent wash out), and then install the red firechip material we have used for the new paths, I know the 18th slope is not as steep as the path at the 3rd tee, but it has stuck on there well, so I am hoping it will work on the 3rd too.
On paths, I am aware we never got round to doing the path at the 4th tee, this was purely due to the time factor, and I ask that this now be put back on the 5 year plan as a priority for next winter.
Finally, on commissioning our irrigation system last week, we discovered a number of faults, and failures in the system, which have manifested over the dormant winter period. We have had to replace 4 greens sprinkler heads, which fell victim to cracks, and leaks from the cold weather, we also had to replace the meter that gauges the water going in to our holding tank for the same reason, and last, not least, and definitely the most important, our P.C. automated control system suffered a FATAL SYSTEM ERROR, and could not be recovered, a new controller has now been ordered, and should be installed and up and running in the next 10 days.