Here’s the latest instalment from our Head Greenkeeper, Stephen McAdams on the work done to improve the golf course over the winter period. Stephen and his team have worked incredibly hard to implement their plans, despite the particularly challenging winter conditions.
All this winter’s course improvement projects are now complete and the areas we have worked on i.e. 9th,11th,12th,13th, and 14th greens are well on their way to recovery. The new drain lines are settling nicely, and whilst there is still a bit of a bobble as the ball rolls over them, they are improving every week. We will continue to top-dress these until they become completely true with the rest of the surface surrounding them. We believe the work done has been very successful as these greens have firmed up very quickly after completion of the installation. We expect the work done to be completely recovered and unnoticeable in the next 6-8 weeks.
The 8th green we are happy to say has now made a full recovery, and measures have been taken to ensure what happened to it never happens again. Installation of new drains, installation of the new drains on other greens along with a much improved and more intense maintenance program, will help ensure this won’t happen anywhere else on the course.
Elsewhere on the course, we have installed new path material on the path at the 10th tee. The way this new material performs will be monitored over the coming season, and, if it is as successful as we hope, and are assured it will be, we will set budgets and plans to resurface every path on the course over the next 2-3 years. As we are sure you all appreciate, projects like this take a fair bit of financial backing, and are very labour intensive. We have used the new material to fill in particularly wet and uneven areas on other paths i.e. 8th and 15th tee, this was done purely as a temporary measure, and how the material performs on these two areas will not necessarily reflect how well it will perform overall.
In February we hollow cored our greens, and we have used the spoil from this to repair some of the long standing G.U.R. we have had around the course. These areas are now beginning to improve as the spring growth kicks in. We have roped them off to keep foot fall away, and we ask you to observe the roped off areas to give the repairs every chance of being successful.
In the latter part of the winter we started the long awaited woodland management program. The main purpose of the first stage of this program was to improve playing surfaces by creating more light and air movement to certain greens i.e. the 14th and 16th greens. Another reason for this project, is to make the course play fairer, which we feel we have done on the right hand side of the 15th fairway.
We also took some trees away from other areas, namely the right hand side of the 5th, and the right hand side of the 7th holes; we believe we have made these two areas more aesthetically pleasing. Overall we have taken out around 100 trees with much more to go in the coming years, pending board approval.
It all starts this weekend, with our 2017/18 Captain Paul Monaghan’s Drive in. From myself and the team, we hope you all enjoy the season ahead.