Greens Director update – 19th May 2017

Playing “real golf” again
It has been a relief to see the end of winter which has brought a sustained period of dry and often sunny days allowing us once more to present the course in what I believe has been one of the best April conditions for some years.

Some of the credit for this position rests with mother nature who has been kind to us in recent weeks. However, I would also suggest that credit should also be directed towards the hard work of our green staff throughout the winter and in particular the weekly spiking of greens and surrounds, the roping off and white direction lines to manage footfall and of course the ongoing work with bunkers and wet areas.

Collectively the sum of those tasks has helped us start the season in a good position and assisted a speedy return to what I always call “real golf” i.e. golf on grass with minimal GUR or local restrictions.

Ongoing work
Work will now focus on the presentation of our course for summer play. 

  • The greens were fertilised the other week and will be top dressed again next week subject to weather conditions.
  • We are now seeking to present as smooth a putting surface as possible which requires a three pronged approach to greens.  Verti cutting, then cutting at our normal 3mm height and then rolling.  Hopefully you will all feel the benefits when stood over those nasty little 4 foot puts with just that awkward bit of break.
  • Tees are being cut two or three times a week.
  • The fairways are cut and all of the rough is now accessible to heavy machinery.
  • Green surrounds are now being cut at a lower level which after the winter spiking and additional fertilising should help present a more consistent chip when we miss the greens and are trying to get up and down.  Perhaps best illustrated to the right of the 12th green.  It shows what a difference keeping buggies and trollies from the green sides delivers.

Looking to the future.
The outcomes from the Greens Survey have been discussed by the Board of Directors who in principle have agreed to invest more of our limited funds in the course. The task now for us as a Greens Committee is to identify how best we manage members wishes, available funds and of course staff time. 

The key focus however will be on Bunkers, Wet Areas and Paths.  The later of which we would ideally like to see develop into a full course buggy track which over time will be our long term goal.

Course Development.
I am confident many if not all of you will have ideas as to how best we can develop the course in the future.  One such area we are considering at the moment is the tee shot on the 6th.

Many people have highlighted that the first bunker is unfair, particularly for the older golfer who having cleared the ditch is often punished by the awaiting bunker.  Particularly so as with a downhill run to the ditch the option of  a “layup” shot is limited.

Should you have views on this subject please feel free to speak with Gary Pritchard in the Pro shop, or drop me a line with your opinion. Nothing is planned at this time but we are keen to hear your views.

How can you help?
The course will develop further over the coming years and we as members can all play a small part in that development.  If you can all please try to:

  • Rake our footprints in bunkers. Not just your own but perhaps one someone else forgot about.
  • Repair our pitch marks on greens. Again if you repair two then the issue of others who perhaps occasionally forget is minimised.
  • Placed our litter in bins or retain it in our bags until we left the course. If you can carry a full bottle of pop in your bag then hopefully you can carry an empty bottle as well.
  • Kept our trollies and buggies 10 yards away from Greens.  Look at the affect this has had on the right of the 12th to see what is possible if we follow a slightly longer route around playing areas.


verti draining the 9th

Finally, can I say a big thank you to all those members who attended at our Members Night on Friday 29th April.  Your efforts collecting rubbish, repairing pitch marks and filling in divots has been a great help in presenting Normanton Golf Course in such a good condition.

I would hope to repeat the night again later in the summer.  Ideally a week or so before Captains Day to help make the course as good as we can for Mr Captain and of course Mr President who both have their big days around this time of the season.

Many thanks for your patience and support.


Andy Booth
Greens Director