Greens Director update – 14th September 2017

 

  Course Update

Since the last Greens update arguably the two most prestigious events of the clubs golfing year have taken place. Presidents Day passed with few concerns however Captains Day was proceeded by a significant storm all Friday afternoon, evening and into the next Day.  Green staff supported by volunteers worked until 8pm that night and again from 4.30am the next morning in order to ensure the course was playable.  It is probable that without these individual’s commitment that the course may not have been fit for play or at the least would have been in a much poorer condition.  Thanks to all those who volunteered who amongst other tasks repaired in excess of 3000 divots.
Aeration and top dressing was scheduled to commence on Monday 7th August however again these plans were delayed by persistent rain Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday which although allowed aeration to take place prevented the even spreading of top dressing which requires a dry day to apply evenly.   Dry weather over the end of the week and early part of the following week allowed this to be completed and I believe the greens have quickly returned to a satisfactory condition.
Feedback from the Green Keepers Revenge competitions has been very favourable.  Personally I enjoyed putting and had several three putts or more to show this on my card.  I look forward to the Green Staff selecting similarly difficult positions for next years event as I am sure Chris Sherry does having Aced the difficult 12th green.

 

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Weather again hit the course on the 23rd August when Wakefield suffered a sever thunder storm the like of which I have not seen for many years.  Our lake on the 18th overran the buggy bridge and all 65 bunkers flooded requiring the manual return of over 300 tons of sand swept down from bunker faces. Many of these bunkers now have severely contaminated sand and will require further work over the coming months.
Looking at September we will again focus much of our work on the greens where we plan to again spike them together with a general feed and spray for disease control.  Diseases such as Fusarium and fairy rings are ever present on all greens and particularly evident during wet and warm periods. The spiking should help drainage and allow air to the roots which together with spraying will hopefully control their appearance until the winter hard frosts which should kill them off.
Hoops around greens have been successful allowing top dressing and seeding on some of our bare patches where growth has returned. This is further evidence if that was required of the benefits to our course when buggies and trollies keep away from green surrounds.  The additional weight causing compaction of the soil and thereby preventing grass being able to root and water being able to drain away.  Both of which result in hard grassless patches none of use wish to play from.

Ongoing work

Much of the Green staff time is still focused on the maintenance of Tees, Greens, Fairways and rough however with the start of Autumn some grass growth will slow and sadly there will always be some areas, particularly in the rough where the soft ground prevents us taking heavy machinery over the surface without cause significant damage. Please be patient as we will cut these areas as soon as it is firm enough to do so.
Planning for this winters additional work has already begun and it should come as no surprise that Bunkers, Wet Areas, Paths and Tees will be prominent in that schedule of work.  They were after all your four most voted for areas during the last course survey. In addition to those areas we will again seek to thin out some of our woodland to enable the remaining trees to flourish and of course allow light to the surface to enable a more healthy growth of grass beneath some trees.
Finally we also await the attendance of a structural engineer to assess the buggy bridge over the 18th stream. If this is confirmed as safe to remove our plan would be to and relocate this bridge further down stream and make a feature of both Mr Finch’s bridge and the waterfall from our pond.

How can you help?

As golfers we can all play a part in maintaining and developing our course. In particular we should all try to leave the course in a better condition than when we used it if all all possible.

Towards this goal can I once again ask you all to be mindful of where you are taking your buggies and trollies.  With the onset of Autumn and the inevitable cold weather our course is less able to recover and in particular as the ground becomes softer our tracks create more and more damage.  Green staff will be employing white directional paint, hoops and ropes in the near future to direct you which I ask that you follow at all times.
Below I have shown a photo taken on Saturday 9th September beside the 3rd green.  Here I think we can all see the immediate damage buggies and trollies make to our green surrounds.  In this instance we even have a path adjacent to the hole which sadly some golfers elect not to use.
Please stay 10 meters away from Greens with your trollies and buggies.  In doing so we may be able to limit the damage and of course not have to resort to “carry only” during the heavy winter months.

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Many thanks for your patience and support.

Andy Booth
Greens Director