Feedback from many members continues to be good in respect of our course condition which has stood up well to the early weeks of winter. This has been assisted by favourable weather conditions which continued into December and the exceptionally low water table following our dry summer. These mild temperatures have enabled grass to continue growing across the course and helped to repair some of the summer damage.
As a consequence of these conditions we have be able to played golf from grass on tees and fairways longer than in previous years and supported probably the latest dates for the removal of buggies for many years. These conditions are now migrating through to full winter golf with buggies removed and tee mats introduced already and fairway mats from this weekend. Conditions will be monitored and future playing conditions adapted if necessary as we try to balance “real” golf and the need to protect areas of the course.
Greens are in a health condition retaining their dark green autumn colour with minimal signs of fusarium and even after hollo coring and not overfilling are still rolling at a good speed. All have been fed and sprayed with one of the few remaining treatments available in anticipation of their removal from use in 2019. Next year when these are banned we will assess new alternatives as and when they come on the market however looking to the future we will also look at alternative approaches to help reduce stress on greens during vulnerable periods such as misty autumn mornings and prolonged periods of wet weather. This might include raising the length of cut, rotation of holes and less play in extreme weather conditions.
Elsewhere on the course all bunkers were brought back into play this week following the heavy rain of recent days and work continues on the 18th waterfall with the wire cages now being fronted with good stone and back filled with rubble. Once complete the sides will be filled with rubble and soil ready for turf when weather permits. The waterfall work itself should commence next week with two steps to be built and leveled to match the sides. Finally, we hope to be able to re fill the pond early in the new year when water will flow across the new structure.
Also, on the work schedule for January we hope to start the path on the 12th hole and either the 5th or 6th depending upon which areas become wettest first.
Many of you will have seen the refurbished practice nets which were recently completed. These are a much-used facility by many golfers as we loosen up before that first tee shot. To keep these in pristine condition can I ask that when using the facility golfers hit from the tee mat and not the less hardy astro turf inside the cage. This can and does rip as seen on the old nets and reduces the life of this facility.
Still on the theme of practicing you will note over the next few weeks the holes cut on the old Pro Shop putting green and on some occasions the roping off of the main putting green. We would ask that you use the Pro Shop green at these times to allow the main green much needed rest and recuperation following the heavy season work this area has withstood.
Finally: - I ask that we all look to help protect our course throughout the winter. Taking trollies near to greens and into known wet areas compacts the soil, inhibits air reaching root zone and ultimately reduces grass growth in the future. I’m sure we would all prefer good lies near the greens to chip from and your assistance in keeping trollies from these areas will help towards that goal.
Enjoy your golf