Greens Committee Minutes

Date – Thursday 19th April 2018
Attendees Andy Booth - Dave Crampton – Gary Pritchard

1. Apologies

John Whiteley

2. Previous minutes discussed and Actions Schedule updated. 

    • Following approval of a 5 year machinery replacement programme at the previous BOD meeting a meetings took place with the Head Green Keeper, Finance Director, Greens Director and Toro Rep.  Orders have been placed for a second hand Workman and a new bunker rake.  These will be delivered within the near future.
    • Greens are now being cut daily and at a lower level more in line with the normal summer cut.  Green speeds will now be measured on Friday and communicated to members via the hall notice board.
    • Final quotes for an extension to the Green Keepers hut have been given to the BOD which will be asked to approve the commencement of contract at the next meeting.
    • Grass on the 2nd hole is no longer being cut for the approximately the first 80 meters in front of the tee. The visual and playing impact of which will be monitored over the coming weeks.
    • The management of playing conditions into and out of winter remains ongoing.  Several wet areas remain including some with standing water prevent the use of heavy machinery to undertake cutting.  Until such time as these can be covered preferred lies through the green will continue.
    • Due to lateness in migration to play from grass the impact of divots on the course has been limited.  A members divot night date will be set in early May once the impact of play has been assessed. 
    • An acceptable price has been obtained for the use of an Air2g2 machine on the greens.  This will take place early in the week with the scheduling of delivery to avoid Monday Night club matches.
    • New score cards are on order to identify the changes to OOB on the 1st and 9th holes.

3. Green keepers update:

  • The disappointing winter weather conditions have impacted greatly on work opportunities on the course.  Often when work such as pumping out bunkers has been undertaken this has been destroyed by subsequent weather changes. However where possible staff have been on the course preparing for the arrival of dryer and warmer weather.
  • Flooding has been the major concern this month. The culvert from the 13th stream which underpasses the driveway collapsed and has been repaired. Water upsurge onto the 7th fairway continues.  At its height this flooded the 7th and 13th fairways with the ladies’ tee on the 13th being an island.  Much of this area and in particular the 7th fairway remains very wet and inaccessible to machinery.  Some of the longer grass has been cut by hand with strimmer’s. A water source has developed in the woodland to the left of the 6th green with surface water flowing towards the playing area and there is again a spring in the 16th fairway bunker.
  • Greens, aprons, and tees have been fertilized which with the upturn in weather this week has seen a growth boost and enabled greens, aprons, tees, some fairways and some semi rough to be cut. Greens are being cut daily at a lower level more in keeping with summer conditions.
  • The greens have been verti cut 2 – 3 times this month and require top dressing which will be undertaken next week if conditions permit.
  • Due to the weather it is estimated that NGC like virtually every other course in the North of the country is approximately 3-4 weeks late in terms of work schedule. Green staff focus for the immediate future will be on grass cutting to make the course acceptable for summer playing conditions.
  • On the practice ground the target greens have been fertilized and cut at tee length.  These will be further identified with white line edges.

4. Professional update

Gary advised that the competitions programme has been delayed due to weather, course conditions and the need for “play as you lie” to be implemented  It is suggested now that the first qualifying completion will take lace on Saturday 5th May
The vaste majority of members through the shop have been supportive of the changes and are aware of the difficult circumstances which the course has faced.

5. John W update

On holiday

6. Greens Director Update 

  • A decision on the extension to the green keepers hut will be sought at the next BOD meeting.  Numerous companies have been sought to provide quotes and prices with a preferred supplier identified who could complete the work in a 4 week window once started.
  • A schedule of replacement for greens machinery has been taken to the BOD and approved which includes the immediate replacement of the defunct workman with a second hand refurbished machine and a new bunker rake this year.  In subsequent years a greens mower, articulator, semi rough mower, pick up truck and compact tractor are scheduled to be replaced.
  • Following the very wet winter and impact of the course several solutions have been sought through external contractor and experts.  On a clay based course such as ours the suggested cost of engaging contractors has been identified as in the region of £500,000 although small sections of the course could be “attacked” in isolation.  Clearly this type of outlay is beyond the financial capacity of the club at this time however alternative options are being considered. 

7. Course Health & safety Report

The H&S report action list was updated and will be taken to the BOD meeting later this month.

8. Verbal requests from members.

A verbal request was received for yardage markings to be installed on the practice ground. These are to be sourced.

9. Emails from members

Feedback was received critical of the course having being closed all week and then opened with trollies allowed last weekend. This was discussed and sympathy felt towards the 5 day members. In hind sight it was agreed that perhaps the use of trollies that weekend was inappropriate or that the course should have opened on the Friday.

10. AOB

A discussion took place in respect of the particularly hard working conditions which green staff have overcome during the later part of this winter.  Ranging from -5 with the course frozen, to flooding and now with the the significant upturn in temperature the difficulties in getting onto the course and cutting areas still affected by soft ground.

The thanks of the Greens Committee were asked to be passed onto the staff for their endeavors.

11. Date and time of next meeting.

  • 3pm Thursday 23rd May 2018