Date – Thursday 14th December 2018
Attendees Andy Booth - Dave Crampton – Gary Pritchard - John Whitely
1. Apologies – None
2. Previous minutes discussed, and Actions Schedule updated.
3. Green keepers update:
Favourable weather conditions have continued into December with an exceptionally low water table, mild temperatures and continued grass growth across the course. These conditions have enabling golf to still be played from grass on fairways and probably the latest dates for the removal of buggies and progression to tee mats encountered for many years.
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.
Looking to the future we will assess the effectiveness of new products to treat greens as and when they become available and 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
Gary raised a concern from a member re the use of winter mats only on the fairway and not in the rough. It was agreed that this is a joint decision between Greens, Comps and Handicaps which should reflect a) the need to protect the course b) the need to play golf whereby wayward shots are punished and c) that handicaps should reflect playing ability. It was agreed that at this time the course is seen as suitable for play from rough and not requiring mats.
Concern was raised re the front of the 15th greenside bunker being flooded. This has again been pumped and returned to play. However, it was recognized that this bunker and some others across the course by their location and design will always be problematic during wet conditions unless significant funding were to become available to address bunker refurbishment. The previously obtained quote of £290k for external contractors to rebuild giving some scale to the work required.
A question was raised from a member re the hollo core holes on the less used 14-17th holes appearing to close over quicker than those on the remaining holes. No explanation could be found for this except perhaps the affect of lower footfall allowing grass to remain less stressed and thereby recover sooner.
5. John W update
6. Greens Director Update
Feedback from members remains positive re the condition of the course and ongoing work projects. One area regularly raised relates to the use of mats be that from tees, fairways, rough and hazards. This generated a discussion in respect of the current course condition and impending weather forecast for the upcoming weekend when snow was possible. This raised the question as to whether we should now migrate to play from mats elsewhere than on tees. It was agreed that although today the course would sustain play from fairways this was nearing the point to switch over. Taking account of the extreme cold and precipitation forecast this weekend it was agreed implement fairway mats and winter wheels from Saturday 15th December
7. Budget Update
The variable greens budget forecast for this stage of the year stands at £48k with current spending now at £44k, plus several outstanding bills to be processed, it is anticipated that greens expenditure will be in line with budget.
The winter budget at £15k has already incurred two significant items which were not factored onto the original work schedule. £1600 to refurbish the practice nets and £3500 to complete the removal of the old buggy bridge on the 18th and installation of a new waterfall feature.
Thanks go out to our Past Captain Mr. Brian Addy and also the EGGS section who have generously donated a sizable sum towards the waterfall construction.
8. Verbal requests from members.
9. Emails from members
11. Date and time of next meeting. 10am Thursday 10th December 2019