Greens Committee Minutes

Date – Thursday 11th January 2019
Attendees Andy Booth - Dave Crampton – Gary Pritchard - John Whitely

1. Apologies – None

2. Previous minutes discussed, and Actions Schedule updated. 

  • A discussion took place in respect of the course set up for the 2019 season and in particular actions to consider following the removal of additional chemical solutions to help maintain greens. It was agreed that greater use of solid and hollo core tining should be engaged together with other options to help minimize stress on greens during peak use and adverse weather.
  • A discussion took place in respect of actions necessary to support the R&A rule changes and new hazard marking requiring all penalty areas to be marked by red lines and / or red posts.
  • A discussion took place in respect of potential changes to the 8th hole to help address the danger of balls being hit onto the A642.  It was agreed an additional “on site Greens Meeting would take place on Thursday 18th January.  See point 11 below.
  • The removal of silt from the 18th Pond is ongoing this week and should be complete within about 10 days. See Green keepers update.

3. Green keepers update:

The weather remains mild and relatively dry proving favourable conditions for golfers as the course has remained firm and playable.  This is reflected in the reintroduction of buggies which is something we have never done before during winter.

The mild weather has necessitated green staff being re employed away from winter development work and onto bunker maintenance and grass cutting. All tees, fairways, greens and much of the rough having been cut again this week. This is unusual for the time of year and reflects on the mild conditions we are experiencing.

Greens have been treated with a fungicide suppressant which together with the open core holes allowing air to the root system and speedy drainage when rain falls should assist in helping to maintain their health.  Greens will be solid spiked should we encounter prolonged rain periods or water begin to sit on low area.

Winter work has been focusing on the 18th hole.  The water fall is now complete and work is ongoing to remove silt from the pond.  A 14-ton digger and two 10 ton dumpers are engaged on the task taking the sludge to the right of the 1st hole onto our waste land.  I anticipate on completion there will have been around 1500 tons of silt removed taking the base level lower than when this was last undertaken 12 years ago. The water fountain and lights have been removed for service and repair which should be replaced before the season commences.  Finally, water lilies and fish will be retuned to the pond in the spring.  

4. Professional update

Gary updated the meeting on the generally favourable feedback he and his staff have received from members and visitors during the month particularly on the firmness of the course and absence of flooded areas we suffered from last winter.

Concern has been raised by some members re the deteriorating condition of our winter tee mats questioning if these mats were regularly brushed and maintained. Dave C confirmed that the mats are brushed using the petrol driven power brush as part of the morning program of work.  Unfortunately, many of the mats are now nearing the end of their life and would require an investment of around £5,000 to replace which at this time the greens budget could not support. The worst mats were always those nearest to the crushed tile paths such as the 7th hole and better on those away from new paths such as the 13th.  
Action :- It was agreed that Andy B would take a request to the Board for consideration of funding and that the Greens staff would remove some mats for deep power washing and rotate on return to use.

5. John W update

Nothing raised

6. Greens Director Update 

A discussion took place in respect of the excellent work in very difficult conditions undertaken by Steve and Dave H driving the dumper from the 18th in often very cold conditions.  There efforts were appreciated.

A discussion also took place in respect of the time re-allocated from planned winter work to complete the waterfall and pond clearance it was agreed that these tasks were necessary and that due to the relatively dry winter thus far the demand for paths has not been as obvious as in previous years.  Once the pond is complete next week the focus of work will change onto the 8th hole and paths wherever possible.  It being hoped that this will extend to at least paths on the 12th and one other hole.

7. Budget Update

Dave C updated the meeting on expenditure levels thus far this year which remain on track to balance with budget at year end.  Additional expenditure on none planned items being met by donations and changes in plans to the winter program.

8. Verbal requests from members.

  • None received

9. Emails from members

  • None received this month.

10. AOB

  • Nothing raised

11. A site meeting took place on Thursday 18th January looking at options to encourage golfers to play the hole as a two shot rather than drive the green opportunity.  It was agreed that the introduction of additional “risk” around the hole and a movement of the existing fairway further to the left would encourage some golfers to “lay-up” while still allowing the better players to take on the risk. Key actions include:-

  • After the stream to allow longer rough and planting of gorse to the left of the hole. The building of a slight mound to the right of the right hand bridge and planting of gorse.  Both actions to be visible when viewing the hole from the tee.
  • Removal of the first left hand bunker and some of the mound to allow the fairway / landing area to be moved across to the left.  The growing of longer and more penal rough against the metal fence to the right of the hole and extension of normal rough out to the left.
  • Both the above actions being designed to make the hole appear more challenging from the tee if driving whilst also increasing in size and moving the lay up landing point over to the left away from the road.

12. Date and time of next meeting. 10am Thursday 21st February 2019