Date – Thursday 8th November 2018
Attendees Andy Booth - Dave Crampton – Gary Pritchard -
1. Apologies – John Whitely
2. Previous minutes discussed, and Actions Schedule updated.
3. Green keepers update:
Weather in late September and October has been good for the course. The extended dry period, low water table and above seasonal average temperatures have maintained growth across the course. This is most evident on our greens where speed has remained excellent throughout this period invariable above 10 and often above 11 on the stint meter.
Work to prepare the greens for winter commenced in the second week of October with solid tinning to aide drainage and air access to the roots which will continue throughout the winter on a weekly basis. The application of fertilizer and fungicide together with the raising of the cut to 4mm will also aid the greens health. This cut level will be taken higher once we encounter colder weather and in particular, frost, where the surface suffers additional stress.
Hollow tinned of the greens took place at the start of November with the holes being left open rather than top dressed. Ordinarily the holes would be top dressed if undertaken in August however this year the surfaces were too hard as a result of the long dry summer and the work had to be delayed until November. Top dressing at this time of the year was seen as encouraging disease into the surface as the moisture held between the top dressing and grass would be ideal for the germination of fusarium which we are unable to control during winter since contact fungicides were removed from sale.
Elsewhere on the course we are still grass cutting most of the playing areas and in particular the wooded sections where rough cutting is being used to help address the leaf coverage.
Key work to be undertaken during the next month includes:
4. Professional update
Gary identified that members have raised concern over the growth of trees to the right-hand side of the 5th hole. The overhanging branches are now impacting on some golfers shot selection from the tee particularly when playing from the right-hand side of the blue tee. Action Dave C to assess and report back to meeting
Gary also brought to the meeting concerns from members re hollow coring holes on greens not overfilled. See Green keepers update for explanation.
5. John W update
6. Greens Director Update
Feedback from membership overall remains positive with many expressing gratitude for the course still playing to summer conditions rather than the expected November conditions. Accepting that this is to some degree due to weather it is also a compliment to the work of the green staff in often trying circumstances.
A discussion took place in respect of the recent Green Keepers Revenge where many members expressed their enjoyment at the once a year pin positions it was accepted that not everyone agreed with the course set up. Therefore, it was agreed that next year’s GKR would be set up marginally more playable yet still seeking to use our more challenging pin positions.
Rotation of greens to equalize stress and wear to putting surfaces was discussed at length. Highlighting the benefits of reducing traffic and the difficulties in managing club events over differing holes particularly when the ½ Way House is open. It was agreed to pilot the use of 1 then 7-18 on a Wednesday to measure membership views. Action Gary to email membership and implement this coming Wednesday
A change to the club buggy policy was discussed whereby single seater lighter buggies, typically 90-100kg, would be permitted when standard buggies, typically 450-500kg, were removed prior to carry only conditions in winter. Action Andy B to update NGC Policy and DC to update green staff.
Concerns re wear and tear around greens and the impact on aprons and close chipping areas were discussed. It was agreed to utilize extensive white paint markings and direction indicators together with the new pavement poster requesting golfers to adhere to the demands. Action Dave C to implement
A discussion took place regarding the course needs of the 8th hole (balls going onto A642), the 18th Green (slope too severe) and the 18th pond (requires silt deposit removal) all of which are work we would wish to undertake but at this time are unfunded. Although the BoD have indicated they would consider funding requests to support the work in future years this is not available now. It was accepted that there may be a requirement to integrate these demands into future course developments / winter projects.
7. Verbal requests from members.
8. Emails from members
10. Date and time of next meeting. 10am Thursday 13th December 2018