Greens Committee Minutes

Date – Thursday 8th November 2018
Attendees Andy Booth - Dave Crampton – Gary Pritchard -

1. Apologies – John Whitely

2. Previous minutes discussed, and Actions Schedule updated. 

  • The practice green adjacent to the Pro Shop has been cut to 4mm, hollow cored, fertilized and received an application of soil conditioner.  All should impact upon the root growth which appears to be the major cause of the turf deteriorating during summer.  If growth progresses holes will be cut, and flags provided for practice allowing the resting of the chipping green adjacent to the practice nets.
  • Material to refurbish the practice nets is now in hand.  Work to update this facility will commence soon subject to other course demands.  Finance to undertake this task has not yet been received although the BoD are seeking support from sections within NGC

 

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:

  • The 18th waterfall. We are now in possession of the wire baskets and stone to erect the plunge pond sides and install the stone steps for water to cascade over.
  • Refurbish the practice nets.  Materials are already in hand and this will be completed within the next week if possible.
  • Commence work on the path to the right-hand side of the 12th green. Ideally this needs to be undertaken before the ground becomes waterlogged as this is one of the damper areas of the course in which to work.

 

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

Nothing raised

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.

  • 8th Hole was the high priority with probable actions including the growth of high rough adjacent to the fence and to the left of the green amongst the trees, planting of trees beside the right-hand bridge, removal of the first left hand bunker and migration of the fairway towards the pond creating a defined landing area to play the hole away from the road. Action Further work to be undertaken with our H&S consultant and costings obtained re increasing the height of the fence Andy B
  • 18th green: was the medium priority requiring the raising of the front and middle levels by at least 18 inches. A task which would need to be undertaken in late September / October, taking around 3 weeks, placing the green out of use for several months and requiring a temporary green and potentially changes to the bunkers as they would become 18 inches deeper. Initial costing suggests £7.5k and upwards Action Andy B and Dave C to fully cost and draft work plan  
  • 18th pond: was the lower priority requiring the draining of the pond, use of a heavy digger and tractor unit taking around 3 – 4 weeks to complete with initial costings of around £4-5k Action Andy B and Dave C to consider in future work schedules.

7. Verbal requests from members.

None received

8. Emails from members

  • 5th tee line of play impacted on by overhanging trees. Also reported on by Gary P.  Action Andy B to respond
  • A request was received to utilize the whole tee width rather than markers defining specific areas only.  This was discussed at length and agreed that we would prefer to retain limited width tee areas to manage wear and tear whilst supporting angle of hole set up. Action Andy b to respond

9. AOB

Nothing raised

10. Date and time of next meeting. 10am Thursday 13th December 2018