The last 8 weeks have been rather challenging on the course, largely due to the amount of wet weather we have had, however we continue to have a detailed action plan with the aim of getting the course back to the condition we all enjoyed previously.
Reshaping has finished and we are now starting the process of replacing the sand. This will be completed by 30th April.
We were hoping to start over-seeding and topdressing tees in early April but ground temperatures need to be constantly above 10 degrees for seed to germinate. We have started to top dress the tees and over-seeding will be completed when the ground temperatures allow. Tees have also had a Spring feed which again will kick in when we get some constant heat.
The greens have wintered quite well with not a lot of fungal activity but a lot of moss infestation. The greens have been tined, verti-cut and given a Spring feed in the last week. There is very little growth due to the cold ground conditions. We will be following the recommendations laid out in the recent Sports Turf Research Institute course condition survey which includes weekly verti-cutting, 6 weekly aeration, 6 weekly topdressing using pure sand rather than a sand/soil mix, and feeding every 8 weeks. For the maintenance of greens this year we are adopting the survey findings in full. This has resulted in a significant increase in our maintenance budget for the coming year.
This year the fairways will be cut to the size and shape that they were a few years ago when they were a little wider with no collars around the fairway bunkers.
There will be more rough than there was in the past few years but we will be very sympathetic as to where it is placed.
We lost 14 trees during the storms. We have accepted a quote and are now awaiting a date for the clearance work to begin. As you will understand tree surgeons are exceptionally busy at the moment. We hope this will be completed by the end of April. Until this work is carried out trees nearest to the edge of the fairways will be marked Ground Under Repair.
This was postponed due to the wet ground conditions, but we now have a date in early May for the installation of new driving range netting. This will result in the range being closed for a minimum of 3 weeks in daylight hours. Tuition by our golf professionals will continue during this time.
We have employed an additional full-time member of the green-keeping staff in the capacity of First Assistant Greenkeeper. Freddie has had previous experience having worked at Mid Herts Golf Club. He will be a very important addition to the team. Please say hello if you see him on the course. That’s all for now. Here’s hoping for optimum conditions for the Spring season and beyond.