Well it seems to be a bit like a game of snakes and ladders in when we will return to golf. First we hear some encouraging news as to when we will be hoping to be all back playing and then the news is dampened by the daily updates.
Vince and his team have been busy getting the course ready in anticipation for a return in some form or other hopefully in March.
The greens have been suffering of late with all the rain that we have had over the last few weeks, coupled with the recent cold snap.
The greens have been cut by hand mowers to avoid any compaction.
Vince plans to apply a granular fertiliser to the greens as soon as the temperature increases. He also plans to top dress and seed the greens when the weather improves.
At present the team are preparing all the fairways in readiness for a cut prior to return.
We did plan to replace the fairway mower this year, our trusty Toro has given us 10 years good service and is now in need of major costly repairs. Therefore, the time has come to replace the fairway mower. Last week the green staff tested a John Deere fairway mower and next week we will be trialling a new upgraded Toro replacement.
As I mentioned in my last report thanks to the generosity of the members of the club we have been able to extend the new path programme. Our master paver Glyn Swiggs, with the help of Gary Johns have once again come up trumps in repaving the 11th path.
Since my time at the club I have seen various path construction including sand, gravel, very large gravel, wood chipping, sea shells, overhead electric crushed cable circles, concrete, preformed slabs, used astro turf and the one that the majority of members struggled to understand was the Tarmacing of the 2nd , when at the time we all wore spiked shoes, but Captain Derek Cloke was correct as this has endured the test of time.
Our long term plan is to pave all of the paths as and when we can afford it in bricks. The same applies to the appearance of the tees by levelling and reshaping them.
At present the team are busy levelling the 13th Ladies and Mens yellow tee with wooden retaining sides and a post and rail fence to the steep side. Despite lockdown they have had some admirers, whilst working on the 13th tee two deer wandered up the bank to see what was happening on their pasture. Once this has been completed the next tee to work on will be the Mens 14th. If we could afford it I am sure some members would like us to elevate the tee some 50 feet in the air, so as to have a clear shot over the old mineshaft.
Before we return we will be bringing back into play the rough between the 1st and the 18th that will be de-stoned. Unfortunately the ground between the 5th and 6th fairway where the trees were felled is still in need of some growth despite the work done by the professional course designer, so we are continuing the drainage work and hoping for better weather to bring on the grass.
Thanks also to Colin & Ann Marshall, who continue to feed the birds that patiently wait for their food by Tony’s shed.
I will shortly be producing a plan of all the tree, shrub and heather planting that has now been completed for members to see where their trees have been planted.
Let’s hope for a speedy and safe return to golf