Well here we are again in lockdown and unable to play our beloved game.
Once again we are maintaining the golf course in a good condition in readiness for a return date that is unknown to us all but hopefully not to far away.
If only, we all had the talent and skills of our assistant professional Eugenie. Eugenie is recognised as an elite golfer by the Ladies European Tour and has an exemption to practice on the course and travel the world playing tournaments.
Vince and his team have already been busy working on the course whilst it has been devoid of golfers.
We continue to work on upgrading the watering system. The pipes in the junction boxes are showing signs of rusting out and leaking. So we are replacing the old workings with new modern material that will last us for several years to come.
The golf net on the driving range was beginning to come away and flap in the wind. In order to not have to replace the whole net and with the help of a cherry picker and many cable ties the netting has been repaired. Now hopefully we will not see so many practice balls on the 1st fairway (I am sure Tony or Eugenie will be able to give those golfers who continually hit balls over the net a set of lessons when we return)
Whilst there is no play on the greens Vince has decided to hollow core all eighteen greens with hollow tines and once completed the holes will be left open to promote good drainage. Once we do get the nod to return to golf we have top dressing sand in the car park ready to be fully and carefully incorporated into the aerification holes. This will hopefully save us from the upheaval of having to hollow tine the greens early in the spring and save this disruption whilst the course is in play. This practice removes thatch from the surface and allows ingress of air and water, which helps promote a healthy soil and sward. Unfortunately due to social distancing this is taking much longer than usual as we cannot have a full staff collecting the cores.
Vince has also been busy welding and repairing our old rusted out Slit tine attachment that has not been used for many years. The fairways are desperate for some attention and the slit tine aeration aerates the top 75mm – 200mm. The slit tines apart from encouraging cracking within the soil profile, the slitting action also produces a channel for water to run into.
The other benefit is that slitting will encourage deep rooting, either directly by allowing roots to move through the created cracks or indirectly by generally improving the root zone. We hope to repeat this exercise before play resumes if we can get the balance right for the varying types of turf and make up we have on our fairways.
The Trees around the course are being checked for weak branches and hanging limbs and maintained as necessary. The second batch of new young trees have been carefully planted in areas that are mainly sheltered from the high winds and all new trees will be fertilized and or mulched as needed. Evergreen trees will be limbed up for aesthetics, maintenance, and will ease play and finding lost golf balls. Trees will be pruned and thinned to enhance turf quality, aesthetics and the overall health of the other trees in the area.
The Greens are now all being hand mowed during the lockdown to minimise compaction.
The path on the 1 st has been completed and once again it is a credit to Glyn Swiggs and his team. The work could not have been started without the kind generosity of members who have kindly donated towards improving the pathways. On that note I am pleased to inform you that due to the fantastic response from members and our generous sponsors we have received more funds than we expected. As this money was committed to the course paths we should be able to bring forward our long term plan to complete some of the smaller paths.
Keep safe and hope to see us all back on the fairways soon