I never thought I would open another newsletter with the welcoming back of our members! Let’s hope this is the last time. On a positive note the course has certainly benefitted from the rest.
Many of you have been out on your walks around the course and witnessed the winter projects in progress. It has been a very busy winter for the department and much has been achieved. You should all be very grateful for the efforts that the Greenkeeping team have put in. Our health & safety regarding the pandemic has been well organised and effective however; we were not working without risk! It is a credit to the team how we have achieved our plans and stayed safe doing so. In order to reduce the risk of exposure and maintain a safe working environment, we for the most part kept two members of staff on furlough each week. The furlough schedule was rotated and all staff took their turn. Unfortunately we are not out of the woods yet and we must remain vigilant. If a member of staff was to take ill with covid-19 then our department could potentially shut down for a period of time. This would be a disaster for the club so please help by ensuring that you all keep a safe distance from the staff when approaching them.
I am pleased to say that the aforementioned winter work projects have gone very well. The P.C. rope drainage installed into the 1st, 11th, 13th, & 14th greens has again been a success. There are a few areas that still require some settling. With the spring just around the corner this should not take too long. Greens 8 + 9 have firmed up substantially and will make a full recovery by early spring.
We have been able to carry out a lot of woodland management. The 8th hedge line is now much tidier and the area to the right side of the 8th tee will be visually stunning once the bluebells have come out. The 7th white tee has been enlarged and levelled. The front of the tee had dropped by just under a metre therefore making it difficult for us to find enough suitable teeing positions. Some ditch maintenance/storm protection has also been implemented. The ditch that overflows and floods the 7th approach has now been banked up to catch the storm surge. Fortunately we were able to use the cores from the greens maintenance and left over turf from the 7th tee. As always there are health & safety considerations that must be addressed. You will observe that we have erected a hand rail from the 3rd ladies tee leading to the main path. A buggy rail has also been erected on the 6th hole by the heather bank. Please note that we have contractors coming in early May to renovate and top up our existing paths. Some steps have also been introduced into some bunkers and last not but not least we have finally demolished our dilapidated barns in the Greenkeepers compound. You will be pleased to know that in anticipation of lockdown easing we decided to carry out the greens renovations early. The greens have been hollow cored and top dressed and have near on made a full recovery.
With the winter nearly behind us we are looking forward to what will hopefully be a pleasant spring. I hope you all agree that the course is in fine condition. It really will be fantastic to see you all again. Due to it still be very early spring you will find that the some of the tees are being protected. By this I mean that you will be playing from winter positions as we are yet to receive any spring flush in growth. Please continue to look after your course as we certainly do not want ruin areas before we go into the main playing season. The course has dried up however; some wet areas remain. We will be roping such areas off. If possible please continue to use your light weight carry bags until we enter such a time when they are not required.
On a personal note I would like to congratulate the hard working and highly skilled team of Greenkeepers that we are so fortunate to have. They have carried out some fantastic work during challenging times. I’m sure you will all pass on your thanks when you see them on the course.
We wish you the best of luck with your first few rounds and hope you enjoy the course.