The proposed schedules of works are designed to make long term improvements to the golf course. All of the proposed work is linked to the Course Management Plan and within the allocated budget for course new work.
To keep the course in the best condition as possible, the majority of the proposed works will commence in 2021. From October through to the New Year we are extremely busy with a wide variety of tasks. The falling leaves need to be cleared and collected on a daily basis and with the trend for warmer temperatures we find ourselves having to carry out frequent mowing tasks well into the later months.
Greens Drainage Works
It has long been the clubs desire to provide top quality playing surfaces all the year round. In recent years the winters have proved to be extremely challenging. High levels of rainfall with very few dry days have rendered several greens to be unplayable. We have had great success with the recently installed P.C. rope drainage on the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 12th, & 15th greens. With this in mind it gives me great pleasure to inform you that we will be installing the same drainage systems into the 1st, 11th, 13th, and 14th greens. The 8th and 9th greens will be sand banded. The 8th and 9th will need to be revisited in the future as some redesign may be required.
The rope drainage installation is due to start on the 20th October 2020. In preparation for the contractors the main drainage channels and soakaways will be excavated on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of October 2020. For health and safety reasons the greens in question will be out of play (temps) until the excavations are complete.
On Monday the 19th October we will be hollow coring the greens followed by top dressing. We usually carry out this work in August, however, due the pandemic closing the course in the spring we decided to push back this date so that you could enjoy the playing surfaces throughout the summer months. As I’m sure you can imagine this will be an extremely busy week for the Greenkeepers and there will be a level of disruption. Throughout the week various temporary greens will be in use. We hope to have all the work completed by the 23rd of October. It is worth noting that due to the lock down the greens were not renovated in March. With this in mind I hope you understand the importance of the upcoming renovations.
Greens renovations are vital for the long term health of the playing surfaces. If we were not to carry out the work then the greens would accumulate high levels of thatch. This would make the greens spongy, and softer throughout all seasons. The control of organic matter is absolutely essential as it directly effects how the greens perform. By incorporating sand into the profile we then help to keep the surfaces free draining. This will assist with disease resistance and also drought tolerance. There are many other reasons why this work must be carried out. Due to the time of year the greens will take a little longer to recover. As previously mentioned we are carrying out this work later than usual as we felt it was important to prolong the playing season as much as possible.
Proposed Winter Works
The management of our woodland is an ongoing project. There are various tasks that need to be carried out such as pruning, crown lifting, and the removal of dead, damaged or diseased trees. Increased airflow and light levels is extremely important for healthy turf.
Hole 3. Woodland Thinning
This work was started in February/March of 2019. The main objective of this work is to increase the light and air flow to the 3rd green. This is hugely important issue when trying to provide quality putting surfaces. By continuing with this work we can help to change the micro-climate of the area to one that is more conducive with healthy turf.
Some further work in this area is required. Light and air to the 3rd green is very important as it can suffer at times from the shading.
The vegetation on the right hand side is now encroaching into play. This area will be sufficiently thinned.
There are also some trees around the green complex (Ash) that we suspect of having/suffering of ash die back. It is proposed that the identified trees are removed to prevent any further spreading.
Hole 4. Crown Lifting
As seen in the picture above, the low hanging branches can cause damage to our machines. The canopies are encroaching into play and therefore requires pruning.
Hole 6. Woodland Thinning
The area of woodland to the right of the 6th tee linking to the 7th has become over grown and degenerate. To enhance and promote the desired species it would be beneficial to thin out and also expose some of the woodland floor. There is also a ditch that runs through this area. It is best to keep ditches exposed. They will require regular inspection, and also occasional maintenance.
The winter tee on the 6th can no longer be used and the trajectory of the ball may be hindered by the canopy of the trees. It is suggested that some of the oak trees are pruned and some removed to allow the winter tee to be used again. Without this winter tee the main 6th tee will suffer and subsequently suffer the following season.
Hole 6. Path Restoration
The path is often used by buggies. It has been noted that buggies cannot easily fit on the path and we have health & safety concerns with this. The path will be made wider and a small post and rail set will be introduced to prevent buggies from getting too close to the steep bank.
Hole 7. Tree Pruning & Crown Lifting
The crown lifting of the trees around the green complex will be aesthetically pleasing and also prevent damage to the roofs of our cutting machines. This work will then link in with the work to the 5th storm shelter and the woodland thinning to the right of the 8th tee.
Much work was carried out in this area last winter. As a result there was an impressive visual display of bluebells in late spring. We would like to complete this project in 2020/21 as it will be aesthetically pleasing and will enhance the area.
Hole 7. Medal Tee Reconstruction
The men’s medal tee has become uneven and is now proving difficult to find a suitable teeing position. The tee will be stripped of turf, re-levelled and drained.
Hole 8. Woodland Management
The tree line to the right of the first section of the fairway (boundary between farmers field) is now encroaching into play and is need of management. We will retain any desirable species and thin out the scrub. There are also some trees that are in poor health that overhang the path close to the ditch. As a matter of health & safety, there will be some felling required.
Hole 8. Ditch Maintenance / Course Drainage
The ditch will be made wider near to the outlet in the shape of a teardrop. We will then construct using sandbags a storm catchment area similar to that on the 5th. This will dramatically help to prevent storm water flooding across the 7th approach.
Hole 9. Woodland Thinning and Reconstruction of Steps
The area of woodland adjacent to the tee has become overgrown and blocks out much light and air. As previously mentioned air and light are vital for healthy turf growth so there are clear agronomic advantages to this proposal. The area would look much smarter for the work. The Rhododendrons would be cut down to knee height. This will allow them to re-establish and become a feature of the area.
To further regenerate this area we will be re-placing the steps leading down to the tee. Rather than having two separate sets of steps, I propose that we have one set leading to the tee. The steps will be approximately 3m in width with hand rails and grip plates. At the bottom of the steps I propose laying astro-turf. This will prevent the area from becoming worn which could potentially result in bare areas.
To prevent people from taking risks and walking down the bank I propose installing a knee height rail. This would help to ensure that all golfers use the steps. We would also like to re-turf the bank as it has now become quite sparse. The rail would help to protect the new turf.
Hole 12. Steps in Greenside Bunkers
The edges of the two greenside bunkers on 12 are crumbling away. If we were to construct a small set of steps going into each bunker then we could concentrate the traffic rather than having people walking on the fragile banks. Obviously this would also help the people that struggle to step down off the steep banks.
The steps would be erected into the two worn areas of the edges.
Hole 14. Tree Pruning
If time allows then we would like to carry out some tree pruning on the left side of the hole. His would start from approximately half way up the hole and continue to the green complex.
Hole 16. Steps into Bunkers
The greenside bunker requires a set of steps.
Yard & Maintenance Facility:
To comply with health & safety we will need to demolish two of our out buildings. They are now dilapidated and currently filled with junk. We will require two skips and a 3 tonne excavator.
Consideration must be given course drainage. As you are all aware the winter of 2019/20 was extremely wet and the course suffered greatly. It is possible that we may need to carry out further drainage projects in various locations around the course. Our first action will be to deep slit the known wet areas. This will be carried out in the autumn. A list of potential drainage projects will be discussed in a separate report.