Course Matters #43

Following what was the wettest December in my 4 years here, we are now coming to the end (barring apocalyptic rainfall) of what will be the driest January in my time.

Air temperatures have finally started to drop, averaging between 2 and 6 degrees over the past week. Soil temperatures are still hovering around the 5-degree mark and growth levels have become more in line with what I would expect at this time of year.

A couple of weeks ago the greens received an application of Activate R Granules, a bio-stimulant that increases rooting and plant health. Over the past 2 days the greens have been aerated with pencil tines fitted to the Pro-core. This will open up the surface allowing air into the soil whilst also stimulating root growth. If weather allows next week we will apply a light top-dressing.

The new buggy/trolley park and re-routed path have been completed and have now been open for a couple of weeks. I am awaiting delivery of some more posts and rope, which will allow me to rope off along the front of the 11th apron and in so doing will mean those golfers only playing 11 holes will have access back to the clubhouse.

Some rudimentary drainage has been installed on the paths from the 7th tee to green and 9th tees to green. Hopefully these will stem the flow of rainwater preventing the levels of washout we have previously suffered.

The middle set of steps on the 10th tee, have been removed due to Health and Safety issues. We have re-configured the rear set of steps to double up the tread depth, making them more user-friendly.

I would like to continue my message from last month regarding the repair of pitch-marks on the greens. Please take the time to repair them – it really does make a difference to the length of time the turf takes to heal. I would also like to re- iterate the message about the way in which buggies are being driven. We are still seeing buggies being driven too close to greens and tees and through areas of long rough. Last week one was driven, whilst almost defying the laws of gravity, around the bunker bank on left of the 9th hole!

I would like to take the time to thank all the members who have been involved in clearing the area adjacent to the Putting Green and areas around the Clubhouse; Charlie and Sue Phillips, Eric Thomas, Dave Savage, Ron Thom and Keith and Jan Barker. Thanks also to Adrian Toms who spent a few hours weeding bunkers on the 12th fairway. Your help is very much appreciated. We are holding a members working party day on Tuesday 5th February. Anybody who is able to spare a bit of time will be very welcome.

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