It’s been a long, warm summer here at Burstwick and the course has been very busy, but now we turn our attention to improving the course in the colder months. We have several different plans for the winter so keep reading to find out what to expect before Spring 2020.
We hollow-cored the greens a few weeks ago, and considering it was later in the year than we would usually like to do, they are recovering well and should stay in fairly good stead for the winter. Frequent players will have noticed an outbreak of disease on a handful of the greens, namely the 2nd, 6th and 8th greens.
There are two diseases that are affecting the health of these greens, Fusarium (8th green mainly) and Anthracnose (2nd and 6th). We have sprayed an application of fungicide to stop the disease in it’s tracks and hopefully the greens will recover somewhat before the growth slows too much.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with fungal disease on greens, it is very difficult to eradicate, but we do our best. The main reason for disease growth is moisture on the surface, which is the reason we hollow-core twice a year to try and keep the top of the greens as free-draining as possible. We feel that the overall health of the greens is slowly improving but there is still work to be done on this in the coming months and years to get them to a point where disease does not come around so often.
Flagsticks and Flags
New ferrules are to be added to the current flagsticks to make them sit straighter in the cups. Around half have had their new ferrules installed with the others being done very soon.
On hole 18 we are trialling a new “tournament” flagstick (also known as “javelin”) to see how it copes in the windier conditions at Burstwick, as well as a cup stabiliser ring above the hole cup to give the hole a better look. Tournament flagsticks are made from aluminium rather than fibreglass, are thicker, heavier and taller. The result is a flagstick that does not flex as much in the wind and hopefully stays more upright. Feedback is appareciated on the new flagstick and cup stabiliser.
The downside is that they are expensive, which is the reason we have not purchased them in the past, but the committee has kindly offered to donate a set of flagsticks to the club in the coming months, should the treasurer funds remain high for the rest of the season.
We’ve conducted many minor repairs over the course of the summer including leaking sprinkler heads on 4, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15 and 16. Some of these leaks have taken a while to solve because the root cause of a leak can be hard to diagnose, so we thank our members for their patience on the matter.
Moving forward there are still a couple of leaks to be solved, the most difficult one being to the left side of the 5th green. This appears to be a break in a pipe underneath the ground but finding where that leak is can be very difficult, as the water has formed in a valley but the leak could be for example 10 yards up the hill. Some of our pipework can be as much as 6-8 feet deep, so this will not be easily solved without some major work, so please have patience with us on this. Until it is resolved it will remain as GUR.
There is another small leak near the “riser box” to the back of the 18th men’s tee but this should hopefully be a straightforward fix.
We have installed irrigation to two competition tees (2 and 18) this year and aim to install new sprinklers on four more competition before Spring, 3, 6, 10 and 12.
6 & 10th Competition Tees
We plan to completely renovate the competition tees on holes 6 and 10, as they are not near the standard of other tees on the golf course. The renovation will include stripping the tops of the tees off, adding a large amount of topsoil to the area and creating two tees which are much flatter and bigger, then putting new turf on the surface to get them growing and into play quicker.
We will also be installing irrigation to the new tees as above to ensure they stay healthy in the drier months.
Extra care will be taken to make sure the job gets done right this time around.
This Winter we will be removing stakes and tubes from most of our trees, but there will still be a small amount that have stakes around them.
Some pruning work needs to be done in a few areas where some low lying branches are obstructing mowers and golfers when they are walking in the woody areas.
We are also looking to team up with a local community group, and member volunteers to plant some more varieties around the course in certain areas to give the course more colour and improve the aesthetics. We will be carefully planning where these are to be planted so that they don’t change the way the course plays too much, but add a nicer look to some of the holes.
There is some more work to be done to the bridge which involves installation of new timbers, this is ongoing so your patience is appreciated.
Some maintenance work is planned for the lakes, particularly on hole 2 where we are looking at removing some of the trees that have sprouted on the banks, and hole 4 where we hope to clear some reeds on the fairway side.
Conifers on 1st Tee
We aim to give a good trim to the conifers around the 1st tee to help more sunlight get to the tee bed.
No major bunker work is planned for this winter other than continual monitoring of bunkers that need a top up of sand, and we plan to put some wooden steps into the bowl bunker to the left of the 17th green.
We have put some blue academy tees out on six holes: 1,2 15, 16, 17, 18. These are designed for the younger juniors but also beginners to the game who may be a little intimidated by the full length golf course. The tees are located on the fairways (apart from hole 17, they are the front of the tee) and we have chosen holes that stay within a short distance to the clubhouse and car park for convenience.