Our Greens' Committee has recently tasked itself with coming up with a Winter Plan for 2016/17 and many areas of the course have been discussed at length. Here is a rundown of what our team would like to accomplish over the coming months.
After a very successful winter of bunker renovations last year, we're going at it again! Another 60 tonne of bunker sand is going to be used in the worst performing bunkers around the course, and we envisage that this will hopefully cover about 15 large bunkers. As we have mainly focused on greenside bunkers in the past these are doing well, so it's time to target the bigger fairway bunkers that hold water and have contaminated sand.
Again the bunker renovation plan is subject to the weather gods being kind to us, but we feel that 15 bunkers is a realistic and achievable target.
Paths around the Course
We are planning to renew some paths around the course and possibly create some new ones if time is on our side. Having acquired a vast quantity of astroturf very recently, we have enough stock-piled to do an array of paths around the golf course, so whatever we don't use this winter will most certainly be used in the future.
The beauty of astroturf paths is that they require very little maintenance and last a long time meaning they will look fantastic for years to come.
Drainage and Playability
Some extra drainage work is to be done in some parts of the golf course that have historically been wet areas, in order to attempt to keep the course open when we have extreme downpours.
Also, the team will as usual be spraying the course with worm suppressant to give dry, clean playing surfaces so that you come off the course looking hopefully like you did when you first teed off!
Work is going to be restarted on lakes on the course with a plan to tidy up their appearance. Last year we removed a lot of bullrushes from the edges of the lakes but these came back very quickly, so we are going try some alternative methods to control the plantation. It's worth understanding that we do not want to completely rid the lakes of plantation as this is important for wildlife, rather have certain sides or areas of the lakes that are clean and tidy.
As with every year, we have another 6,000 range balls on order and these should be arriving within the next three to four weeks. The targets that we bought and installed last year have stood up to the weather well and we will continue to keep these maintained for a better range experience.
Filled in Bunkers on Hole 12
After filling in two bunkers on the fairway on hole 12 we have received a lot of feedback from members and subsequently are still to make a decision on the eventual future for this area. For the time being we have seeded the area, and in 2017 we will make a decision on how to progress. The key is to make the player choose whether to lay up short of the area or attempt to carry it, however we think that something such as gorse may be too penal. Other suggestions are small hummocks, extending the long rough across the fairway, planting small shrubs, and other solutions. If you have any thoughts on this please talk to us!
Fusarium Patch on Greens
Many members are aware that for three years in a row we have had an attack of Fusarium on a handful of our greens, with greens 1, 6 and 11 being the worst affected. Although it's difficult to diagnose why the disease has specifically attacked those greens, we are trying several control measures to minimise the effect and stop it from spreading. We have applied fungicide to these greens and have enough on stock to give all 18 a treatment, should it be required. Come Spring time we are to make a concerted effort to help the 6th green (in particular) recover from Fusarium.
We will be doing some work re-stake many of the trees around the course as over the summer some have had their stakes snapped or removed without intention.
We're very happy with the progress made on the course in the past 18 months and are convinced it was the best it has ever been in 2016. But we don't want to stop there! We want every year to be better than the last, and with loyalty and commitment from our members it is helping us invest more money into the course. Keep an eye out for the work going on around the club over the next few months and here's looking forward to a successful 2017.