It has been a very busy week at Burstwick with the growing season now in full swing. Since the wettest winter in the fourteen years we have been open meant that we couldn’t get out and put sand in newly renovated bunkers, our staff have been working hard the past fortnight putting out 60 tonnes of sand, with another 30 tonnes to arrive next week for topping up other bunkers on the course.
Normally this would have all been complete by March but we’re now playing catch-up and should be finished with the bunker renovation work by next week, ready to begin mowing the bunker banks and keeping them as tidy as possible during summer (the banks have been left to grow longer recently because of the time we've had to put into bunker renovations, which are usually completed by March!)
Also this week we have begun work on manually overseeding greens. This means any small areas that have been affected by disease over the winter, old pitchmarks, and other worn areas are spiked, seeded and rootzoned to ensure new growth will come through.
While this may look a little unsightly to some (small, sandy patches on the greens), it doesn’t affect the roll of the ball because it is so flat and within a couple of weeks the grass will have grown through and produce a great surface.
Rough, Irrigation Repairs, Tees
Other work we have completed this week had included: cutting the rough down, as it has been growing like it’s going out of fashion these past few weeks; we have also been continuing work on irrigation repairs, I have replaced two decoders to get the 12th green back online and also the third tee, there are a couple of repairs still to do and we are waiting on parts for these.
The onslaught against clover and other weeds begins in the next fortnight! We are taking delivery of 20 hectares worth of weed killer on within the next few days, and this will be used to spray fairways, rough, tees and basically anything that has clover on it!
To give you an idea of how much 20 hectares worth will cover, the most we have ever sprayed in one year in the past is 12 hectares worth, so we are determined in 2018 to break it's back!
We have 12,000 new range balls arriving at the end of June for the range, this is double the amount of balls that we normally renew each year. We are also looking at the possibility of installing three or four new TrueStrike mats, which are the best in the business, giving players a unique feel for every shot, just like being on a fairway!
For those who use the range often this should hopefully make a very positive difference to their practice regime.
All in all the course is coming on really nicely and the greens especially are running much better now that they have recovered from the coring early season. We're confident that with a more aggressive aeration and overseeding policy for the greens they will continue to improve year on year, starting with 2018. We should see the least of clover and other weeds around the course once it is sprayed in the next fortnight, so the fairways and rough should look much neater and also the speed of play will improve due to fewer lost balls.