Last week we had an issue with the greens where they turned almost completely discoloured due to a slight mis-timing of an application of wetting agent, which is designed to help the rootzone profile retain water but must be applied in a very specific time frame. The greens were stressed from the issue but it was a short-term effect which thankfully has now disappeared and they are looking very healthy again.
In late summer we released a plan to members and visitors about our plans for improving the course and driving range over the winter, and we are pleased to report on the progress.
Mark and his team have been very busy over the last few months, and a mountain of progress has been made so far.
Our winter maintenance plan for bunkers was to fully renovate 19 bunkers, top up 13 with sand, and also fill five bunkers in. We are two months into the work and so far the Greenkeepers have fully renovated 7 bunkers (37% complete) and topped up 7 bunkers (54% complete). If we continue at the current rate we may be able to add a couple more bunkers to the plan, but there are many external factors that will determine this, including the winter weather. Below are some progress pictures of bunkers already completed.
We opened the Practice Putting Green at the end of October, which was later than scheduled due to some areas not establishing as we'd predicted. Now the green is open we look forward to the turf growing stronger and thicker over the winter months, after getting used to constant use and maintenance.
We feel that at the moment the practice green is performing around 85-90% as good as the original greens due to it being in it's infancy, and the plan is to top-dress the surface in Spring to even out any discrepancy areas and by this time it will be identical to the other greens.
Disease on Greens
You may well have noticed that a couple of our greens have been suffering from disease lately. This is called Fusarium (also known as Fuzz) disease and it thrives in warm and moist (dewy) conditions, so many courses suffer in Autumn. As this autumn has been especially mild Fuzz has attacked a couple of our greens (luckily most of them are fine), with the 6th being the most badly hurt.
We have sprayed fungicide twice for Fusarium since September which will stifle it's progress, but you cannot reverse it's effects. Once we get into Spring we can reseed any affected areas and move in to Summer with perfect greens.
As promised we have made some exciting upgrades to the Driving Range to enhance your practice and make you a better golfer! Starting with 6,000 new range balls, four new mats, 3 new targets, and a re-arranged plan of old targets and flags with specific distances as shown on our range map to the left. You will find copies of this range map on the back of the driving range so that you always know how far each target is.
The range now looks great and is attracting more people to come and practice before their round or on an evening when the floodlights are on. We've also re-introduced loyalty cards with extra discounts for frequent users!
There are just a couple of repairs to some dividing nets (which are due soon) and then we the range maintenance and upgrades are complete.
When we last cut the rough in October we decided to mow it a little lower after feedback from many of our members saying that it was a little too harsh and also slowing down play. We feel that now the trees are in play on the old field and the trees will be brought into play on the new field next Spring, that it is a sensible move to cut the rough an inch shorter to compensate.
Feeback we have received on the shorter rough has so far been very positive, but if you think otherwise please talk to us!
It seems like a long, long time ago since we announced the construction of the new practice putting green at Burstwick and due to a few things outside of our control, it has taken longer than we expected to get to a point where it’s ready to open.
Well, I am proud and happy to see that we are now at that point; the new putting green shall be open for business from this Friday! We have been over the last two months accelerating the maintenance of the green to bring it inline with the rest of the greens on the golf course, and last week was the first time it had been cut at the same height as these.
There will be five holes on the new green, and these will be changed on a much more frequent basis than the original practice green. As golfers begin to use the new facility we would like to remind them that it may take six to eight months to begin performing like the rest of the greens due to it taking time to bed in with constant use and maintenance, but it will perform fairly well from the outset.
It's amazing how many people we speak to that still have the image of golf being an expensive hobby, and 20 years ago you could have argued that this was true. Thankfully nowadays golf has opened its doors to the masses and because of this the price of equipment and memberships has become very competitive, meaning that you don't have to be a company director or lawyer to take up the game.
Right now you can pick up clubs for an excellent price, as an example we supply Ben Sayers M15 (see image) full packages for just £199, and they include a bag and full set of clubs including driver, woods, irons and putter.
Shoes can be purchased as little as £40 and all you need to play on the course are some smart trousers or shorts with a polo shirt and you're away!
When it comes to paying for rounds of golf these can be had with our Green Card Scheme from as little as £8 for 9 holes or £12 for 18 holes, and then as you progress and play more, golf memberships for an adult can be had for as little as £38 per month 5 day (Mon-Fri) or £48 a month for 7 day. That's less than many people's gym membership or phone contract!
Don't forget our friendly staff are always on hand to give you advice about taking up the game. No matter what you're wondering, just ask us!
Golf is not an elite sport, it's a sport for the masses.
We also offer great value family memberships and group coaching too, so why not look at taking up a new hobby now and pop in?
Our new Practice Putting Green has now had the turf height reduced from 15mm to 8mm, and is looking fantastic for it! We have applied more fertiliser and water to the green and will keep bringing it on ready for opening mid-summer.
The total length of the green is 75 feet and it is 54 feet wide at the widest point, and we can't wait to let members use it!