The golf course has been very wet this week which has restricted movement around the course, but we have been busy servicing our machinery and making a start on painting the tee markers. One task we did carry out was to close and fill in the two small grass bunkers on the 2nd fairway. Many complaints have been made about these bunkers because of the unfair lies due to the large divots in the base. We have regularly divoted the affected areas with seed and soil, but with little or no growth in the winter the base of the bunker just turns to mud. We will however give this area further thought as the potential of more bunkering is a possibility. Recently Stewart Judd, Danny Hill, Mark Watts (greens chairman) and myself conducted a course walk, our focus was to improve the playability of the course and in some cases toughen up certain holes. Many good ideas were aired including fairway bunkering on the 3rd and using a tree spade to plant large semi mature specimens between the 9th and 10thto give better hole shaping and increase the difficulty. Another idea was to continue the planting around the back of the 16th green to give all round colour making it a stunning back drop when viewed from the tee. All these ideas and others will now be collated and costings worked out before being presented to the management committee, although I am hoping the tree planting on the 9th /10th and the 16th project could be real possibility for this spring.
Decisions on buggy use are made on a daily basis and based on potential damage to the course and the safety of the buggy user. Currently most golf clubs in the area have a blanket ban on all buggies regardless of medical dispensation. We must limit the use of buggies during the winter and I do encourage as many golfers as possible to walk with the aid of a trolley, but I am also sensitive to our members with medical conditions who rely on a buggy for their continued enjoyment of golf in the winter. With this in mind we intend to trial a more relaxed approach to our buggy use and monitor any damage that appears, but with the aid of ropes, signage and common sense I see no reason why we cannot accommodate this section of our membership for the duration of the winter. However a buggy ban will continue for visitors or any member without a medical condition. Please review the clubs website or phone the pro shop for the course and buggy status.
Another good week of progress on the irrigation system now means only three greens are left to complete, they are the 14th, 17th and finally the 18th. The tees remaining are 5th, 14th,, 17th and 18th. Once completed the system will be filled with water for the first time and pressure tested, all sprinkler heads will then be adjusted and set to hit their intended areas. Finally the snagging of the installation will be carried out by Victor Jamieson of Irritech, the clubs consultant overseeing the project. Completion is expected in mid February.