I am extremely pleased with the progress that has been made to the new short game area on the practice ground.
Our initial aim was to carry out the work in two phases over a period of 18 months, but due to the good weather and the hard work of the greenstaff all ground works should be completed this winter.
The turfing of the areas and other finer details will be carried out in the spring, this will only leave the grow-in period over the summer.
If all goes well I am targeting August 2019 to open the clubs first purpose built short game area.
Work so far:
All major shaping work has now been completed with a drainage system fully installed last week. Approximately 40 tons of rootzone has been applied and compacted ready for the cores, which will be added in the spring as part of our greens renovation programme.
Basic shaping completed and rootzone applied. Drainage is planned to be installed in the coming weeks leaving only the turf and the filling of new sand.
The existing greenside bunker will made bigger and the edges redefined, then finally filled with fresh sand.
The existing tee has been removed and re-sited in the area that was recently cleared, this now gives a 40m shot to the centre of the green.
Because of the location of the new tee (Shade) establishing strong grass coverage on the surface will be difficult with prolonged play, so it is our intention to install winter mats on the surface to improve durability.
Area in front of the tee will be seeded and be cut to fairway height once established. Other areas around the green will be cut to semi-rough (25mm) and full rough height (50mm) to give members opportunity to practice from different lengths of grass that they will encounter on the golf course.
To enter the short game area safely we plan to cut a route through the woodland creating a woodland path that can be entered via the front of the 1st tee.
Members and Guests will be encouraged to use this route to avoid being struck by balls from golfers using the driving range.
Cuts per week have been reduced as growth slows although they continue to be cut on both days at the weekend. Days when the greens are not cut the surfaces are switched and blown to remove the dew and any debris.
The pedestrian mowers have all been serviced and ready to take over cutting duties for the remainder of the winter, this will start very soon.
Cutting height at present is 4mm but this will be increased to 5mm once hand cutting commences.
An outbreak of Fusarium did appear in October due to the mild temperatures, this was combated immediately with a fungicide application.
Silver Moss that is present mostly on the 18th green has recently been treated with a herbicide, this will kill off the moss turning it black allowing the grass to become dominant once more.
Silver moss is now becoming a more common on greens especially on US specification built greens where nutrients are easily leached due to the sand composition.
Tees are now cut once a week at a cutting height of 17mm, the higher cutting height is deliberate to allow the tees to cope better with winter play.
A slow release autumn granular fertiliser has been applied giving nutrients to the tees for the next couple of months, this will keep the tees healthy as air and soil temperatures drop.
Recovery is slow after the very hot summer and dry autumn, but the recent rainfall and milder temperatures will definitely help the fairways improve further during November.
Cutting of the fairways is only carried out when necessary to give the fairways scope to grow and recover.
The fairways are still too firm to be aerated, but this will be carried out once conditions allow.
A concerted effort by the greenstaff is being made to keep bunkers clear of leaves and sand distributed evenly around the base of the bunkers.
Members can help our efforts by raking their footmarks in a forward motion not backwards allowing sand to be retained in the centre of the bunker.
This approach will also keep the back edges of bunkers more defined and not eroded by sand.
We appreciate your help.
Excellent work as always Graham, I love your course updates and I'm learning something new every week! Now I won't complain about the height of the grass on the tees