The poor weather we have experienced recently has not slowed progress to the 1st hole project, which aims to improve first impressions.
The path is now completed and will result in a far better experience when walking from tee to green.
The teeing area has been improved by replacing the old rotten sleepers with new oak sleepers that were levelled to the height of the tee, followed by turf being laid along the edge.
The raised flower bed that was constructed in December has been back filled with soil and is now ready to be planted with New Zealand Laurel in the spring.
Work to upgrade the greenside bunkers has started with the basic shaping and levels being established in preparation for the "Durabunker" revetted face.
This work will be carried out in-house and will take 3 days to complete, during which the hole will be closed so work can be carried out safely and efficiently.
Landscaped areas will then be turfed and once established the bunkers will be opened ready for play. (March)
It has been a very rewarding project and once completed will give a great first impression and a much fresher feel to our opening hole.
Overgrown area behind the 10th green has been cleared creating better views of the Far field from the 8th tee. The risk to golfers being hit from this tee was high as your vision was blocked and several incidents were reported of golfers nearly being struck from tee shots as no warning was given.
Clearance of brambles has also been carried out behind the 16th tee improving the back drop to this hole. Trees behind the green were pollarded to improve light and two were removed as rot and decay deemed them dangerous.
Weather permitting we do aim to hand cut the greens twice a week at a cutting height of 5mm. As we progress into the spring cuts per week increase and cutting height lowered gradually to 3mm (summer height)
Recently cut and in good health considering the weather and the heavy foot traffic in these dormant months.
We are in the process of making new tee markers as our current markers are rotting and looking very tired. The new markers will put out in April when course is drier and will greatly improve the cosmetics of the tees.
All bunkers have been edged and sand distributed evenly at the bases. Bunkers that need more sand have been identified and will be topped up in the spring.
Five year plan
It is essential to plan for the future and set in place a programme of works to improve the golf course. Forward planning enables us to prioritise work to the areas of greatest need and allow budgets to be made available.
I have recently submitted a five year plan to the greens subcommittee that contains many different projects and costings to improve the golf course.
Drainage is a top priority with 3rd, 15th and 5th green being identified as desperately needing drainage, other areas on fairways and walk off areas will also be considered.
Bunkers will also be improved and one idea being considered is the potential to add more fairway bunkering especially on the 3rd, 9th and 10th which have none.
These ideas are still at the discussion stage, but once agreed the plans will be published for all members to see our vision for the coming years.