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Course Update

We're back! So great to see so many familiar friendly faces back at the club and playing golf again, it's been a while.

I cannot lie having the course empty for 7 weeks was nice and very productive with no golfers to work around, and no divots!

The long break also gave the golf course a well-deserved rest after the very wet winter, and enabled any damaged areas to repair naturally.

Unfortunately we had to furlough 3 of the greenstaff leaving myself, Mark and Phil to maintain the golf course, I thank Leigh, Neil and Chris for their understanding as I know how frustrated they were being stuck at home.

With only 3 and flourishing spring growth, a maintenance plan was devised to secure we would not fall behind, and high standards remained so we were ready to open immediately.

The plan worked beautifully and on the 13th of May with only 2 days notice we opened to a fulltee sheet with the course in excellent condition.

My thanks to Mark and Phil for their exceptional hard work and dedication in helping me maintain the clubs biggest asset in these unprecedented times.

Leigh Hyde has since returned to the team boosting our numbers to 4, which does give us a fighting chance as 3 greenkeepers would not have been sustainable long term.

We will continue to review and expand the team when possible.

Many who have played will have noticed the new bunkers on the 1st have been filled with sand and are now in play. This concludes the improvement works to this hole which also included improvements to the 1st tee, new path and a raised border with decorative hedging.

Our aim was to improve first impressions and playability to the 1st hole, and I do believe we have nailed the brief.

Volunteers

Prior to opening and with only 3 staff, I asked for volunteers to help relieve the burden on our depleted workforce, this would allow us to carry out more essential tasks.

I was overwhelmed with the response with over 20 members offering their time, and big thanks to Alan Brown, Chris Savage, John Coyle and Denis Pyatt who did a great job weeding and raking bunkers.

My gratitude to Tracey Ripsher, Leslie Avent and Hazel Goodyear who have been busy tending flower beds, and maintaining the new privet hedge on the 1st.

Excellent job ladies thank you.

Divots are starting to appear on what was a divot free course, so I do intend to organise a divot party devised of small groups to fill divots on tees and fairways.

It will be great to see many of you there, and maybe a beer after if restrictions are lifted.

I will post some dates shortly.

Course Maintenance

Greens

Presently cut everyday a cutting height of 3mm.

Greens have recently been verti-cut twice, which removes thatch and helps reduce broad leafed grasses.

This was followed by a liquid feed containing balanced fertiliser, Liquid seaweed and a growth regulator.

Tees

Tees are cut twice a week at a cutting height of 14mm, and divoted weekly.

A slow release granular fertiliser was an applied in April giving the tees nutrients over a period of 2 months.

Fairways

Height of cut has been raised from 15mm to 17mm to reduce stress in this hot dry period of weather, and cut only once a week.

Frequency and height of cut is always adjusted and is governed by growth patterns.

Fairway condition is very good with many bare areas from the winter growing out leaving beautiful two tone fairways when cut.

For the foreseeable future we will be closing holes 5-12th at 6.30pm and locking all the gates to these fields. This is to keep the golf course secure and safe guard strangers coming onto the golf course in the evenings.

It is my role to lock the gates and I would be grateful if you could vacate these fields in plenty of time to avoid me locking you in.

Holes 1-4 13-18 will remain open in the evenings.

Happy Golfing

Graham Careford

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Friday, 23 October 2020

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