It has been unfortunate that golf was not allowed to continue during the second lock down, especially as the weather since closing has been very good. From my prospective the closure has allowed the course to rest and allow areas of constant wear to recover before play resumes in December.
Mark and Phil have been furloughed leaving three of us to continue to maintain the course, and we have been very busy taking advantage of the course with no golfers.
Having an empty course does have its advantages when such tasks as verti-draining can be carried out without disrupting play or upsetting golfers when surfaces are disrupted.
This we have taken advantage of with an aggressive aeration programme being carried out during this period.
The greens have been verti-drained and will be aerated for a second time to relieving compaction encouraging better air and moisture movement in the soil profile.
During the winter the greens will be cut using pedestrian mowers at a cutting height of 5mm, these machines are much lighter and give a much better quality of cut on soft greens.
Cuts per week have now been reduced as growth slows, all other times the greens are brushed removing the dew and any leaf litter.
All the tees have been aerated and will be again before we open.
The tees in particular needed the break and already are showing signs of recovery and will be much improved on your return.
The wet area on the men's 7th tee has appeared this year, so we have installed a couple of drains to remove excess moisture.
Once this area dries it will be much improved and more pleasant to walk on.
Similar work has also been completed on the 6th tee.
The fairways continue to be cut, but this task is becoming increasingly difficult without making mess as the fairways are becoming much softer.
We are in the process of verti-draining the fairways to reduce compaction, this will be ongoing throughout the winter.
Practice green project
Excellent progress has been made in constructing a new practice green adjacent to the 1st tee.
The subbase, drainage and the application of rootzone has all been completed, and it's now becoming apparent how the green will look.
Future works will involve the installation of irrigation in December leaving all the turfing and seeding works to be completed in the spring.
Early part of the summer will be used to grow-in the green with the opening planned for late June.
All construction works are being carried out in-house which has greatly reduced construction, allowing this project to be completed.
However much we have enjoyed the advantages of working on a empty golf course, we are very much looking forward to seeing everyone back doing what we should be doing, playing golf.