Welcome to spring everyone. We have seen some remarkable changes over the last fortnight as the course and surrounding land has been drying out and the plants are beginning to grow. This has certainly been a welcome sight and coming out of such a tough winter, as I covered last month, it has been a challenge to turn things around in the last fortnight, but the team has put a great amount of effort into the course.
Rainfall figures for winter did end up in excess of 500mm through to the end of February which is well over half our annual average expected total, but an extended spell of northerly and easterly winds through the end of February and March coupled with longer day length has helped to dry things quite quickly.
Substituting for a full greens renovation we have, over the last month, completed one set of solid tining, three heavy scarifying passes, and two topdressing applications to the greens to tie in with the upturn in growth and recovery from these operations has been very quick. Our height of cut has been reduced from winter height and within the next month we will be looking to reduce it further to the season’s height; we will be catering to the needs of our bentgrass population, leaving it slightly longer than most golf clubs may do.
Having the course to ourselves for a few weeks we have had the opportunity to aerate the course in windows of dry weather throughout the winter. All fairways, tees, approaches, and the driving range have been aerated and the tee and approach surfaces have had a heavy topdress.
A telling situation for the last few months has impacted our bunker sand supply where both of the quarries that we would normally source our bunker sand have had flooding issues and hence we have not been able to source bunker sand. Our supplier has anticipated that the supply will come back online in May and at this point, we will be able to recommence our ongoing programme of sand renewal across the course.
After running the course in “reverse” direction last year we have finalised the new course signage to formalise the hole numbers. All tee signs have been updated and renewed with the new layout. Our vision when doing this was to reduce the amount of signage and furniture on the course. We now have a single sign per tee with all four measurements on this one sign. Our permanent markers have been installed as subtle, mow-over discs on the tee surface, colour coded to match each course. Additionally, new 150 yard markers have been installed; we have moved these back from the fairway to the edge of long rough areas and they have had their measurements reconfirmed for shot accuracy.
Finally, it has been a challenging year and it has been unusual to not see any of you here on the course for such a long time. I am looking forward to seeing you all and I hope that I will get the opportunity to speak with everyone as the season gets underway.
Yours in sport.