JAEY'S COURSE UPDATE

Our spell of excessive rain continues with record equalling rainfall figures for February. We saw over 150mm (6 inches) fall across the month which is on par with the all-time record for February rainfall, over double the long term average.

Compound these figures with the extended period of above average rainfall we have experienced since summer last year, water tables are very high, consequently soil drainage rates are very slow.

GREENS RENNOVATION

The week of 26 February saw the team embark on a monumental challenge of attempting to hollow-core the greens. The primary challenge coming into the work was access to the greens and turning on the green surrounds while aerating and collecting cores. We did manage to complete all the greens except for 11, 16, 17 and the two far greens on the Academy Course. The team made efficient progress over the first two days of the operation with all coring and collecting completed.

Our next challenge has been integrating the topdressing to a point where all core holes are filled. The rainfall and damp conditions have a huge impact on how mobile the sand is and any moisture int her sand hampers the ability of the sand to flow into the core holes.

Overnight rainfall did help to wash the sand into holes but follow-up work will be required to complete the work and fully restore surfaces.

BUNKERS

Frequent, heavy rainfall does make bunker presentation and management a thankless task. Please bear in mind that there are times when bunker sand is being flattened as we rake and that bunkers may appear to be unraked but have received attention to prepare them. This winter season has been tough, working and accessing the land is impossible at times.

Following renovation we find a higher than usual rate of unrepaired pitchmarks on greens. While greens are recovering from this work they benefit from all the help that they receive, so may I ask everyone to not disregard their pitchmarks just because the green surfaces have been disturbed through work, and make the effort to help with their recovery and restoration following essential maintenance.

See you on the course.

Jaey Goodchild
Head Greenkeeper