I’m sure that everyone will agree that it is fantastic to see some spring following a period of very challenging weather through late winter and early spring.

Two heavy snowfall events kept the soil very cold late into the season which despite longer day length held back growth and winter bounce back. But as it turns out this was a blessing in disguise, rainfall through March was persistent with rainfall occurring on 23 days of the month totalling to near 100mm or almost 4 inches which created some tough (of soft) conditions for everyone out there tending the land.

Over the last fortnight, what a recovery! Ground conditions have improved dramatically giving the greenkeeping team an opportunity to begin our season’s mowing and get to work bringing the golf course back to life. Growth has been strong over the last two weeks and has showed good recovery from winter damage. We have been undertaking heavy aeration to walk-off areas on tees and path ends and increasing topdressing to these areas.

Winter renovation of the 11th greenside bunker and subsequent reshaping of the approach has opened up the green entrance and is almost ready for full play; we are gradually reducing the height of cut and applying heavy topdressing weekly to smooth out the surface. The third tee is now open for play and likewise is being topdressed weekly to develop the surface.

The slow rise in temperatures has seen bentgrass on the greens take an early hold as it does start growth earlier in the season and continue its quest for domination. Poa seedheads have appeared this week just gone and will create bumpy conditions for the time being but we will undertake a brushing and topdressing regime to reduce their impact through the next few weeks. Please have patience; we are working with a natural surface.

Finally, following a change-around of course set-up the new tee marker colours are now in play with daily play designated from yellow markers.

Jaey Goodchild

Head Greenkeeper