03/07 – 11/09
On the course
It has been a long wonderful summer marred by a good couple of weeks of heavy rain not so long ago. The course has held up well to Captains Day, Club Championships both Net and Scratch, Pairs Invitational, The Oppenheimer Bowl and to top of a big summer of Tournaments, The TP Tour, which was a great success and the course played as well as we could have expected.
Two big moves have taken place this summer with our Spray Technician Sam Angel and our Irrigation Technician Dan Juan have both moved on to pastures new and we thank them for their hard work and wish them all the best in their future ventures. Replacing Sam will be a extremely ambitious young Greenkeeper Mark Honey, who is coming to us from his role as Senior Greenkeeper at The Wisley Golf Club and we all have high hopes for his addition to the team.
Sam Hutchinson and Billy MacArthur this year will be beginning their NVQ Level 3 Sports Turf Science and NVQ Level 2 Sports Turf Science, respectively. I myself have started a MA Sustainable Golf Course Management, this is a direct step on from the BSc I completed two years ago and a step towards eventually studying towards my PhD.
Our continued aeration and topdressing programme has gone well, albeit a slight change to the original planning of hollow coring during our Summer aeration to a double solid tine at two differing depths and sizes, this decision stemmed from the prolonged drought during the summer causing the greens to suffer slight heat stress, hollow coring would have only compounded problems further.
As we stand, I am extremely happy with how the course has developed during the year with the greens getting progressively firmer and faster but most importantly remaining true in the process. Outside of the greens the team have made good progress with improving the general feel and detailing throughout the site to help lift the professionalism and stature of the golf course. There is still a long road ahead but we are on a very good path.
We are not far out from our winter construction projects which will be starting in October and continuing through until February, the programme consists of reconstructing the 18th Red and Yellow Tees, 17th White Tees, redesigning and renovating the 3rd greenside bunkers and finally adjusting the 5th Teeing platform. On top of this work there will be on going woodland management and meadow rough management. We have a busy winter ahead of us and if the weather stays kind, will set the golf course us for an even better golfing season for 2016.
I hope you have all enjoyed your summer golfing and here is, lets hope, to a few more weeks at least before Autumn sets in.
The fortnight ahead
As for the next two weeks, the weather looks to be setting in so cultural practices will be put in place coming Monday to combat this with the view to continue to present firm fast greens. Our bunker strategy continues by moving sand into the bases and topping up of sand where necessary throughout. Our penultimate maintenance week starts 21/09 and will consist of pencil tinning and topdressing greens, approaches and Tees.