On the course
What a year it has been! 2019 ended with 3 months of rain and unseasonably high temperatures causing some of the highest disease pressure I have ever experienced, the rain and warmth ran through until February, just in time for the Covid19 to take the reins! In fact, if we turn back time a little, not since the winter of 2017 have we seen ‘normal’ weather. 2018 brought with it the longest drought and hottest temperatures on record which was then followed by a wet cold winter, 2019 was then recorded as drier than 2018 but with slightly less heat, this then rolled into the wettest and warmest winter on record. All of which makes life extremely difficult as a Golf Course Manager. 2020 has not been immune to strange weather periods with the drought in April, however in general it has been a good year for growth and recovery and the course now has returned to pre 2018 drought conditions.
Moving on to this year, it has of course been a very difficult year for us all but we move on and we move on together, as a Club. The Greenkeeping team are working hard to present the course to the highest standards whilst dealing with the social distancing restrictions. The surfaces, especially the greens, have performed well this season. Notable changes to the course this season include the extended ‘run offs’ around the greens at Holes 2, 5, 7, 8, 11, 13, 18, the extended approaches at Holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 14, 16, 18, the extended Meadow rough at Holes 1, 4, 6, 7, 12, 13 and the long rough bunker tops at holes 1, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 18. The new 18th bunkers and mounds have been in play this season and look stunning, the 18th hole has always been an incredible finishing hole and now the visual appeal and architectural design has been elevated to the same standard as the playability of the Hole.
The next month
We are now moving into the Autumn and Winter period so our turf maintenance programme for disease management and water movement has begun, October and November are historically the highest disease pressure months so it is vitally important for the performance of the surfaces that the programme we have in place reduces the grass plant stress. The winter golf course improvement projects have begun with the 8th path being removed and re turfed to improve the area leading to the concreate path, turfing this area will allow us to control the traffic to reduce wear and tear throughout the winter. The next project on our list is the 9th pathway to the left hand side of the Green, this area will be re-turfed.