I would like to start this by thanking all the Members for their support and positive feedback since I took over in March. It was a big step for me and although I knew I could make it happen, I was a bit nervous about how my new ideas would be received. From what I hear, there seems to be a general approval and appreciation. My Team and I will continue to work hard and maintain the course to the best possible standard for our members and our guests.
We had a terrible winter weather-wise and although it improved towards the end of April, we had some terrible storms through the middle of May. I wanted to change the sand in most bunkers, but this was delayed to the end of May. I also wanted to dress the greens with a light coat of sand, but this was also put on the back burner. We have had another setback due to our main tractor breaking down, but I am committed to getting things done…
With this latest dry spell (I cannot believe I am typing this!), we are watering the greens every morning and a member of the team returns in the evening to water again when it gets quieter and the temperature cooler. Some of the feedback I have received was about the greens “holding”, but we cannot physically water the greens any more than we do.
Some of you may have noticed some yellow-ish patches appearing towards the middle of May, when the temperature dropped and the storms came in. This is the fusarium I mentioned in my last article. With the weather getting dryer and natural growth occurring, the plant outgrew the disease so it did not affect play. When we get to November, these patches will re-appear. There won’t be enough growth to deal with it and the product we used to apply has now been banned (as mentioned in my last article). So, we will need to feed the greens with nutrients to help the plant grow and deal with this fungus. We will need to evaluate how effective this is, as it will be the first winter without the regular fungicide.
We have seeded part of the course with the wild flowers, including areas around the clubhouse. Some of you may have seen Eric playing apprentice gardener, watering the bank by the patio. We have also seeded the back of 6th green and an area to the left of the 6th tee. But the ground is not the most hospitable.
In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed some patches developing on some greens, like the 9th and the putting green. These are due to the plant being stressed with the heat. The coring planned for the middle of August will help the greens, by removing some of the build up of thatch and some of the compaction. So for about 2 weeks from August 16th (after the Seniors Club Champ) we will get going with this heavy maintenance programme. There will be disruption on the course, but it is for the best in the long run. I thank you for your patience and support and apologise for this inconvenience.