First of all, I would like to thank all those who have posted comments on the blog and for all the positive feedback I have received since taking over in February, it is much appreciated.
As we know, we had an extremely wet winter with almost 3 weeks of snow in March… After torrential downpours at the end of May (just after we planted the wildflower seeds), we had a period of 2 months with high temperatures and no rain whatsoever. You will have all noticed how the course suffered and we tried our best to keep it playable by watering the greens every morning and every evening. Unfortunately, the tees and fairways suffered badly and there was very little we could do about it…
After a period of rain at the beginning of August, I wanted to see how the course recovered before deciding on any action required. Although the course has improved a bit with many areas getting green again, we can all see that some are still struggling: 2nd and 3rd fairway, some tees, many greens surrounds…
If these areas do not recover, there is a chance that they will become bare if we get another wet winter, with the course not being as enjoyable as it normally is.
One option is to wait and see how the course improves over the next couple of months. We have about 6 weeks left of the growing season, may be a tad longer if temperatures remain high enough. This period may well be sufficient for the course to recover, but there is certainly no guarantee it will. If it recovers, perfect… if it does not, we will need to take action, like re-turfing, in March 2019.
Another option is to try and take some immediate action: re-seed the areas in question, fertilise them and hope that there is plenty growth to see us through the winter. There is absolutely no guarantee that it will have enough of an impact, the growth period being so short. Also, it will cost a substantial amount of money, which is not in the club’s budget (budget which was already hit badly by all the costs we incurred through the winter, especially with the damaged trees).
Having discussed this issue at length with Eric and the need to act very quickly, we have decided to have a go at option 2 and hope that it helps Members enjoy their golf through the winter. If it does not work as well as we hope, I am sure we will be forgiven and the fact we tried our best will be appreciated. I have learned in the 6 months I have been in charge that although our Members have fairly high expectations, you are also very understanding of the circumstances we are facing. At the end of the day, it is also the purpose of this blog to inform, educate and share with our Members the situations we face and explain why we take such or such decision.
At some point next week (week commencing 3rd September), I will be carrying out works around the course, punching holes through the bare patches. I will follow this by spreading seeds and spraying fertiliser straight behind. I hope we will be getting some rain to help it grow as well. If we don’t, we will need to find a way to water these areas, with long hoses. Around the greens, we will look at dressing the dry areas with soil and seeds, which will be marked as GUR. All this to say that you are likely to see me and my Team in the middle of the fairway or around the greens. Please get our attention before you take your shot, to give us a chance to get out of the way (although the middle of the fairway may be safer!!!).
I thank you in advance for your understanding and co-operation. Please do not hesitate to email us if you have any questions regarding the course or general maintenance.