We are progressing well with our winter program with a great deal of work already been completed such as the path along the first fairway seawall, pathway from the bottom putting green, pathway from 16th to 17th Tees, new bunkers at the 9th Green and approach. Tree and gorse management has also taken place on 10th, 11th, 8th, 9th, 14th and 16th holes.
Current Winter Works: Presently we are working on the mens 13th tee re-leveling and installing new irrigation and then moving on to the ladies 9th tees next week. Markers for the ladies 9th tee will be located on the start of the 9th fairway. I hope to have these areas turfed by the end of the month weather permitting. Work will also start on all green side bunkers, adding new sand which has taken a great deal of time to source. Fairway aeration is also taking place along with tees, greens surrounds and approaches. Greens have also been deep aerated this week leaving some disturbance to the surfaces. Topdressing will take place over the coming weeks to help the surfaces to recover.
Believe it or not a good quality sand with good playing characteristics is very hard to find. Over 45 different sands from quarries in the Uk and France were looked at and analysed for suitability for our site. I’ve been asked many times why we can’t use local sand and unfortunately local quarried sand comes with many problems such as ph and grain size. The main issue being that it would eventually affect the rootzone as a capping layer would be created over time around the splash out area in front of the bunkers causing problems with the greens surfaces. I hope to see a great deal of improvement in the playability of our greenside bunkers this coming season.
Frosts: A couple of mornings this week we have seen the course closed to frosts. Unfortunately playing on frozen ground can cause irreparable damage to the playing surfaces. The root zone freezes in the top layer and then when walked on this breaks the root below the frozen layer causing the plant to die. Until the ground thaws the course will remain closed, we will always endeavour to open the course as soon as possible and I do sympathise with the frustration of not being able to play and I thank you for your patience.
Machinery: This week saw the arrival of the new fleet equipment and although we’ve not had chance to use it yet with such poor weather I’m very impressed with the build quality of the machinery. Staff training also took place on the the new equipment ensuring our team is safe to operate the machinery and able to get the very best out of the equipment.