Winter program / Spring maintenance
After a truly wet but mild winter we are starting to dry out at last. Record rainfall over the past couple of months lead to water standing on areas of the course resulting in the course closure on many occasions. Mild weather also brought its own challenges with almost the same amount of growth as in the summer. The team was kept busy keeping the surfaces cut while working on the winter program. The rough around the course has already thickened up from the mild wet weather which will cause problems in the coming months as temperatures begin to rise. To preempt this we will be giving the rough an extract cut this spring which should help thin the rough and stop it becoming overly penal at the start of the season.
Winter program: The dry weather in October gave us a good start to the program with most of the bigger projects shaped up by the end of November.Then by the end of November the weather had turned wet and windy. A great deal of pumping from the new sump on the 10th fairway has kept the fairway in play all winter, this was installed with the irrigation update and runs from a sump on the 10th to the distarchage pipe at the 18th tee which goes out to sea. One of the biggest items on the winter program was the 9th tee and fairway mound movement. The realignment of the tee will make the hole safer as groups in front and the public can now be seen in the landing area from the tee. The line of the tee now lines the player towards the left hand side of the hole away from the pathway on the right of the hole which is heavily used by the public. As I’ve been asked many times over the last couple of months, standing on the tee you do get the feeling that the hole has been lengthened. I can assure you that this is not the case though in terms of the yellow tee. A reference point was taken when construction was taking place, the electrical box to the left of the tee which marked the front of the old tee was used. In terms of the stone for the white tee area, an extra 4 yards was gained for low handicap events but general the white tee will remain set up at the same distance as the old tee for most club fixtures. The fairway area is also now in play and creates a larger landing area. Mounding to the right of the hole can be seen off the tee to help define the hole and shows the outer limits of play.
Bunker renovation: 17th 12th 11th and 3rd completing the construction of 8 bunkers this winter. The 3rd sees an addition to the right of the hole in the form of an approach bunker. Rationale is to make a long shot into the green more difficult adding strategy as part of phase 1 works . Phase 2 during this coming winter will see the 3rd tee move back creating a longer drive. Work also carries on further down the right of the hole in the landing area, strengthening and reshaping the flat dune area back into a more natural undulating dune, penalising shots out to the right. The landing area on the fairway will also be enlarged at the start of the fairway to help higher handicap players. On the 13th hole consolidation of the greenside bunkers sees the removal of 2 bunkers.
Tee levelling: Taken place on the 10th and ladies 13th with the 10th tee also receiving a slight realignment, all tees are now back in play.
Spring maintenance is in full swing with the completion of the fairways, S/rough, Tees and approach aeration. We are now tidying bunkers and pathways, all bunker faces and paths have been sprayed for weeds.
Bunker sand has been shaped up and moved back into position for the start of the season and work has started on the fairway bunkers adding fresh sand. Some of the greenside bunkers will also be topped up.
Course furniture has also received some refurbishment over the winter with all the benches being sanded down and painted.
Fort Henry : A workshop supporting roof beam needed replacing. In order for work to start we needed to clear the workshop of all equipment so we took the opportunity to paint the floor and have a good tidy up. Spring is always a busy time for the workshop as all the equipment will be serviced, sharpened and set up in readiness for the start of the season.