It’s been quite a wet week, with over an inch of rain Monday - Thursday and more since - enough to bring in carry-only. Other local courses are the same or worse but bear in mind different courses dance to different tunes...
Nevertheless we are very pleased with how the drainage experiments are performing. Both the wide-banded sections e.g. the walkway to the first fairway, and the mole-ploughed sections e.g. at the start of the eighteenth, are showing significant improvement over adjacent untreated areas. But, it is early days: the wide-banding is the best it can be, with the new bands fully open. Gavin will try and even out the footfall over them by roping areas off to limit how the slits might smear over. The mole ploughed sections could well improve next summer: as the clay dries it will shrink and open up the slits, making it easier for water to get down to the underlying channels. It’s all about getting water off the surface.
It’s much too soon to judge, but it’s still hard not to be encouraged. Inevitably, as the main problem areas are tackled, the list of areas not yet done extends. It’s likely this is a rolling, and recurring, programme. There is also fairway banding to do, when ground conditions permit.
The weather has limited the work on the course during the week, although daily switching the greens is essential. It’s just as important to clear the worm casts as it is to disperse the dew. The latter encourages fungal disease, whilst the casts accumulate and make putting a lottery. The lads have been gathering up and burning off the debris from the storm damage on the trees and Gavin has made a start on the annual machinery maintenance, in which he changes all the oils, filters, gaskets, and hydraulic fluids, and more besides. He also used to sharpen all the mower blades as well but has found someone who can do that very efficiently - the time released makes it money well-spent.
Current weather forecasts suggest that once this Monday is over we might expect another dry period running up to Christmas. If only…!
11 December 2021