Tees have been deeply verticut (scarified) and solid tined. Fairways have been mown. The cutters were set high, at 18 mm, primarily to knock back the worm casts, but it’s always good to see the stripes return after the winter. The height will be lowered next week when the fairways will be shaped out for the season.
Greens were hollow tined quite aggressively at the start of the week. 3” long cores were removed at 1.5” spacing, taking out over a trailer-load of material per green. This will be replaced with dressing, at over 2 tonnes per green. The rain on Friday delayed dressing - we can spread it onto the greens, but once they are damp it can’t be brushed into the core holes. The short-term forecast is pretty encouraging, so the job will get completed early next week.
With the dry weather this week Gavin has been able to lift course access restrictions and remove the ropes marshalling traffic. He’s cut the walkways down to semi-rough height, which will help keep them dry. The irrigation system has been commissioned for the season, including - successfully - testing the new sprinklers in the greens approaches.
We have our sixth course team member! James Bebbington-Jones started this week. He’s worked at Eaton before, starting rather long ago as an apprentice before moving on, so we know he knows his way round. Let’s hope Gavin finally has a stable team this season and can take advantage of the extra resource.
It’s not a surprise, but it was still a shock: the first load of diesel we’ve bought this year has cost rather more than double what we were paying last year. Most other materials are also ballooning in cost - there is an energy component in almost everything we use. We can’t do without, so for as long as the current oil crisis lasts (guesses, anyone?) the club is facing significant cost inflation.