Finally, some reason for optimism. It’s been a dry week, and despite the lack of a decent breeze the course is drying quite well, especially the fairways - the rough still has some pretty soggy patches. With more dry (and frosty) weather forecast for next week we can hope to remove all play restrictions ’shortly’.
We’ve been able to cut the greens - 5 ‘boxes’ taken off, which is a lot for a single cut, equivalent to 2-3 days summer growth. All the fairways have been cut, although Gavin had to use the ‘first cut’ mower set at 25 mm because the grass was rather long - normal summer cut height is 14 mm. We hope to tackle the cut rough early next week, albeit at 2.25” rather than the summer level of 1.75” - the grass is long and challenging for the mowers (and, reportedly, for the golfers). An attempt to resume gravel banding on 18 was halted - the surface is still just too soft.
The 8th Red tee has been stripped, levelled and re-turfed. It will be out of action until the turf is well-rooted - probably April. A temporary tee will be in use.
Gavin is well on with the annual machinery servicing, changing transmission and hydraulic oils, gaskets and bearings. Thus far no significant failures have emerged. Cutter heads have gone off to be sharpened by a contractor - although we can do it in-house it’s more time and cost efficient to outsource them. Work to refurbish the tee marker posts is almost complete: they can’t be rendered good as new because of water staining, but at least they are smart - and waterproof.
Our long-term irrigation specialist, Andrew, has only made a partial recovery from a health issue and is no longer able to carry out on-course work. He will continue to act as a consultant, but in the meantime, Gavin has taught himself what he needed to know to install the new sprinkler heads on the 12th, and will set about doing the same on 15, hopefully before the Spring.
14 January 2024