Gavin has had a good week, as members may have noticed. 

We’ve been very fortunate with the weather.  There has been about 6 mm of rain this week, mostly last Monday evening.   Although heavy morning dews are keeping the surface damp, 10 cm down the clay is dry and very hard - unworkable without the digger and trencher, both of which have been in action.

We couldn’t get suitable grit at the beginning of the week so Gavin tackled the cause of the flooding in the 4th bunker.  As he expected it was caused by a failed drain from the farm by the 3rd - plus a bit of corner-cutting by the original drainage contractors.   All the storm water was channelling into an old clay drain which runs directly under the bunker, rather than into the original course drainage, and which had become blocked.  All the pipes have now been correctly linked.  Plumbing is another of Gavin’s skills, plus an intimate knowledge of where the course drains are - he laid a lot of them.

Suitable grit came on Wednesday so Gavin was able to put in a section of trench drain between the 14th green and 15th tees.  He plans to gravel band that area into it, using the wide bander.  He’s now started on the area between the 2nd green, 3rd tees, and fairway.

The next target is the start of the 15th, between the tees and the fairway, which will be mole ploughed to detect the original course drainage which lies about 45 cm below the surface.  These will be opened up and stoned to the surface to try and dry out this area, one of the wettest parts of the course nowadays.

Other routine work also continued.  Greens were all solid-tined, to 10-12 cm.  The irrigation system has been drained down for the winter.  We will take the opportunity to improve the irrigation on a number of greens approaches.  With proper watering we can improve the sward on these to encourage balls not to stick at the top of the slopes (think left edge of 6, or the approach to 15, for example).

The forecast is looking good for at least another week, possibly longer - we’ve been due a dry autumn, to be fair.  We need to get as much done as possible whilst we can - then wait to see what sort of effect the work is having.

Alan Wood

14 November 2021  



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