Rather different weather this week - the lowest temperature at the sheds first thing was -5C. The frosts have firmed the ground sufficiently to allow a trailer onto the course.   All the pruning has been completed and the cumulative cuttings and brash gathered in.  Willy is in his element supervising a series of bonfires.  The team were not able to edge out the bunkers - the ground is now too hard.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away? 

There has been some vandalism around the course caused by local youths, including some minor damage to a wall at the sheds.  Fortunately it's unlikely to have been wilful - we don’t want to be targets.  The yellow hazard posts on the 5th bridge were thrown around.

A bridge inspection revealed that one of the steel joists supporting the bridge on the 5th was quite seriously corroded.  The bridge has been dismantled and all 4 girders will be replaced next week.  They, and the sleepers, are very heavy!  This was an original farm bridge built to take 15 tonne tractors.  The other course bridges, which were built when the course was constructed, are in good order.  

There has been an encouraging response to our advert for a greenkeeper to replace Tony Wellings, including 3 from men with experience.  Gavin will invite the most promising in for an exploratory chat, and is looking to make an appointment for April 1.

Next week we will shape out the bunkers, including the returfed ones, and hopefully get the mowers out.  The greens have not been cut since well before Christmas:  there has been no growth (our fine grasses go dormant at higher temperatures than poa annua).  Hopefully we can also resume banding.

Gavin has identified an ideal mole plough at a reasonable cost (~£1000).  Its depth is adjustable so we can use it on fairways to enhance the banding, as well as in the cut rough.

Alan Wood

13 February 2021