Finally, some dry weather. With heavy assistance from the strong winds brought by Isha and Jocelyn and some higher temperatures, the course has dried enough for trolleys to be restored - and we avoided any tree damage. We are far from home and dry - the underlying course is still so wet that as little as 1 mm rain can keep heavy machinery such as the bander in the sheds. The bander has been stop and start on 18 and 16 more than once this week. Nevertheless, Gavin has been able to get the fairways cut and the greens solid tined to get some air into the root zone. Winter is far from over but the days are ticking by.
Top of the to-do list is getting the rough cut. If the current dry spell lasts the weekend it should be possible to start that, using the Pro Flex mower. The cutting height has had to be set higher than usual - the heavy wet grass is just too much for a normal cut. It’s a vicious circle - the longer the grass the wetter it stays, and the wetter it is the more difficult it is to cut. It takes 3 full days to get round the course.
Elsewhere, all the trees and copses have been pruned, and the cuttings burned. We are half way through tidying up the dogwoods. Bunkers have also been worked over, but it will be into the spring before they are fully refreshed with more sand etc.
This week’s good news is our long-awaited fairways mower should be delivered next week, almost exactly a year late. Gavin is very keen to get another cut from the old machine before it gets traded in (after14 years in service) because the worm casts are bad and won’t do the cutter blades any good at all. The less good news is course machinery is still on at least 12 months’ delivery, so if we wait for the annual budget discussions (October) any machine we order could well not be with us until the end of 2025. Next up for replacement (in 2025) is the 10-year old semi-rough mower.
The Board generously allowed us to acquire an electric runabout truck for this year. Apart from the additional operational flexibility the extra vehicle provides, it will also allow us keep early morning noise down around the first tees. (It’s used to tow the Turf Iron from green to green). Gavin has been researching the market and thinks he’s found a choice of two second hand machines from a local dealer.
28 January 2024