Inevitably this week’s focus was the 3-day Four Counties boys (under-18’s) event. It was a bit of a challenge for the team to have the course ready for a two tee start at 08:15 on Day1, with greens to be mown and new holes cut. The lads had to start at 06:30 to get it done. It’s dark until after 07:00 and the machines do not have headlights: the first work was lit by head torches - not ideal!
It was a very successful competition and Eaton’s course came in for considerable praise. The boys got a dry but breezy couple of days, with the rain holding off just long enough. Cheshire narrowly lost 4-3 to Lancashire (who were comfortable overall winners), halved their second match and won their third. There are tales about the distances balls were being struck - including irons being played off the 15th tee.
We’ve had results from the soil analysis which we do on the greens every autumn. They show the amount of organic matter (dead grass and moss, mainly) in the upper layers. It’s an important measure: high levels lead to softness and other problems. Our figures have moved up, probably because of the limited amount of work we were able to do pre-season this year due to Covid limitations. Next spring we will (micro-) hollow tine and dress to get more inorganic material into the surface. It’s all routine, but shows it's important to remain vigilant.
As we head into winter it’s fingers crossed time. We are anxious to start a number of trials to explore ideas about improving the course playability. To do that we need soft but not soggy ground - another really wet season will scupper us, yet again. Some work has already been done - the main tee to fairway walkways are being cut short and dressed to help dry and firm up the surface.
31 October 2021