The week opened with a very wet weekend, around 40 mm of rain Saturday-Monday, prompting a buggy ban which has now been lifted.   There have been rumours that buggies will not be allowed this winter.  There is no truth in it.  It’s 'Fake News’, as the great Trump would say - I don’t know where these tales start!

Weather and ground conditions are good, meaning that Gavin has been able to gravel band the cut rough area between the road and first fairway using the modified slitter he commissioned which cuts a slot twice the width of the fairway version.  Previous attempts to band the cut rough have not been successful - the narrow slits seal over quickly and the longer grass reduces evaporative drying.  We hope wider slots and closer banding, plus regular dressing, and mowing shorter (to winter fairway height of 18 mm) will make a significant difference..   There is currently a shortage of suitable grit, and predictably the price has jumped, but we will pay what it takes within reason to keep the work going whilst we can.  

The list of areas which could be appropriate for this approach is very extensive, should it be successful.  There is no doubt there will be improvement:  we just have to see how much.  Meanwhile, Gavin intends to tackle the start of the 15th, tees to fairways.  That’s a bigger job, beginning with more primary drainage to connect ensuing work, then deploying the mole plough which Gavin has had modified for our conditions.

Of course, this is all dependant on suitable ground conditions, but the next few days seem promising.

Elsewhere the course has been fully mown - growth continues to slow but has not stopped, despite there being traces of frost a couple of times this week.  The greens need solid tining to get more oxygen into them and aid the breakdown of the organic material that builds up in the top few inches.  Left untouched this creates ‘thatch’, a spongy and water-retaining layer that encourages disease.

Someone has been chain-sawing around the copse behind the 9th green.  They’ve done appreciable damage to several trees, for no obvious reason - the timber was just left.  It’s trespass and criminal damage:  the local police have been informed.

We have continued to be congratulated on the overall quality of the club’s hosting of the recent Four Counties golf, in all departments.  The County have asked if we will host a Youth match next August.  It’s all good for the club reputation.

Alan Wood

7 November 2021



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