We have had about 0.5 inches of rain early on this week, but with a bit of luck it’s going to hold dry over the weekend.  The course is drying quite well:  we need it to since Gavin plans to tackle the remaining pond margins (3, 5, 6, 16).  They will look a bit rough but reedmace regrows all too quickly.  It will be good to see some of the water surfaces again.  There are large clumps of weed in the one-time pond on the 2nd which had been washed down with the heavy rains last week.  It will soon rot down and be swept on down the brook.

A couple of members expressed some concern about the new 14th tee, which seemed quite soggy.  Initially it was thought just to be wet heavy dressing but when Gavin took core samples he found that the underlying root zone was very heavily compacted and not draining.  The contractor who created and levelled the new tee obviously packed it down hard with his 15 tonne digger.  That’s good practice but it was more effective than expected.  The tee has now been deeply vertidrained down to the stone base layer and is now draining well.  Normally Gavin would not put machinery on the tee for at least a year to ward against creating an uneven surface but that hardly seems an issue.  The tee might need a bit of TLC in the spring (over-seeding) but basically all is well.

The other tees have also been vertidrained.  Elsewhere we’ve been mowing where ground conditions have permitted.  We will soon raise the fairway cut by a couple of millimetres to winter height and stop mowing in the first cut:  the mower used is very heavy and finds out the soft spots.  There is no first cut under Preferred Lies.  

Course Availability:  More than one early bird member was wrong-footed earlier this week by the course availability banner on the web site not being updated before they left home, only to find a trolley ban in place when they arrived at the course.  We do try to get the banner updated as soon as possible in the morning, although the target is by 07:30.  Currently the team start at 06:30; at the moment that’s before it is light (they will soon move to 07:00).  Assessing the course can only be done in daylight since the men need to be able to see if there is visible water at the roots of the grass to make a judgement.  There is little more we can do, I’m afraid - and it was the wettest day ever… 

Alan Wood

16 October 2020