We have had 63 mm of rain between Monday 27 September and Wednesday October 6.  Other courses e.g. Oswestry, were closed due to flooding.  At the peak of the deluge earlier this week machine work on the course had to stop, but the surface water cleared very quickly - as it does before the course gets saturated.  There was a visiting party who played through it all.  The torrential rain swept a lot of debris down the cleared stream.  It was also apparent that the gravel banding was able to discharge surface water into the brook much more effectively.

Gavin has completed vertidraining the greens surrounds and fringes.  He could tell how hard the ground is by how the steel pins struggled to penetrate once he was off the greens with their sand/compost root zones.  The vertidrained greens did not hold any water at all.

Greens are now being cut at 4 mm.  Growth has slowed appreciably and they can be cut less frequently.  Likewise the fairways, where the cut height has been increased from 14 to 15 mm.  Worm casts are a major problem - they smear over the grass and stick to the cutter rollers, lifting the cylinders.  On fairways there is little we can do, but greens can be cleared at the same time as the dew is swept off.

We had a brief trial of the proposed all-electric greens roller - the Turf Iron - and were very pleased with it.  The order has now gone in, but it’s anyone’s guess when we will get it:  demand is high and the factory is making what it can with whatever components it can source.  We’ve gone with the lithium battery model; it’s more expensive than lead-acid but the batteries have a much better life and charging cycle.  As with the mower, the overall  cost of ownership is expected to be lower.

Gavin is taking a well-earned break, leaving Callum in charge.  He is going to verticut and dress the tees, and will also spread more grit on the walkways to continue building them up.   We expect/hope that once the Four Counties Boy’s event is over toward the end of this month the ground will be allow us to start new drainage work.  And sorting out the 4th bunker is unlikely to be a small job.

Alan Wood

9 October 2021



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