After a very wet Friday night (Oct. 18) the course was closed on both days last weekend.  We do try hard not to get to that point but when the ground is really wet significant traffic does cause damage.  Monday was carry-only but the rest of the week - until Friday - was normal winter play.  Many thanks to the members who observed the request to carry if they can - please keep it up!  

The rain returned big style on Friday:  we had almost 2 inches from noon until mid-afternoon Saturday which overwhelmed the course - see attached photo of the 18th green taken on Sunday morning.  It also features Dexter, who is naturally mud-brown, by the way.  Unsurprisingly the course again had to be closed.  We have long since abandoned making course availability comparisons with other local clubs - it seems some are under pressure to offer some sort of play whatever the unpleasantness.  

Nevertheless, during the dry spell Gavin was able to vertidrain the tees and greens.  Spikes are pushed into the ground to the bottom of the root zone (6” to 9”) and angled slightly to lift and loosen the ground, thus breaking up the compaction which is holding water on the surface.  Compaction is an inevitable consequence of the more frequent use of the Turf Iron greens roller.  As so often with agronomy, anything you do for the better has a corresponding negative - it’s all a question of balance and judgement.

We have also mowed throughout the course, not without some challenge:  the new fairways mower has quite smooth tyres which sometimes struggle for grip, causing the skid marks on some of the fairways.  But, the job is done.  Keeping the grass short helps to dry the ground, when the humidity is right - but not during the heavy dews we have been experiencing.  The cut rough has been lowered to 1.5” (normally 2-2.5”), for the same reason.

Selected areas in front of some of the more vulnerable tees have been roped off to channel traffic.  It is very obvious from the wear that if there is a defined path players tend to stick narrowly to it.  Please spread out a bit and avoid (creating) the muddy bits!

Alan Wood
25 Oct. 2019


 Dexter & puddle