Since the start of September we have had 11 inches of rain, nearly 40% above average for this area.  It’s been very disruptive, not just of members’ play but also course maintenance work.  The problem is that once the ground is saturated, which it has been since mid-October, it will only dry if we get reasonable evaporation.  That requires low humidity and wind, which we just have not had.  It’s been fairly still and very humid (more correctly, just plain wet) for weeks.  The gravel banding will clear surface water quickly but it can’t help sodden turf.

However, Gavin has been able to soil up 4 of the 5 reworked bunkers:  he had to stop because the soil producer can’t supply in the current conditions.  We can’t get turf either because the nursery can’t get on the fields.  Nevertheless with some reasonable weather all 5 of the bunkers will be turfed up by the end of November.  The repositioned 14th tee turf is down and starting to knit through.  That keeps us on target for the beginning of April restart.

Taking advantage of a brief weather respite the team have got a cut on the fairways and rough - the latter has been lowered to 1.75” (normally 2”) to help evaporation.  And the fairways have been rotoknifed - steel discs cut down around 5” into the clay to speed up water reaching the course drainage.  A member protested about some machinery being run over the course whilst there was a trolley ban:  the answer is that the vehicle used has turf tyres, was sticking to the fairways (which can take it), and the need to get the work done trumped other concerns. 

For now work on the course is more or less at a standstill.  We have 2 of the team on (budgeted) training courses whilst Gavin is studying parts catalogues - winter machinery servicing is imminent.

Alan Wood

11 November 2019