There’s quite a lot happening.

Sadly, after finally being able to lift the trolley ban last Tuesday we then got over 10 mm of rain on Wednesday night which slapped it right back on again. There is just no ‘dry’ in the air.  We don’t want the mild, still, humid days, which seem to have been with us for months - we need a stiff drying breeze.  Regrettably, some members have chosen to ignore the ‘carry only’ message (in one instance despite being specifically requested to comply).  We will boost the relevant signage to make them harder to bypass.

However, we were able to mow greens, surrounds, tees and fairways during the week.  The new tee on 14 has been hand mown. The tees have also had a winter feed.  We can see from the cuttings taken off that the greens are still growing quite steadily.  Elsewhere on the course the annual pruning is almost complete.  We have also removed a number of trees - mainly the sick and deformed, but also in order to clear space to enable us to get a mower into some of the unnecessary ‘jungle’ areas e.g. between 15 and 16, or 18 and the practice ground. 

Gavin is well up to date with the annual machinery maintenance, thus clearing the decks for some concentrated work on the new bunkers and pond clearance, when the course is dry enough.  Although the new turf has rooted well the roots need to go down 4-5” before we can shape the bunker edges, and we are not there yet.  At least a month to go.

The continuing high humidity has frustrated the Woo Woo technology, which relies on evaporation to clear or at least desiccate whatever it contains.  The problem is that when input exceeds removal the liquid level rises and submerges the solid contents, which ferment.  Enough said - it needs pumping out.  Unfortunately the contractor can’t get his equipment to the Woo Woo while the course is so soft, so it has had to be closed until he can.  Apologies for the loss of convenience.

The course tree specialists have been in to do their regular tree inspection.  We have not yet had their report, but we did discuss the tree by the second that was involved in last year’s tragic fatality.  The outcome is that we, not the farmer, should take it down.  The work will not take long but there will need to be partial road closure involving traffic lights.  The cost should be recovered in our insurance claim for the remediation work.  We want to get this done, including fencing and underplanting, before the end of February.

The course irrigation specialist is currently evaluating all of the sprinklers in preparation for the installation of the new irrigation control computer, which has arrived.  He needs to know fairly precisely just how much water over what area each head delivers in order to regulate the flow times at the computer to deliver precise amounts of water - at the moment it’s all experience and finger in the air stuff.  That knowledge, together with the moisture meter we’ve just acquired, should enable much better moisture control of the greens. Moist greens = soft and slow greens, and encourages the wrong types of grass.

Alan Wood

10 January 2020