Sorry to start on a sombre note, but on Wednesday there was a fatal accident  on the road which runs alongside the second hole.  There are skid marks on the road towards Tarvin just past the Crocky Trail gate.  It appears that a vehicle went out of control and destroyed the hedge boundary for about 50 yards before colliding head on with a tree which looks to be growing on the boundary.  Tragically the young driver was killed, although his passenger survived and is now in hospital.

We need to think about how we should replace the course boundary.

On the course it's been a busy week for the team since they are on holiday Friday and Monday plus their regular half day on Wednesday (they work an extra hour other days and finish at 10 am on Wednesday during the summer).  Work to sand up the bunkers has been disrupted by erratic deliveries of sand:  it will now be completed early next week.  We need a reasonable rain to compact the sand, so for now the bunkers remain as GUR.  Rain is forecast for Wednesday/Thursday next week. 

Winter Rules/Preferred Lies will stay in force until the end of the month - beyond that we need special permission to run Qualifying competitions under those conditions.  It’s not because of soft fairways but the overall poor turf conditions arising from the lack of regrowth on the divots.  The divotting we did nearly 3 weeks ago has not yet germinated due to the cold dry conditions since it was done.

On the course we used the irrigation system for the first time this morning because of the recent run of dry weather.  The new pump and ’soft start’ feature both ran very satisfactorily.  The greens have also been sprayed with liquid fertiliser and a bit of iron to discourage the moss - which is why they look much darker now.  We have also seen enough of the new rough mower to see what a good job it does - including striping up, but mainly the cut is so even.

The cold weather has slowed growth appreciably, but watch it resume now with watered, fertilised greens and 20 degrees C forecast over the weekend!  It’s the soil temperature at the grass roots that matters, which is why shallow-rooting meadow grass kicks off much sooner than the much hardier bents and fescues we seek to encourage.  Staff will be in each day over the holiday and greens will be alternately mown and rolled each day.

Alan