Course open preferred lies no buggies (updated 21 February at 07:02)

The weather dominated this week, including 20 mm of rain since Monday.  The course was closed Wednesday and Thursday - as were other local courses - because the covering of sleet/snow which fell later on Tuesday was followed by a freeze for much of Wednesday causing the course to be covered with ice, making it unplayably dangerous.  It had recovered quite well this morning (Friday).

The cornus/dogwood has been pruned and the brash round the clubhouse pond cleared away to prepare for a more severe clear-out.  That will have to wait until the ground can take the heavy traffic needed for this and other ponds.

Sadly, our junior greenkeeper Matt Robinson has resigned.  Matt joined us from Delamere 2 years ago and has raced through his college training, earning his NVQ level 3 late last year.  As a scratch golfer he brought a keen insight into his course work.  He has now decided to go freelance and use his skills in garden maintenance,  but  I’m pleased to say that he will remain at Eaton as a playing member.  

Recruitment for his successor will begin next week; we can cope being short-handed whilst winter continues.

Alarmingly we had another intrusion this week, when a small car with two men inside came through the normal security gate late one morning and went over to the sheds.  When greens staff came forward to challenge them the car sped off at truly alarming speed and exited the course via the contractor entry/exit.  Despite this being two metal 5-barred  gates padlocked at the middle the intruders were able to lift it off the pivots. 

We had a similar intrusion last year.   When we reported this incident to the local police we learned that Wrexham GC had been ‘done’ recently.  We think people are looking for carry-away items such as Flymos or strimmers rather than mainline course equipment.  Everything is under lock and key overnight, but the sheds are open during the day and are not always ‘manned’ - normally staff are out on the course.

As a result we are beefing up our surveillance and security around the clubhouse and sheds, including the back gate.  There is a limit to what can be done, especially given the need to safeguard club staff, but we can increase deterrence.

Alan Wood