Course Update 11th March.
It’s been quite a wet week, with around 2 inches of rain, including more than 1/2 inch on Sunday 10th, which was more than some of our neighbours could take. Although the course is handling the rain quite well it is soft - hence the buggy ban - and we are unable to move heavy kit around (like trailers of sand).
Gavin has completed his spring greens treatment - fertilised, micro-hollowtined, scarified, and dressed, in two applications totalling 35 te across the course. That’s around a month ahead of schedule: it’s good to get it done. Tees are part-way through their version of the same, including weed killer. Bunkers are being edged, but we are unable to top up the sand for now due to soft ground. Paths have been edged but we can’t get red track out to them for the same reason.
We had a flying visit from one of the architect’s assistants on Friday to mark out the new bunker shapes - it might be a bit too shaped for our taste, but it’s good enough to work with. We need the final shape to define the final work on the bunker bottoms. Speaking to the architect and some of the greenkeeper candidates we interviewed recently (more anon) it is clear that the debate between artificial and natural (old turf) linings is far from resolved.
The cornus around the practice ground, which was concealing balls, has been taken out and the bare areas soiled and seeded. The woodland at the far end is just bare earth, so there is no case to thin the trees out to allow mowing - balls are fully visible and we need the screening between the course and the practice area.
A competent member reports that there is a tree to the right of the 9th - not the ‘gateway’ tree, but in line with it - which appears to be leaning even more than before. There is evidence that the root mass is lifting at one side. We have roped the tree off and called in our tree surgeon for his advice.
The unseasonal warm weather late in February has tricked some of our pond birds into early thoughts of Spring; some are clearly house-hunting. We have therefore decided to defer the reed clearance until September to make sure we do not disrupt nesting birds - the law is quite clear on that obligation. It means we are stuck with some unsightly ponds this year but it’s the lesser of two evils.
I’m pleased to report that we interviewed 4 candidates for our greenkeeper position, all credible, and have appointed Callum Roberts, who is currently assistant HGK at Denton: he commutes there from Saltney. We all took a shine to him: he’s young, very pleasant, and plays off 3 (with a history of playing for Wales at various junior age levels). He will join us in 4 weeks time.