No rain this week; there were ground frosts most mornings followed by unseasonable warmth during the days.
Despite the frosts fusarium is very visible. We can’t spray on frosted ground, but will do so this week. Unfortunately our preferred fungicide was banned last year and the next on the list will also become forbidden by the end of the year. There are others but probably not as good. Our chemical weapons are being progressively withdrawn: we are already defenceless against worms (and their casts) and leatherjackets.
This week we have finished edging the paths, which will be refreshed with redtrack when we can run the heavy trailer across the course. We have also removed the dogwood which edged the top end of the practice ground to open up the area and reduce the surprisingly large number of practice balls that go missing every year (3,000!).
We have also cut the greens and the fairways - there is growth.
Next week we hope to line in the shape of the new bunkers, which will be shared with the architect for his approval before we actually cut the turf and complete them internally.
Matt the apprentice greenkeeper left us during the week. The post has been upgraded to deputy head greenkeeper. We have had a good number of applicants for his replacement, and although some of them seem not to have read the advert properly some look quite promising. We will shortlist next week and hope to have a replacement by the end of March.
Two housekeeping items this week, if I may:
The course is looking more untidy than I can remember, being littered with divots. Some of this is due to birds turning them over, plus we haven’t been mowing the fairways, which chews up the loose turf, and the course is busier than before; but can I ask that players make a point of replacing their divots, please? It’s some weeks away from being warm enough for divot parties. The same applies to pitch marks on the greens, which are still quite soft.
The second item is related to that. There is clear evidence of player(s) practising on the course. We find areas 100 - 150 yards from the greens where there are 3, 4, even 6 closely spaced identical divots, indicative of a competent golfer playing repeatedly to the greens. Worse, the divots have not been replaced. This used to be a breach of Club bye-laws which stipulated that only one ball may be played on to a green. We plan to restore the Bye-Law in an upcoming re-write, but meanwhile, please will members respect the course!