Course open, no restrictions

Unsurprisingly, given the continuing heatwave, the speed is up today, to 9’ 10”.  There is little growth, but greens were cut and rolled today ahead of the weekend.  Fairways have not been cut all week, by the way, due lack of growth, but will need rotary cutting soon to deal with rye grass stalks.

The ongoing lack of rain has meant we have watered every night.  Typically, sprinklers are turned on at 10:30 pm for 6 minutes (!) per green.  The computer irrigation controller moves the watering on from green to green, then does the same with the tees, which get 8 minutes each.  The whole process, with a stop in the middle to let the water tank refill, takes until around 5 in the morning.  We have now upped that to 10 minutes per green plus some extra first thing in the morning, plus hand watering to deal with ‘dry patch’, which prevents water permeating the surface.

It will be apparent that we have had problems with several sprinklers - some of the pop-ups have failed, especially around the 5th green, and others (e.g. 16th Black tee) have become misaligned over time.  It has taken some very early starts (before 5 a.m.) to identify this and remedy it.  the problem was compounded by a complete loss of the system over the weekend which was traced to mice nesting in one of the control boxes and chewing through the wiring.  They have been evicted.

It is also clear that the irrigation pump is no longer up to the duty:  the pressure drop across the system is too great.  We will plan a replacement to be fitted during the winter:  the cost is likely to be £2-£3,000.

The greens are now so firm that cutting new holes is very difficult.  This coming week, with two Club Championships, we need to move them 4 times.  Not only is that physically challenging but with the greens running close on 10’ there are very limited options for pin positions.

To think that 3 months ago we were praying for the rain to stop.  As they say, be careful what you wish for…..