Members Newsletter – January 2022
From the Course Manager
Happy New year to you all. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and have seen in the New Year well and are keeping safe.
Unfortunately, on the course we have not had the easiest, or best start to the year. Until recently we have had a very good spell of weather conditions, which has resulted in an extended playability on the course. In fact, looking back on my collected historical data, December 2021 was our driest by quite a significant margin since 2016. Our end of year total finished at 928.2mm, which again was our driest since 2018.
Our total for December was 78mm, of which 45.5 of that fell from Christmas Eve through to the New Year. Then added to that is another 16mm this year counting (Dated January 7th).
This has ultimately led to more course reductions and closures. This is, however, the best course of action for all concerned with regard to playability and safety in mind. Through December we experienced colder and drier conditions. This meant we were able to keep the course fully open more than in recent years and meant we were able to maintain some cutting regimes across all surfaces to keep the definition on the course which is great for everyone.
I would also like to say a big thank you to you all for adhering to the trolley restrictions, post and ropes and white lining/signage across the whole course. All these factors together really help with preserving our course to the best conditions though this tough time of the year, and it means a great deal that I can see trolleys not being taken beyond the white lines in front of all the greens and people sensibly parking trolleys on pathways and walking where they can.
I totally understand that for some carrying a bag is not always feasible but for when you can it does make a huge difference to the traffic damage not being caused by the trolleys. Again, all these things help to keep the course in the best condition through the winter and make it ready for members and guests to enjoy in the spring, which before we know it will soon be upon us.
Through December I was FINALLY able to finish the new first winter mat relocation and construction. In its new location you have a much better elevated standing position to be able to play onto the fairway and start your round of golf.
The rest of the team were working hard on installing our new maintenance track behind the back of 6th up to the 5th. They also reinstated and relayed the whole of the 5th pathways with our new material.
They also used this material behind the 2nd green, 11th tee walkway, 13th green to 14th tee walk off and half of the 15th tees walk off pathway.
Going forward, all old and new pathways will be resurfaced with tarmac road planings, followed behind with a vibrating roller whacking to compact them down to create a solid, cost-effective pathway. It was a good trial area we used on the 5th as this historically always washed out any material we put down, but we have found with the road planings it binds together well and rainwater runs across the top and not through the material, which would cause the wash out.
What will be even better about this material is that when we start the large task of implementing buggy pathways around the course, this will be carried out in the summer months when temperatures are greater, which in turn works better as the bitumen residing within the road planings becomes softer causing the consolidation of the material to bind together even better, resulting in a more compacted and solid pathway.
Over the coming weeks we will be working on resurfacing as many of the pathways as possible and you will see a noticeable improvement in that area.
The first tee raised border has been completely cleared and all shrubbery and bushes removed. Originally, we were going to weed wrap and use slate chipping on these areas, but it has now been decided to turf out the whole area along with 18th, putting green and the triangle. This will all be covered in turf over in the next few weeks.
We also added two drainage crates to the 1st tee pathways to help remove the excessive rainwater that sits there following rain showers. We will potentially be adding a third as it has worked so well, but we will be re surfacing that pathway and possibility able to direct more water into these new crates creating a slight fall with the material.
Other members of the team have stated the task of lower tree limb removal along the edge of 13th. They have been raising the canopy of the trees, so there is clear visibility along the edge looking back up towards the 13th green. After that they will work on the larger trees to the right-hand side of the 13th green as they have become overgrown and a nuisance while cutting. Also, we have found that because of their size, the green sits in darkness due to the lack of light getting through.
They will then start the task of clearing the overgrown trees that sit along the edge of the 14th and 15th lakes. Again, these have had little to no management over the years and will need some time and effort to clear but ultimately create and nice tidy environment around the three adjacent holes.
On a final note, the Murphy’s site situated on 15th is now nearing completion. They are aiming to remove the tunnel boring machine from the ground within the 2nd week of January and have full completion and reinstatement of the land by April/May.