Members Newsletter – July 2022
From the Head Greenkeeper
As I write this newsletter, we have just come off the 2-day PGA Open Series OOM event. For me, the team, and I am sure the club, it was a great pleasure to hold the event and show off the course in the best fashion we could.
For both days, the Greenkeeping department was in at 3.30 am for a 4 am start, so that we could ensure to give the course a full cut and preparation ready for the event. This included:
- Double Greens Cut
- Hole change and Green Clearance
- Full Bunker Rake
- Tees Cut
- Approaches and Collars Cut
- Fairways Cut
- Semi Rough Cut
- Tee Banks and Carry’s Cut
- Tee Divoting
It was a brilliant effort from the whole team, and I am very proud of what we produced for the visiting players.
This month, with the additional investment in staff from our owner, we have had two new staff join us for the summer season to assist us with carrying out a variety of jobs around the course. Both were thrown straight into strimming and hedge cutting works. As you may have noticed, areas such as the 4th tee ditches, 12th tee banks, 16th green banks and 17th fairway banks have all been trimmed down to help on the course. With their assistance through the season, we will ensure to keep these areas cut down and maintained at all times. They have also been vital to ensuring the bunkers are being fully raked daily and tee boxes are being dittoed twice a week.
It’s always about the small details on the course that can determine the overall presentation and with their help, we now have a team of 8 working on the course full time to assist with our goals of ever-improving the reputation of the course.
Earlier in the month, we had a contracted company (Complete Weed Control) onsite and spray a selective herbicide on all playing areas across the whole site.
Everything other than the Greens and Tees was sprayed. The speed and accuracy of application they carried out meant that everything was sprayed in just over 7 hours, with very minimal interactions between themselves and golfers. You will already start noticing that any weeds around the course are dying off, in particular, the white clover flower and perennial grasses have a chance to re-establish themselves in their place.
Unfortunately, we do need to address an issue that is becoming more evident at the moment, and this is the ever-increasing number of unrepaired pitch marks on the greens and no raking of the bunkers after play. Now before we jump to the same answers of blaming societies and guests for causing the issues, myself and the team have all witnessed both of these issues more and more recently and it’s not always external players!
We need to take more pride in the course and ask yourselves if you are putting and the ball hits an unrepaired pitch mark or lands in footprints in the bunker you would not be pleased.This is not about a blame game; this is about everyone stepping up and repairing those pitch marks and quickly raking the bunker if you find it not touched.
If everyone can chip in and do their bit, then we can put a stop to this and again keep improving the standards across the whole site.
If you are unaware, an unrepaired pitch mark on the green which is left for more the 2 hours, can take up to 2 months longer to repair than a correctly and swiftly repaired pitch mark. An incorrectly repaired pitch mark can take 4 weeks to effectively recover, but a correctly and promptly repaired pitch mark will begin to recover in 24 hours, so timing is essential. So what is the right and wrong way to repair pitch marks
Following on from this, it’s always effective to use the base of the putter to settle it down and re-establish soil contact for the recovery process.
Like I said, this is not a blame game, this is about taking pride and ownership of the course and making it as enjoyable and fair for everyone, and if you are part of a group and you notice pitch marks and bunkers not being repaired or addressed, then a gentle reminder and maybe education on how we should be looking after the course.