It seems an age ago when our Course Manager, David Jones, and Chair of Greens Phil Smeathers, presented the Course Development Plan to members in early 2020 following the members survey feedback. The first phase of the development work has been scheduled for this September onwards. Now we have started the work members can already see things taking shape.
Following a members’ survey, key areas of the course layout will be modified:
- 6th/15th fairway bunkers will be made shallower and in different positions
- Adjustments to the 1st/10th approach to the green and surrounding bunkers
- New bunkers on the 4th
Work has already commenced and is expected to be finished during October. Throughout this time there will be alterations to the teeing positions and occasionally temporary tee locations.
Time and weather permitting, the Greens Team also plan to change all bunker sand on the course, with the affected bunkers being GUR for a few weeks until conditions allow them to be brought back into general play.
Additionally, a storm shelter will be installed by the 4th tee to provide respite in tough conditions.
Understanding the fantastic environmental benefits of a diverse ecology, the Greens Team have enabled long wispy grass to grow in the rough, utilising an ‘Amazone’ machine to scarify the base layer and allow members to find and play their ball. The next step is to remove old tree stumps in the woods between the 9th and 18thfairways and area to the right of the 5th, allowing the same procedure.
Invasive Himalayan Balsam located in the rough areas of the course is being attacked by the team, with the aim to sow wildflowers and heather to areas which are not in the usual playing spots.
Essential Annual Maintenance
In addition to the aforementioned work we are now seeing the improvements in the course brought about by the work carried out during lockdown, new machinery and the modern efficient working methods of our course team. The recent ‘Ecology’ report carried out by BIGGA has helped formulate what we should focus on in line with the latest developments in golf course management.
To ensure continuous improvements of the course our Greens Team completed the scheduled twice-yearly maintenance programme (spring and late summer). This included dressing and seeding the greens. The greens will now be left at a slightly longer length to allow the seed to germinate and establish.
The putting green will be brought back into use as soon as possible, following damaged caused by badgers during lockdown. And the winter tee on the 8th will be reseeded shortly.
Finally, the Club asks that all members continue to repair their pitch marks on greens, remove broken tees from the teeing areas, use the paths where possible and rake bunkers after use. By taking these steps we can continue to support the tremendous efforts of the Greens Team and ensure that the course remains in the best condition for all players to enjoy.