Well it has been an interesting month from a weather and golfing perspective. Last month I hoped for some rain and warm weather to promote growth and help define the course. Well we have certainly had the former. The hoped for growth arrived but the wet weather has given rise to two issues notably the density of the rough (now relenting after the first flush) and secondly the inability at times to get on the course and mow without causing undue damage.
We now have the definition that we desire on the course and with the second cut of rough and the widening of entrances in to some of the greens I believe that we have a course that provides a fair and exacting test of golfers varying abilities.
The early reaction to the Fusarium that was noted in my last report would appear to have eradicated this problem and the greens are running true and at a reasonable pace. Ideally we would all like a little more speed in the greens but the unseasonal weather is limiting the opportunities to iron the greens which would add pace and also even them out.
A big thank you to everyone that is repairing their own and others pitch marks as it was very noticeable on Captains day how few unrepaired marks there were. With the greens retaining so much water it remains imperative that we keep on top of this issue.
The wet weather has determined that some areas remain roped off to protect the course but hopefully everybody is enjoying the benefits of playing off grass rather than the hard pan green surrounds we have had historically. I think the benefits of the winter ‘roping off’ policy have been most notable on areas such as the 8th,9th,12th,13th, 17th, and 18th. I know that ropes remain unpopular but the quality of grass coverage that we have achieved this year I believe justifies this policy and has massively benefited the courses recovery.
The two most significant remaining areas of wear remain left of 14 and left of 18. 18 will be resolved as part of next ‘winters programme’ when a path will be created whilst the aim is to address very shortly the area to the left of 14.
The course committee had an early morning walk around the course with Richard which was most enlightening as to some of the challenges that our land creates and the thought processes that go into some of the maintenance activities. For anybody that believes that managing a golf course is just like looking after your garden I suggest half an hour with Richard. It will soon become 5 hours!!!
Whilst all course activities were completed last month we still need to address the fencing surrounding the first tee.
For the ensuing month the majority of work entails presenting the course in the best possible order which involves predominantly mowing, mowing and yet more mowing. It is hard to comprehend the number of man hours required to manicure the course, in the growing season, to its current standards.
Finally, an update on the par 3 course where the greens are taking slightly longer than hoped to settle but we would hope to have this formally opened an in play by 16 July.
I get to play through the scratch league and other competitions many of the courses in the surrounding area and whilst you can always find courses which have aspects that are superior to your own I haven’t come across any that I would prefer to play on a regular basis . I think we have a product that we can all be proud of.
I hope that members are currently enjoying the course and no doubt you will let me know if you are not!!
R J Lamond
20 June 2012.