Course Update – Website Q2 – June
I can’t believe it’s time for my second course update of the year, the season is really flying by. We are now into the main playing season with competitions coming thick and fast, so I hopeyou are all enjoying your golf and handicaps are dropping. We have just had the hottest June period since 1975 and just to give you an idea we are using 30,000 litres of water a day to maintain both courses playability.
Things have moved on on the course since my last update and I will cover the main areas of interest in a moment. We have had some fantastic feedback from visitors and members alike in recent weeks and I do feel that the general condition of the main areas of play, namely, tees, fairways, bunkers and greens have come on well since the spring and are now in good condition for the time of year.
In addition to this we now have the new short game area up and running, which I hope you agree is a great addition to the club. The green is still very immature, so we need to protect it as much as possible in the coming months. We will do this by keeping the cut height longer than for an established green, around 10mm and being more aggressive during maintenance periods to help bring it up to speed.
The Fusarium that we suffered with earlier in the year on some greens has cleared up well with only some small areas remaining, and with temperatures rising and a further top dressing of the greens scheduled for the upcoming weeks this should completely remove those remaining scars. For those of you who haven’t seen it I have included a clip of the green staff ironing the 18th green. This is just one of the ways in which we can improve the playability of the surface, and look out for more videos like this in the coming weeks and months.
There have been some challenging areas on the course so far this year. The main areas of concern are the front portion of the 18th green and the wet areas around some greens on the front nine. The front section of 18 has subsided more than we would have hoped, making the tier sharper than it should be. This area will be tined and seeded several times over the coming months and it is expected that this will soften the tier and bring the playing surface up to the standard of the rest of the green.
The wet areas mentioned are caused by water collection after the
irrigation system has been used, which is twice daily at this time of year. The prevailing wind is also a factor in this and we have scheduled a visit from the irrigation suppliers to see if any solutions can be found. In the short term these patches will be clearly marked as GUR and if members could be asked to try and avoid these areas as much as possible, especially with trollies and buggies.
If the irrigation company have no clear solution we will look to install drains where required. This would make up part of our planned winter work schedule for 2017/2018.
Winter Work Schedule
This schedule will make up the majority of work done during the winter period and will include work to the 1st and 16th tees, mainly flattening and improving the surface. We will also look to reroute some pathways and replace old and worn ball washers and bins. We will also look to improve some wear & tear to heavy usage walkways, so again your help with this would be appreciated. I will include more information of the schedules details in my next up date.
The Eagle course is also looking good for the time of year. It does pose different challenges to the Championship course, namely it dries out a lot quicker and because of this there are some scorched areas on some of the greens. We have applied wetting agents to these areas to protect them and we have been hand watering during this dry period. As I mentioned in my previous update, the Eagle course is managed in exactly the same way as the Championship course, so will be top dressed when the schedule allows. It is important to remember, as I mentioned earlier we are using 30,000 litres of water a night to maintain all the clubs greens.
With the arrival of our replacement JCB and the drier weather settling in the work to remove the spoil on the 3rd/5th holes has now started. It is our aim to complete this in the coming weeks, a small grassed bund will be created in this area on the advice of the Environment Agency to aid our flood defences. We have also filled in the practice bunker on the putting green and this area will be turfed in due course.
As I stated in my last update it is our aim to present the course to the highest standards on a consistent basis, and I really feel we are getting the course in to a position that reflects this. Improving the condition of the course is an ongoing process and I hope that you can see we are aspiring to improve every aspect of the facility for the good of the members.
As always if this update has raised any questions for you please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself or the golf team and we look forward to seeing you all over what we hope will be a busy and exciting summer of golf here at Branston.
Tom Storrar - Golf Manager