As we come into Autumn it is time for my next course update. We have taken the decision to make these updates monthly from now on. It is felt this will keep you, the members more upto date with club matters over the coming months. Please look out for these updates via email, Facebook, Twitter and on club noticeboards. If you know anyone who doesn’t receive club emails, please let me know and we can update our records.
As I write this we are preparing for maintenance week which is scheduled for the Week of the 9th October and will encompass Verti draining, coring and pencil tining all greens as well as some tees and approaches. These areas will then be sprayed with a 2 part fungicide then top dressed and overseeded. Temporary greens will be employed in the early part of the week, so the Greensatff can work safely and efficiently during this time. This work is vital to the overall health and condition of the greens as I’m sure you are all aware. So look out for videos of this work in the coming weeks!
There has been discussion about moving this work earlier in the year and this will be trialled next year with a spring and late summer maintenance period. This will have to fit around club competitions and will be diarised to make it clearer for members to plan around.
As I am sure you have all seen we have had issues with the algae on the 3rd and 10th ponds. This is not a problem we have experienced previously and as can be seen has been very aggressive this summer. We have taken professional advice on how to prevent this in the future and the greenstaff have manually dredged this over the last two weeks and is now clear.
As we move on into the winter monthswe will look to protect the course as best we can whilst also improving some areas that need attention. Key areas that will be looked at will include the front of the 18th green, 13th/15th tee complex, bunkers on 3rd/4th and 7th holes as well as the 16th tee, dependant on the results of a recent Environment Agency flood defence survey. All these areas will be back in play for the Captains drive in and the work will enhance the playability of the course.
During this period we will look to protect the wetter high traffic areas by roping and hooping walkways whilst also utilising temporary greens and winter tees when needed to give the main areas time to rest and repair.
Talking of greens, as part of our ongoing aim to enhance the playability of the course we seek advice from many industry professionals and this year has been no different as we have sought advice from Robert Laycock, a leading golf course agronomist. He takes a holistic approach to the facility, but also takes samples from the greens to assess their health.
His overall view of the course and greens specifically is ‘the greens are generally aerobic and healthy’ but as mentioned he would suggest a late summer aeriation programme. This information gives us a sound foundation to build our plans for the future and Robert will visit us throughout the next 12 months to keep assessing the health of the course.
As we come to the end of the season, I thought it would be good to reflect on some of the top performances by Branston members throughout this year. This is not an exhaustive list, but well done to the following members!
- Branston Junior team reaching the Staffs junior finals
- Ollie Read and Emma Watson winning their respective club championships
- James Bailey and Ollie Read for their performances for the Staffs under 18s team
- Ollie Read becoming Staffs boys champion
- Tom Alford & Alexi Glass receiving England regional selection
- Kay Marshall & Jo Norton for winning the England golf trusts stableford competition
- Stuart Howard winning the Autumn Trophy
Look out for my next update at the beginning of November!
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