Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Well last week ended with chipping ice from greens just to get them open.
As the new week begins we had a large order of turf.  And as the week ends the 11th is finished, turfed and just needs a bit of TLC.


The things we do
 The course is starting to cut up with the warm damp weather so rope has now been used in all the normal places around the course.  The greens are looking good and will receive a cut at the end of this week, ready for the Christmas period ahead.
Soil topping ready for turf
 The 11th green surround has been turfed with over 950 laid in under 2 days.  This area now needs a heavy sand and the pathway reinstated after all our machinery running over it.  
During

Finished

Roped off to protect turf

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The week obviously hasn't panned out quite as expected.  Heavy snow, course closed, turf order cancelled and a great big dollop of rain to boot.  We are planning to reorder turf for early next week in order to finish the 11th complex.
Someone has had fun.
 Ever cloud they say has a silver lining as the upstairs mezzanine has gone from this.

Before

To this.

After

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Bracing our self for some rough weather, maybe with snow, the course has carried well through December.  Tees have now moved onto mats and our focus will now be on limited work on greens to ensure they stay in good condition.  All greens were fed during the week which will carry them through well into the new year.

   Major project on 11th is nearing completion with just the left bunker to build.  Turf arrives on Wednesday.  

Right all finished

Front almost there
 The ramp in our maintenance facility has been moved. This will be in use during January for servicing of machinery and it took up to much space before.  With a fair wind and a good deal of grunting we twisted it's location freeing up valuable space in the shed.

Moving ramp
 The picture below shows what modern technology and money has achieved.  Augusta circa 1952 looking worse than golf courses today.  Gives hope to us all.

Augusta

Friday, 1 December 2017

11th bunkers on the lower are now completely different.  Gone is the steep dangerous overhangs, now mounding around the green to collect an errant hit golf shot.  Back right bunker is now complete as you can see below. 
Start

Basic shape

Preparing the base

Finished product.
The front right bunker is now also finished.

From a dirty hole

To a new bunker
The front bunker is next early next week, although the lower is now back open.  Whilst the course was shut, four greens were tined to remove compaction (3,4,6,14).  All four are problem summer greens drying out at the first sign of drought. 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Re development of the 11th green complex on the lower has now begun.  All 4 bunkers are being destroyed and re-built with new faces, shape changes and re-positioning.  The front bunker is being rolled down to create a softer more forgiving shot out.  Both bunkers on the right however are being transformed into pot bunkers, at the base of steep banking running down from the green.  The path on the left is being removed with drainage channels installed to keep apron free from mud and water.  The left bunker is being moved closer to the green to create a difficult 'splash out' if the ball is pulled to the left and finally the approach to the green will now be cut short to allow balls to run back from the green towards the bunkers.
Front bunker

Back right no more

Right bunker gone ready to be rebuilt

The object of these changes is not to make the hole more difficult but to make it more memorable.  This will address what was a weak par 3 coming before an excellent 12th hole and will make this corner of holes much more exciting.
As the week moves forward the bunkers will take shape and by the weekend rough finishes should be evident on all 4 bunkers.





Friday, 24 November 2017


Major improvements on 1 hole are planned in the coming week.


???????



Please come back early next week for words and pictures.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Moving quickly on, the 10th T lower has now been destroyed and rebuilt.
We have removed almost 30 tons from the area to create a simple flat tee around 30% larger than before.  This Tee is now ready for a final level with turf to be ordered in the week depending on finding a weather window.
Shaping subsoil

New mat position
Slitting of fairways again is currently ongoing with the lower finished last week.  This week aeration will begin on poor areas around tees and greens, although ground conditions are still dry.  Greens are clean of disease, healthy and have good general fertility, so I would expect this to continue right through early December.

Standing still is not in our agenda so 2 poor tees have been addressed this week.  Both the 12 and 16th on the Upper are in a poor state.  Weak, lacking grass cover and very firm we have taken steps to improve these. Tined 2 ways with large hollow tines, matted, seeded, matted, fed and finally rolled.  It is obviously moving into winter now, so a sudden improvement will not happen but as we move into spring and tees come of mats I expect a massive jump in quality in both these tees.

poor tee

better



Ready for seed

This is the finish we hope for at the end of the week and make all the hard work worth it.






Saturday, 4 November 2017

Lots going on whilst the weather is good, greens on the Upper have been solid-tined down to 8 inches with the Lower scheduled for Monday afternoon and Tuesday next week.
Lots and lots of holes

The 7th bunker Upper at the front of the green has now been removed.

Before

After


Small areas on the course have been re turfed in this instance the back of 18 on the Upper.  There are lots of areas around the course that require patching.  Most are on collars and near greens, we are planning to address them in order of importance although this won't be completed this winter.

Looking better for next season


A golf course consists of my areas, one you don't often see is the greenkeeping facilities.  Looking tired and in need of love, ours is getting a much needed face lift.  Wooden sheeting going up in order to hang tools in a more organised fashion.  The workshop is being gutted this winter with new shelving, racking and key pieces of equipment.  

During

After



Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The new tee on the 7th Upper is now all finished.  Around twice the size of the original Tee with all the undergrowth cleared to push the rabbits further into the woods.
Nearly prepared

Oh! a new Tee
All finished
 Next week we are moving to turfing small areas on the courses.  The back of 18th Upper is first with the 17th Upper collar next on the list.  We will then move onto small patches around the course.

18th Upper
 Next Monday afternoon and all of Tuesday the Upper course will be closed.  Greens are being deep tined down to 8 inches.  Whilst this is going on, the middle bunker on the 7th hole is being removed.
This will make the hole look better and will bring the apron into play allowing the ball to roll back from the green, creating an exiting shot. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


The 7th Tee renewal has begun on the Upper.  Lots of scrub, small trees and 2 larger trees removed to enable new tee construction to take place.  Leveling has begun and should be finished by the end of the week ready for turf early next week.  The Tee will have complete new irrigation including new sprinklers and will have a playing area over 50% larger than the old Tee.


7th Tee

Trees Removed

During Clearance
 Other areas to be turfed in this phase are finish the 1st Tee, 17th and 18th collar Upper and the surround to the rear of the 18th Upper.
Leveling
 This photo is actually the 14th Tee Upper last week.  It has just had its 2nd cut and is awaiting some much needed rain in the next few days.  
14th Tee

All greens have had a light V-cut this week to clean out some dead material followed by a topdress of half a ton of sand per green.  This will be the last topdress of the season and brings the total sand applied to 110 ton per course.   
V-cut


Growth rates have been phenomenal in the last few weeks so cutting grass is a priority this week.  Once we hit next week the plan is slitting fairways again, deep tine tee tops, walk offs, path ends and onto deep tining greens at the beginning of November. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

New Tee on the 1st is almost finished.

Finished

No resting, onto the 7th Tee upper on Tuesday afternoon

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Work begins on the 1st Tee Upper this week.  First clearing everything away from the old Tee.  Hedge removed, mat moved forward where it will stay all winter.  Tees moved near lady's and will be in this area until mats are used later in the winter.
Bye bye hedge

moving mat
 The tee is being shortened at the front and widened around the sides to create a rectangular tee.  Irrigation is being moved to the tee edges which will create a more uniform and efficient water arc.
re-shape Tee

Also on this week is tee divoting.  Following on from hollowting, tees are being thoroughly divotted and seeded whilst we still have good soil temperatures.  We have started slitting fairways on the course to aid air and water movement through the profile.  This will probably continue into early next week.
Lots of slits please


You don't get that view in an office





Friday, 22 September 2017

 The course is looking good for the first day of Autumn.  Lots of cutting on the course this week whilst growth is still good.  4 of the staff attended a tree survey course during the week.  This will enable us to write a concise, accurate and detailed plan of potentially dangerous, damaged and diseased plants on the course.  Allowing a timeline for actions in each case.


Looking good
The 14th rear Tee upper has now been finished awaiting warm weather.  Cores from hollowtining were roughly spread and compacted, followed by a ton and a half of divot mix.  Once we had leveled using the bunker rake and then hand rake we seeded and fed the tee.  Some tree pruning was done and will help light levels and a grow cover will be used next week to speed up seed growth.

Before


During

Finished


The first tee upper is about to be rebuilt.  By far the most uneven tee this will be completely remodeled over the coming weeks, with a new shape, irrigation, new levels and a re-turf before a relaunch in spring next year.  The tee will move to a mat from Monday morning.
Mats around the course have been cleaned this week although they won't be in-play until nearer November this year.