November and December has been busy months for us green staff. They have seen the start of our winter projects. November saw us aerate the greens. We hired in a air2g2 and used it on all the greens followed by a solid tine spike. We also used the air2g2 on compacted walk areas.
The main project has been the removal of brash and invasive hawthorn from the right of the 18th hole. The main objective has been to clear the front edge to open up the woods, this will allow more air flow to the 18th hole as well creating a more diverse habitat for wildlife. This project will continue through January and February. Another project which was completed in December was to hollow tine all the tees and surrounds as well as heavy top dress them. Doing this over the next few years will greatly improve our surfaces. A few smaller projects have been going on behind the scenes, all benches, summer tee markers, 150posts, tee plates, fairway distance markers and new out of bounds posts.
January has been a great month for our winter projects. We have made great progress down on the 18th woods clearance and have completed the removal of the invasive hawthorn on the right of the 17th. This was completed by a remote controlled mower that shreds small trees and brash. It was great to see in action and completed the whole job in 6 hours, a job that would have taken us at least a couple of days to complete. We have also managed to complete smaller projects, some areas of turf that were lifted when the irrigation system was put in have now been lowered so that the mowers now won’t scalp the grass, all weak areas around bunkers and on some tees have been sanded and seeded and some dead trees have been cut down due to health and safety risks. The dead trees have been cut up and put into log piles to help create new habitats for our wildlife. January is also the start for Steve our green keeper/ mechanic to service all of our machines. This involves and general service and the grinding of all the cutting blades.
Late January and early February has seen the course covered in snow, and produced a tough day for the greens staff where they tackled the snow fall and the continuing snowfall to clear the car park for the clubhouse functions.
Matt Aplin – Course Manager