Dear Members,

Welcome to July’s greens update and apologies for being a little late this month due to a wonderfully sunny weeks holiday in the Lake District. Since my last update the hot weather has really set in and whilst it’s great to play golf in such weather, or be on holiday, it really takes its toll on the course. Please take note of Jon Holloways request not to smoke on the course as we do not want to be the next Minehead.

Photographs that have been posted show just how much some other courses have been affected especially where irrigation systems have failed. Rob and the guys are doing a great job of keeping our system up and running and the course is looking pretty good all things considered. It’s hard work being out in the heat all day keeping the course looking good so don’t be shy in thanking the greens team when you see them out there.

Whilst we’re on the subject of irrigation, this month, we will be having a detailed survey carried out of our system by an independent consultancy. This is the same company used by The Worcestershire Golf Club. They will provide an in depth analysis of the system and advise us on, amongst other things, where and why it’s failing and recommendations of how we can upgrade and/or replace it going forward. This is a vital first step for us as a club to understand what level of investment is needed in the coming years and how we should plan to achieve it.

The “Care for your Course” initiative was very well received last month and now you’ve been notified of your specific hole we’ll hopefully see a gradual improvement. Please also keep using the book in the club house to comment on anything specific, a few members have but it would be good to see a bit more feedback. I read it regularly so don’t think your views are being ignored.

Now let’s talk about bunkers, which I’m sure will be a regular feature of my update. As I said last month I have put in place a bunker improvement program but this is not going to be an “overnight” fix. Finding the best solution and implementing it in the most cost effective and efficient way is no simple task. We have received multiple sand samples, visited other courses, researched current thinking and best practices and have now formulated a plan.

We have selected 3 slightly different types of sand that are suitable for our course and will now begin to refurbish the green side bunkers on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd holes. This work has generously been funded by the Seniors section and will take place over the summer. There will not be any “liner” in these bunkers.

I said previously that we might use the practice bunkers for this assessment process but due to the minimum quantity of sand that we have to order it was not cost effective. The feedback we will get from members playing out of them during a round will also be more beneficial and informative.

Once completed and we analyse the feedback from members we will then decide which sand is the preferred choice for the remainder of the greenside bunkers.

As you would expect this will need some additional funding outside of our normal budgets and we are now working on how and when we can gain this so that the plan can be fully implemented. I will of course keep you posted and let you know as soon as things develop.

As usual I’d like to thank you all for the continued courtesy shown to the Greens team whilst they work around the course. As I said before they will always try to get out of your way or stop a machine whenever possible.

Thanks for your continued support and all the positive feedback that I have received so far. If you do have any comments or feedback that you would like to give me please email or write to the club or come and see me when I’m in the club.

Happy golfing and remember to repair pitch marks, replace divots and rake bunkers and thanks for supporting the request not to smoke on the course at the moment.

David Holliday
Chairman of Greens
July 2018