As we move into the winter months, it remains mild and dry with many trees still full of leaves. We are now pushing on with the winter maintenance work and the contractors have started the fairway verti-draining.
The tree work to the right of the 5th is starting to take shape. Exposing the pines has created a visual point of interest that was hidden, and also allows more light onto the rough on the right of the hole, which will allow us to create finer rough grasses in this area.
There is still some work to the right of the 6th tee to do which will create views of the bunkering down the right of the hole from the 5th tee.
We are currently carrying out tree work that is more isolated, such as the small thinning of the woodlands between the 3rd and 4th, and the 2nd and 17th. These areas have been done on a large scale already. We are now simply revisiting them to remove any trees that haven’t flourished as well as we first hoped. This is nothing drastic, just good management, so that they don’t become overgrown again in the future.
Gorse trimming and removal work is well underway with the only large area remaining being the 18th hole carry. We will be quite aggressive in what we remove in this area as the carry is starting to become excessively long again.
Furthermore, there are two main areas where gorse was cut down last year that will be dug out when the digger arrives. These are: behind the 1st green; and to the left of the 6th White tee. Both areas will then see a heather regeneration programme commence.
It is also hoped to dig out the gorse stumps in front of the 9th main tee, but this will be assessed in due course, as we don’t want to leave too many scars around.
The cutting and collecting of rough is complete as is the heather trimming, except for the four areas that are being cut down to regenerate (as per the area between the 5th tee and fairway).
The work with our architect, Clyde Johnson, is now underway. This includes the green extensions on holes 2 and 5, the softening of the 9th grass bunker, and the reinstatement of the back bunker behind the 17th green. These works were planned at the time when the irrigation project was going ahead so that the new sprinklers would be in the correct positions.
As this is no longer the case, we will be installing the green, approach, and back-to-back irrigation sprinklers ourselves with assistance from our long-serving irrigation contractor and also some help from Toro. The irrigation sprinklers that go in will be part of the exact plan of what was meant to go in this year. Therefore, at least a small part of the irrigation project will be completed.
While these works are going on over the next fortnight, you may find that these holes are on temporary greens. We will do our best to avoid this while competitions are being played. Please do take care on these greens as there will be open holes around the surfaces. Although roped off, they can still be dangerous. Once the work is complete, we will be back onto the full greens but any newly laid turf will be roped off and made G.U.R.