It's been a very busy few days, and at the time of writing we've just moved on to 17 main greens (with the 5th still out of action due to ongoing drainage work). We're down to three greenkeepers on the course right now, with Kevin working on machinery maintenance and Jeff currently acting as General Manager.
Here's a list of some of the jobs that have been going on, and there are a few more that we can't remember right now...
- Drained bunkers
- Moved hole positions
- Stirred drains
- Trimmed conifers on 7th fairway
- Repaired and stained benches
- Pumped out sumps
- Brushed water from greens
- Daily setup of the course
We've also been spending a lot of time putting hoops and ropes back into place, and again we ask golfers to replace these when they've moved them to play a shot.
That's all for now, more on Monday or Tuesday next week.
Just a short blog entry on a chilly but gorgeous Monday morning. It's a bit of a refurbishment job on the ball washers and benches. The weather takes its toll on everything throughout the year as you might expect.
Also, a little note about water in the ball washers. During the very cold weather we don't fill them as if the water freezes the cast iron can crack, meaning expensive repairs.
We've been hard at work thinning out the Leylandii tress between the 4th and 5th fairways. This will let a lot more light onto the course in that area and no doubt assist golfers who hit a bit of a wayward drive.
Work on the sump in front of the 5th green is progressing well and that job will really reap some rewards over the coming years.
Here's a list of a few jobs we've been undertaking over the last few days:
- 15 greens pencil tined and hand mowed afterwards
- Bunkers raked
- Water pushed off greens
- Markers moved
- Walkways sanded
We've made start on a 5th hole drainage sump and Kevin continued with mechanics.
On 2nd February we changed hole location, added bunker markers and did some dew removal. We finished the 5th sump and also made one in front of the 10th green. Finally we pencil tined and hand mowed the remaining greens.
In 2017 our greens fell below our high standards for a short period of between 6 to 8 weeks in July/August. The green speed was not what we would expect or are targeted to achieve at T&P.
Looking forward to 2018 we are putting plans in place to ensure that this does not happen again, and that our greens are fast and smooth for the main playing season (May to September). The target green speed will be between 9.5 and 10.5 on the stimpmeter. (The foot of variance is to take into account the vagaries of our weather). To achieve this the following changes will happen in 2018:
- Rolling the greens more often – a commitment to rolling the greens four times per week, increasing from two or three times per week in 2017.
- Increased priority on greens presentation and speed. For example, if staffing levels are low due to absence then other areas of the course presentation may be sacrificed to ensure greens are at their best.
- Reduced feed and water to decrease thatch levels.
- Improved drainage on six greens.
- More intensive aeration work and dressing. That means three quadra hollow tines per year and the use of some bio-chemistry to reduce thatch. There will be two verti-draining procedures in early and late season (there were none in 2017).
- We will be regularly spiking the greens, applying regular pencil tines and considering grading in October 2018. These works will disrupt the playing surface in the short term but will produce better conditions in the main playing season and drier conditions in the winter.
- Consider expert consultation by STRI or recognised agronomist.
Work completed during week beginning 15th January
- Pruned low-hanging branches on trees in play
- Rubbed down and repainted tee furniture and tee markers (we have 144 tee markers!)
- Refurbished all ball washers.
- Kevin is in the process of ongoing servicing and maintenance of all machinery in preparation for the season.
- Due to storms a tree was blown down near the 16th green. This was made safe and removed.
- Greens – daily the greens are “swished” to remove the build-up of dew. This is done to reduce the risk of disease. Any standing water is pushed from the greens and holes drained.
- Daily the course is walked/inspected by staff. Tees are moved, ropes/hoops adjusted, restrictions applied and course info line updated.
- Assisted in clubhouse works by clearing the loft and disposing of material.
- Cleaning of the clubhouse when cleaner is absent and deep-cleaning the showers, a task that the cleaner does not do.