Updates on course work in 2023 will be provided by the greenstaff on a regular basis
Wednesday 22nd November
This week has seen the start of the drainage work on the 1st green, as anticipated it hasn’t been a straight forward job and progress has been slow due to the materials below the surface. With all the greens we’ve drained so far we’ve experienced issues with large stones and other hard materials but not to the extent of the 1st green. below is a selection of videos and photos showing what the contractors have had overcome. you may have to open the videos to full screen to see the full video.
Once the drainlines have been dug out the greens staff have been following up inserting the pipe, gravel and the rootzone into the trenches. This will continue across the green, once this is complete they will then look to get the turf back into place on the green.
Friday 17th November
The wet weather has continued to be a problem in the area over the last 2 weeks, we were however able to see some play on the course for 6 days before more heavy rain came our way. Since October 19th “30 days” we’ve had 227mm of rain fall on the golf course. To put that into perspective the average rainfall for a month at this time of year is around 70-75mm.
Although we’ve had record rainfall work has continued on and around the golf course. On the greens we’ve had a autumn granular fertiliser applied and they have also been verti-drained to a depth of 9 inches using half inch diameter tines, this process will be repeated throughout the winter every month to allow good airflow into the soil structure.
Last week we had tree surgeons come in to take care of some trees that were in need of attention. Firstly the ash tree next to the putting green had to be removed as it was dying and becoming dangerous. The last photo below shows the dark area in the stump where the tree was rotting from the inside out.
Inevitably there was damage caused to the green when the tree was felled, we did put boards down to try and protect the area but they didn’t suffice. The green has been repaired and will recover by the start of the season.
The large beech tree behind the starters hut at the first tee was also removed to allow better airflow and sunlight to the tee box. There were three dead trees removed from the carpark by the roadside and finally they trimmed branches from the oak tree on the right hand side of 18 and the trees to the left as you approach the green as these were starting to close the gap into the front of the green.
Today we started work on the drainage of the 1st green, we located the main drain that we are going to tap the drains into from the green, as you can see from the pictures below the drain is at a good depth 28-30 inches below the ground allowing a good fall from the green into it. Contractors will be on site from Monday to dig the drains through the green, once they have dug out a couple of the runs the greenstaff will then follow by inserting the pipe, gravel and the rootzone.
Unfortunately these jobs rarely go by without a snag, the ‘boulder’ below was pulled out by the digger from the trench, hopefully this is not a sign of things to come.
Other work that has been carried out has been the removal of an oak tree from next to the ladies 10th tee, this was overhanging the left hand side of tee area leading to restricted tee shots for the ladies. Ivy which was growing on the walls near the front gate has been removed to allow better visibility when leaving the premises and making the area look tidier. Work has also started on the sides of the new paths that have been installed, this is an ongoing job that will be carried out in the coming weeks.
Monday 6th November
24th to 26th July : micro tine greens.
27th July : stress buster greens.
Last week of month granular feed.
4th hollow core greens at ½” tine at 60ml depth.
Start drainage works on greens 1,5,6 & 17.
Also new drains on right side of 5th fairway.
Fairways cored and some sanded.
Tree thinning programme to start.
March and August 2024
Booked in for hollow core on all greens.
Sand injection with GKB machine.
Normal maintenance programme will continue including micro tine every four weeks.
Tee boxes will be maintained to a better standard.
Mondays will be set aside as course maintenance days with prior notice given to the membership of work to be completed.
The Agronomist visited AHGC on 28/06/23 – a copy of the report will be available in the bar from Thursday.
The report has now been received and reviewed by the Greens Committee and actions will be taken to follow his recommendations with a Winter Work Programme followed by a Summer Work Programme as per his recommendations.
Regular “tinning” has been recommended on the greens to reduce the high volume of thatch in the soil that has built up. Sand and seed (bent grass) being applied on a regular basis will provide a more uniform colouring of grass on the greens and a smoother putting surface.
This will then be followed by Hollow Coring in September 2023 then March / April and August 2024 with sand applied on all occasions.
The Fairways will be verti drained in November to aid drainage during the winter period.
Gipsum will be applied to Fairways on 13 / 14 / 16 in order to aid the breakdown of the clay and again aid the drainage in these areas.
As per the report a number of areas we will have trees / hedges removed to aid drainage and air flow around these areas.
Remove the hedge between the 1st Tee and 9th Green – to be replaced by a smaller more manageable hedge and to allow sunlight / air flow to the 1st Tee / 9th Green.
Remove the trees behind the 1st Green.
Remove trees behind the 9th Tee in order to thin the area out.
Remove the hedge behind the 15th Tee – to be replaced by a smaller hedge to allow sunlight / air flow to the tee box.
All the above to be landscaped as appropriate.
Following receipt of the quote from the 3rd Party Company to drainline the greens which ranged from 8K-10K plus VAT per green, the decision has been taken to continue with the work in house with added manpower.
Autumn / winter work to drain 4 greens will be completed on the 1st, 5th, 6th and 17th greens from early October,winter greens will be prepared in advance.
Contract handed to 3rd Party to complete Phase One in 2023.
Phase Two to complete work in 2024.
This work is privately funded and not from the Greens Budget.
We have a plan in place to start replacing Tee Boxes from the Winter of 2025 through a privately funded project following the completion of work on the paths around the course
This is still on track to be updated in September when the Gemini Decoders are due in stock at the suppliers
Water is draining from the fairway but is becoming “stuck” on the right hand side.
Work to be carried out to drain this away into the ditch / main drain in front of the 8th Tee Box.
6th / 7th HOLE
Due to Health & Safety concerns regarding the uneven area between 6 and 7 and based on the R & A agronomist recommendation it was agreed to cut down and level with soil and allow the heather to grow back.
It was agreed not to cut around the bunkers and allow the grass to grow to try and eliminate the “bare” areas to produce a better playing area.
As we approach the golf season, we can provide the following greens update.
As per the update last year the club have committed to replacing all the current valves on the green and install new valves on all tee boxes in order to make the irrigation system more stable, reliable and efficient at a cost of approximately £50,000.
The materials have been delivered to the club this week and we hope to have the engineer on site during the first week in March to start the work on the tee boxes. Other staff will follow shortly after in March when they have completed their current project at Alwoodly Golf Club in Leeds, and we hope that the work will take approximately 3 weeks to complete. During the work there will be disruption around the course (mainly tee boxes and greens) and the contractors will have priority on the course during this period
Work on the 9th hole has been completed and the new turf has started to bed in. As the warmer weather hopefully arrives this will expediate the growth will help from manual intervention by applying fertiliser we hope to get the hole back in play as soon as possible. A review of the hole will be undertaken in mid-March with a further update on the timescales to open the hole to be provided – at the same time, the re-opening of the 8th hole will be reviewed.
The work on the green has been completed and the green staff are monitoring the recovery of the turf to bring the green back into play as soon as possible. Again, this will be reviewed mid-March but is weather dependant.
Work on the 6th green will be delayed until next year due to weather restrictions in the last winter.
The 3rd Tee Box has been re-turfed, and recovery is being monitored.
Work on other tee boxes will commence once the new irrigation values have been installed.
One of the issues we have found is the number of tree roots that are coming onto the tee boxes and ultimately sapping water from the tee boxes. In order to rectify the problem and aid growth to the tee boxes we are removing a number of trees from around the tee boxes.
Tree / Gorse Removal
Most of the work has been completed with trees removed around the 3rd, 4th, and 15th tees and also around the 15th green.
Other tree work has been carried out on the left hand side of 8th/9th holes and the copse between 2 & 17.
In order to aid recovery of the surrounds around the 15th green, the right-hand side of the green has been roped off. A walk off path has been made at the rear of the green for players to use to save wear on this area.
The gorse behind the 13th green has been removed to bring the ditch into play.
Following work on the right-hand side of the 10th fairway (gorse removal) last year, the stumps have now been removed and this area is NO longer GUR and is in play. Likewise, the areas on the right- and left-hand side of the 5th fairway and NO longer GUR and are in play.
Removal of stumps is ongoing in other areas and if any stump is marked with red paint interferes with your swing / stance then a free dop is allowed.
Following Co-Vid, the agronomist will be returning on 13th March to provide his recommendations on the course – updates on his recommendations and report to follow.
As reported work on the 9th hole has been completed.
However we are disappointed to report that someone has been “practicing” on the 9th hole with divots taken out of the tee box, numerous pitch marks on the green and up to 50 balls recovered from the pond ! – we are now monitoring the hole, and anyone found playing the 9th hole will be banned from the club with immediate effect.
Footprints and divot taken out of the new bunker on the 9th.
During the winter we have had limited damage to the fairways (due to fairway protection) however we are now finding that more play is being made from the fairways without the use of matts. Hopefully, the fairway protection will be removed shortly so if all players can adhere to fairway protection it would be appreciated to protect the course.
In addition, getting into the habit of repairing pitch marks (not just your own) on the greens would be appreciated.
We are planning to include the 6th and 17th greens in next year’s work schedule.
A further update on the above points will be issued during March.