For once, everything went to plan during the build up to and during Club Championships.
Heavy thunderstorms gave us 38 mm of rain in 6 hours on the Monday, 5 times more rain than had fallen in the previous 8 weeks!
This gave us a much needed break from working on the irrigation system and also time to focus on preparations for the weekend.
Great credit should go to my team, as they have had to endure the most difficult year so far in living memory especially adding the fact that some of them are new to the job too.
Each year since I joined Hunley there has been an improvement in the course. This gets more difficult as each year passes and it will get harder to keep pushing the boundaries, but despite everything thrown at us, the course has still come on from last year to another level again.
It was great to see that all had a great weekend with lots of quality golf being played. It gave me even greater pleasure to see so many similarities in how our course played to that of The Open at Carnoustie. Firm and bouncy, with that beautiful burnt off appearance, our course really is becoming more and more akin to the best out there.
It’s been very interesting listening to feedback and it really highlights how perceptions can often be deceiving. Ultimately it is the weather that sets the conditions and its simply about adapting to the conditions rather than bemoaning the conditions not being how you would like them.
Rain on Friday softened the greens and very little wind meant conditions were perfect for good scoring. We benefit now from having greens that remain consistent for most of the calendar year, meaning we don’t need to do anything special to get the course ready for our bigger events.
That said, we do try to time our work programs so that the course peaks at the right time. This is a real challenge and one that takes good planning and a lot of experience.
Here’s some key points:
Greens have been cut at 4.5 mm all summer and speed has been on around 8 feet consistently each week since March on a weekend.
On quiet days during the week sometimes the greens may be slower as we take the chance to rest them.
Green speeds for Club Championship were the fastest this year at 8 feet 4 inches on Saturday and 8 feet 8 inches on Sunday. Increased speed was gained through cutting daily from Monday – Sunday with no rest days. Due to this there was no need to roll them.
Speeds of greater than 9 feet at Hunley result in balls not stopping on selected greens.
Rain on Friday evening made the greens softer on Saturday with them drying out slightly by Sunday (just like at Carnoustie).
This week we’re back on the irrigation system and some of you will have noticed us doing so already. A further leak has sprung behind Redding’s Apron green and a pressure regulating valve also needs to be replaced. It does look a little more likely that we will be able to sort these issues out soon though and get the system functioning through to the end of the season.
Happy golfing and see you out there!