With persistent northerly and easterly winds recently, the fog is now our current nemesis.
In 22 years of Greenkeeping, it’s hard to remember a more challenging and frustrating year than 2018 so far.
A late start to spring because of the prolonged cold wet winter, has not only left us so far behind in our work programs, but has also created many other issues for which we are likely to be dealing with for some time yet.
As the soil was still so wet as we finally moved into spring, the sudden increase in temperature has led to strong growth ever since. This has led to improved grass coverage particularly on the Fairways, but has also led to an increase in weed establishment and growth as well as being difficult to keep areas cut.
Land drains have also become an issue as during the courses initial construction, old clay drain pipes were cut off when the holes were being carved out. As these drains haven’t carried water for many years it hasn’t been a problem until now, but as the soil has become saturated at depth these drains have began flowing again. Unfortunately this has created wet patches where the old drains were cut off and the water has nowhere to go. We can’t easily rectify this either with the only way being to install new drains to carry the water away, something that will take time and planning.
The irrigation system has been in use everyday in recent weeks as we went from flooding to drought conditions in only a month. There are several problems with the system that need repairing with the assistance of outside contractors. Such has been the demand across the country though, we are still waiting our turn in the queue. Although we have managed to get sufficient water on the greens, we have been having to hand water with a hose more than usual which is time consuming.
It has also been a particularly difficult time for the new members of the team. Starting a new job would be difficult even under the best of circumstances, but to start at this time has been tough, with learning new skills whilst under pressure to get the job done far from easy. Losing Tom and Tore was something we had always anticipated, however the timing could not have been worse, with both leaving within a couple of weeks of each other and also at the busiest time of year for us. Even though this has not been ideal, the enthusiasm and commitment of the new team promises a bright future and they deserve great credit for their efforts.
I apologise for the long nature of this weeks update and for those still reading thanks for bearing with us during this difficult period and I hope this has gone some way to help you to understand why perhaps things aren’t as you would expect around the facility.
I will be hosting a course walk in due course to explain further along with future plans for the hole Rawcliffe.
In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries or questions.