It’s incredible the difference a year makes. This time last year we had been closed for almost 6 weeks straight, with heavy rain hitting day after day mixed with snow and ice. We hadn’t been able to cut the greens for over a month and 3 newly built bunkers had been washed away.
This year we are still on 27 holes, something that hasn’t happened for many, many years and it’s even been dry enough to mow greens weekly, mow aprons and even start mowing fairways.
This bodes well for the season as we are getting ahead with preparations. Usually, most mowing doesn’t begin until the end of March and therefore it takes a few weeks before we can get things where we want. As a result it’s very difficult to be unhappy with the course at this time of year and we’re certainly delighted with how things are progressing.
Equally, it’s been great to see so many people out playing this winter, smiling and enjoying the excellent conditions, long may it continue!
More good news is that the turf cutter is repaired and back with us, so we have begun completing works on Rawcliffe. This will occupy us for most of this week before we carry out routine course preparations on Friday.
Now I realise there has been a few of you unhappy with the greens, so I thought I’d give an update to help bring some perspective.
6 years ago the greens were in playable condition for maybe 4 to 5 months of the year. Our aim since then has been to extend that period and we are now looking at 8 – 10 months of the year being the case.
This year we carried out hollow coring at the end of October in order to both overseed and also use the cores to grow in the new green on Rawcliffe. This isn’t a regular procedure and in fact we have only done so twice in the last 6 years. This will mean we are perhaps nearer the 8 month period but more importantly is that they are in good health. This is our main concern during the winter months as we want good healthy turf come spring in order to bring playing performance up to standard quickly.
In the winter conditions are dictated so heavily by the weather that we focus on keeping the course playable, the turf healthy but then more so on making improvements for the following season.
No matter what happens the course will always have peaks and troughs and in January conditions can’t ever be as good as they are in July, so please be patient and you will reap the rewards long term.
Greens and fairways are looking great this week after a recent cut
As always any questions are most welcome, so please get in touch. My email is [email protected] but also please talk to the Greenstaff if you see us.