Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog December 2017

Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog December 2017

Happy new year to you all! 2017 has been an eventful year and as we move into 2018 there is plenty to be excited about and look forward to.

In this update I will briefly run through December’s activities, then we’ll look back on the highlights of the year just past and finally go through our aims and goals for this year.
In December we suffered more challenging weather conditions with lots of rain, some snow and also freezing temperatures. This led to some course closures and made working through our winter program tough going.
During these difficult periods of weather we spend the majority of our time keeping the whole facility running.
Clearing the road, car parks and gritting during cold periods when snow and ice are a problem and this has been a regular job for us in December.
The driving range has been very wet meaning regular hand picking is necessary and this is also very time consuming.
Keeping the drainage system clear and running is important to facilitate a quick recovery. We are lucky that the course does recover quickly though, with a couple of dry days enough for normal service to resume even after the most extreme of wet spells.
Despite all this we have continued to make progress and completed some smaller projects, with a few more bunkers refurbished and a couple of areas of scrub cleared (see smaller images above of bunkers on Warsett and Wetlands).



The course has developed significantly throughout the year, here’s some pictures looking back over 2017.

The reconstruction of Toon’s Tier was a complete success, with feedback suggesting this is now the best Par 3 on the course!

2017 saw the beginning of revetted style green side bunkers being constructed. A total of 12 bunkers were completed during the year.

 The condition of the turf in all areas has continued to improve.

Over seeding took place for the first time to increase Fescue populations on the greens. This was very successful and continues the upward curve on the greens botanically.

Rough management is making big improvements to our grasslands, with our goal of fine wispy rough’s becoming ever nearer.

Work on areas out of play area paying off, with habitat for wildlife increasing and the health of our gorse improving greatly.




Although this year will see us continue in the same vein as previous years, there are some key goals we hope to achieve.


The green on this hole has always been a talking point, very much as was the case with Toon’s Tier. With the undulations being too severe, it has always been our intention to make the much needed changes. 
However, on Toon’s Tier we were able to extend the green to solve the issue whereas this isn’t as easy to do on Rawcliffe. The location of the green and the large hump at the front make this impossible and it wouldn’t solve the other issue of the green being blind when playing an approach shot.
After much consideration we are going to construct a new green in a new location. This will be carried out early this year, although play will resume on this hole for the whole of 2018 to the original green. The new green will then have time to bed in and in the autumn we will make the remaining changes to the hole so it can be opened for play at the start of 2019. There will be more detailed information on these changes in due course and also a course walk held to discuss further too. 


As our work on the rough grassland has progressed, the down side has been Clover populations within the rough making ball retrieval difficult when it finishes in a patch of Clover.
Unfortunately, despite our work depleting the nutrients in the soil leading to thinner rough, Clover fixes its own Nitrogen from the air and therefore continues to grow vigorously. 
Possibly our biggest challenge in 2018 will be to get on top of Clover through applications of selective herbicides. 
We have put together plans for this and are confident this issue will be greatly reduced going forwards.
Here’s to another great year and we look forward to welcoming you to enjoy this truly fabulous golfing venue.

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