Another year goes by in what seems like the blink of an eye and as with most of my December blogs, I like to look back over the year and reflect on our achievements but also if there was anything we could have done differently.
Summary of 2019
The first half of the year was really dry, with very little rain falling until July. Even then rainfall remained far lower than average until October, when it then proceeded to rain persistently for the next 3 months!
The yearly average for Hunley is 690 mm’s, but in 2019 there had only been 327 mm’s in the first 9 months! In the end though, things caught up and we ended up with only a slightly lower than average total of 685 mm’s.
Renovations to bunkers has continued through the off season, both at the start and end of the year. This has been a real success and significantly enhanced the visual and strategic aspects of the course.
The new green on Rawcliffe is now complete with all turf fully established now. Once the course begins to pick up in spring, then hole will move onto the new green for the first time.
Turf condition has been extremely pleasing. Greens, aprons and fairways have received the most attention in recent years and are now of a high standard during the whole of the golfing season.
After having spent significant time on greens, fairways, approaches and bunkers in previous years, several tees have been levelled up and returfed for the first time this year.
There has been further management of out of play areas for the benefit of wildlife. Non native species such as Poplar have been removed as well as scrub cleared to allow areas to regenerate with improved biodiversity.
It’s been a really good year on the environmental side.
Rough grasslands looked amazing this year and the definition of the course really went up a notch in 2019. Although more thinning work is required, it is pleasing to improvements year on year getting us closer to the desired results.
With the course continuing to go from strength to strength, it isn’t a reason for us to rest on our laurels and there are always areas for improvement.
Weeds and in particular Clover are still an issue in the turf. However, we have reduced it’s impact by treating with selective herbicide in 2019 and with further treatments in 2020 we should see further improvement.
After blanket spraying short grass in 2019 we hope to be able to spot spray areas in 2020, which will reduce resources and also the need to apply as much chemical.
Another area where we can still work on is with communication. Although we do host course walk’s, send weekly newsletter emails and monthly blogs like this one, not everyone understands what we are doing.
One of the biggest misunderstandings comes with our natural out of play areas that aren’t well manicured like some courses. Wildflower areas, scrubland and rough grasses play an important role in maintaining biodiversity and we will aim to produce signage explaining this, to help others understand why our course may look different to some.
Let’s hope the recent wet spell doesn’t stay with us for too much longer and can I take the opportunity to wish everyone a fantastic 2020!
Greg – [email protected]