February was mostly a good dry month and which for the most part has been the trend this winter. We have continued with our program of bunker refurbishment completing improvements on 3 more holes, machinery servicing and maintenance has progressed close to completion and we have been carrying out some preparation to the playing surfaces with mowing of key areas and with treatments to the greens and approaches. At the end of the month we did get some more prolonged periods of rain, restricting our ability to rotate our various layouts, although I’m pleased to report no course closures so far as a result.
Bunker work has involved 3 holes, with 2 bunkers being revetted (a stacked turf wall) and the bunkering on the hole Guibel being altered. The pictures show the bunker on Jaws (left) with the revetted turf and Guibel (below) with before and after pictures demonstrating the changes perfectly. Also is a video showing the process of building a revetted bunker, the hole is Huntcliffe and was the 3rd piece of bunker work completed this last month.
This should now be the last work undertaken on the bunkers this winter. In total 23 bunkers have been remodelled since October, which is an exceptional effort from the guys, especially since having only a small team and completing other projects and routine maintenance as well.
Servicing the machinery is a substantial and also critically important process, taking a number of weeks to complete. Anthony Piggins is our mechanic and with the help of the rest of the team, he ensures the equipment is in excellent order ready for more regular use during the season.
Some perfect dry days have allowed us to begin cutting some of the long rough with the Wiedenmann Super 500, which has given us a good head start before the growing season really begins.
Greens, aprons and tees have been tidied up fairly regularly with mowers and the greens and aprons have been treated with a product known as ‘Greenlawnger’.
This product coats the leaf blade with a green pigment, which last for around 6 weeks. The darker colour acts as a ‘jacket’ for the grass and increases it’s ability to absorb sunlight. This will increase soil temperatures and help photosynthesis, both encouraging more growth, which has become more important in recent years, as spring time has become typically much colder.
In addition a small amount of nitrogen has been applied to pick up the health of the turf going into the main playing season. Despite some areas of thinning to the turf through the winter months on some of the greens, we should go into spring with them in good condition for play.
Tore Lundby Hansen will start with us in March after being the outstanding candidate amongst several quality individuals that applied for the vacancy in our department.
Tore originates from Norway and began his career working as a Greenkeeper at Hauger Golf Club in Norway, before coming over to the UK to study at Elwmood College near St Andrews. He successfully completed both the HNC and HND in Golf Course Management achieving a distinction in both.
While in the UK he also worked on the teams preparing the courses for both the Dunhill Links Championships in 2013 at
Kingsbarns and The Open Championships in 2014 at Royal Liverpool.
His latest position has been in New Zealand working at Royal Aukland Golf Club, which is one of the premier courses in New Zealand.
We look forward to him joining our already excellent team and his expertise will help us to raise standards even further.