After a winter without much rain, March saw quite a bit fall, leaving some areas very wet for a period. That said it hasn’t hampered us too much and the course is all ready for the busy schedule of golf to begin.
Toon’s Tier (below) and Morgan’s Mound are in play after winter alterations, although the new extended areas of green on Toon’s won’t be ready for hole positions just yet, as we gradually bring down the height of cut.
All ropes have been removed and all tees are now in use, however preferred lies will remain in place for a little longer. Please do still observe directions for buggies and trolleys though, in order to avoid excessive wear of the turf in close proximity to the greens.
Every part of the course has been cut several times now and definition is good.
All long rough is being cut and collected with only a few areas still to do. On that note it is worth me outlining the way the course will be set up this coming season. In the past, semi-rough took up a large percentage of the course and created a quite bland and open look to the holes. In order to improve upon this we have made the fairways wider but brought in areas of long rough. This has left just a small band of semi-rough and the following is how the holes will be set up:
- Fairways will be an average of 50 yards wide (35-45 is the USGA recommendation for club golf). With the undulating ground and the influence from the wind, we feel wide fairways are important at Hunley.
- Semi-rough will be a narrow band (approximately 10 yards) running next to the fairway.
- ‘Golfing Rough’ will be represented by a slightly wider band (approximately 12 yards) which will be managed to remain light and wispy to aid ball retrieval.
- Beyond these in play areas will be ‘Environmental Rough’ which will be managed more for the benefit of wildlife. Hitting a shot into these areas may result in a lost ball and playing a provisional is recommended. To some of you this may seem harsh, but to find these areas you will have to be significantly off line and you should think of these areas more as you would a gorse bush or similar scrub.
Also this month, I have great pleasure in letting you know that the new short game practice area is now open for use. The area is for chipping, pitching and bunker practice and is located across from the driving range behind the greenkeeping workshop. I hope that you enjoy using this new facility!
During the month the greens have received some attention as we look to prepare them for the season ahead.
Lawn sand was applied to strengthen the turf and also to encourage some growth while temperatures are still low.
All the greens have been spiked to maintain good drainage and levels of air in the soil. A couple of the greens that had become thin through the winter month have been over seeded in an attempt to increase fescue species in the sward as well as aid recovery.
Finally the greens have been top dressed with sand to help smooth the surface and maintain firmness. The greens have remained good throughout the winter and are now rolling very nicely, which bodes well for the months ahead.
For the month ahead we will begin much more routine maintenance, making sure everything is in order for the numerous members competitions and visiting golf groups.
We also have a change in our team after Anthony Piggins took the difficult decision to move on to pastures new.