Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog November 2016

Greg’s Greenkeeping Blog November 2016

After completing work in October on our main projects this winter, during November we have been able to make additional improvements to the course and to it’s playing characteristics.

The following blog will summarise the work that has been undertaken.



We have carried out more work on the course bunkers. Over the last few years we have been reconstructing the bunkers to improve their playing condition, to be more attractive and also to reduce the resources required to maintain them.

Previously there had been too many bunkers, with most in poor condition, which meant keeping them in a satisfactory condition for play had been extremely labour intensive.

4 years ago we set out a plan to –


  • Reduce the number of bunkers on the course to around 60 – 65 in total.
  • Reduce the area of sand in each bunker, while still retaining the same catchment area for wayward shots.
  • Alter the visual style of the bunkers from large open sand traps to smaller pot bunkers around the greens, with a natural more rugged style by the fairways.

The alterations will enhance the course by –


  • Offering attractive bunkers that compliment the style of the course.
  • Adding more strategy to the holes for the accomplished player, without being overly punishing to the lesser skilled player.
  • Reducing the impact from washout during heavy rain and from sand migration in high winds.
  • Allowing the greenkeeping team to maintain the bunkers to a very high standard.

shorts      shorts2      20161129_101929 

Above shows work carried out this month on the hole Short’s Elbow. The first 2 bunkers to the right of the fairway have been filled in. As they only measured 150 and 170 yards from the tee, they offerred little to the strategy of the hole and only punished those who are unable to hit the ball great distances. The furthest bunker has been remodelled, making it more visible from the tee and providing options to the golfer to consider. Now you can either take on the bunker to earn an easier approach, or play conservativley, laying up short of the bunker, but therefore making for a longer and more difficult approach shot to the green. 

20161129_101231      20161129_132435      _dsc0067

The above pictures show how the bunkers have changed. The picture on the left shows the original style of the bunkers, with a large sand area and a high face, with sand right up to almost ground level. The middle picture shows the new style bunkers by the sides of the fairways, with the face of the bunker turfed instead of sanded and the grass allowed to grow long and wispy around the edges.

The picture far right shows some new style greenside bunkers. Note the size of the catchment area compared to a small sand area and also how well they frame the green, waiting to gobble up any misguided shot! 


Course Walk

I held 2 course walks in the month to discuss ongoing work on the course. These are an excellent exercise and allow members the opportunity to get a good insight into the work being carried out, as well as the opportunity to ask direct questions.

Thanks to those that attended and there will be another walk held in the new year.



Work on the greens in November consisted of –

  • Top dressing with sand to maintain the level of firmness to the greens by diluting organic matter accumulations.
  • Micro tining to increase the level of air in the soil and relieve compaction.
  • Applying Sulphate of Iron to harden the turf and deter moss.


Winter Restrictions

During the winter it is vitally important to protect the turf in order for the course to maintain its excellent condition come the start of the new season in spring.

We do this by –


  • Roping around greens to prevent excessive wear to the turf immeadiately next to the greens.
  • Using winter mats to protect teeing grounds, particularly the par 3 holes. The mats we have here at Hunley are of high quality though, therefore using them doesn’t detract from the playing experience in the same way as mats did in the past. On a few of the holes we have introduced mats to new areas where they are more accessible and closer to the normal teeing ground.
  • Top dressing walkways with sand to prevent the ground becoming torn up when wet.


Newly positioned mat on Morgan’s Mound

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