October has been the wettest month of 2019 by far. At the end of September there had been 397 mm’s (approx 16 inches) of rain since the start of the year and there has been 225 mm’s (approx 9 inches) in October alone. Having had no previous course closures in 2019, 4 days have been lost in October and many restrictions are now in place.
Winter tees, preferred lies and roping around greens are all now in force to help manage wear and tear on the course through the winter months.
Despite the more challenging conditions, the winter program of work is well under way and good progress has been made.
In this months update I will summarise the progress so far.
After the construction of a new green on Rawcliffe and also the extension of the green on Toon’s Tier, automatic irrigation has been required for their future maintenance.
With the cost of the work to be carried out by external contractors being prohibitive, we have carried out the installation ourselves in house.
The process below was followed step by step until both greens were connected into the existing system.
- Positioning of sprinklers plotted and marked out ensuring head to head coverage (sprinkler to sprinkler).
- Existing turf lifted and put aside.
- Trench excavated for new pipework and sprinklers.
- Pipework laid and new sprinklers connected up.
- All back filled, packed down and turf relaid.
- New valves fitted and connected to existing main pipeline.
So far all has gone to plan and with only electric connection to the automatic controller still to do.
Snaith’s Green Surrounds
So far the wet weather has limited the opportunity to make real progress on this project, however the first of the 3 bunkers to be constructed has been completed.
Revetting all the green side bunkers has been ongoing over the last couple of years with only a handful left to do.
Landscaping around the bunkering has transformed green surrounds so far and allowed for close mowing, raising the turf quality significantly.
As explained in last months update, the weather can influence how the winter schedule pans out and its influence has already had an effect. With work on Snaith’s held up, our attention turned to a couple of issues with drainage.
Although the course drains well and recovers quickly after flooding, there are a couple of areas that collected water that was slow to drain.
The side of the green on Warsett and Guibel both puddle up after intense rainfall and without any existing drainage, struggle to dry up again afterwards.
On Warsett it would have required a long run of drain pipe to get the water away, so instead we have raised the ground up with sand to push the water out of the depression. The area that drained slowly is now higher so water will move onto the green which has excellent drainage capabilities. This work has carried on around the entire right side of the green, smoothing out the ground which will allow for close mowing in the future, raising turf quality.
On Guibel though, a drain was needed and was dug across the approach to take care of 3 low lying areas that are prone to flooding. This will also give us the option of connecting into the drain in the future to take care of surrounding areas that may require it. A simple process is followed to achieve success.
- Routing of the drain plotted to ensure fall for the water to be cleared.
- Turf removed and put aside.
- Trench dug, plotting fall to the outlet.
- Pipe installed.
- Trench half backfilled with gravel.
- Trenched topped up with sand based rootzone.
- Turf relaid.
Both projects were a success and have further improved playing conditions and drainage. It is vital for us to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and not relying on a set plan. This means the team can remain productive and has meant that progress is always made towards an ever improving golf course.
Our aim will be to complete works to Snaith’s green surround and this should be possible with only a few dry days in a row.
With 1000 meters of turf ordered ready for the end of the month, other areas will also require preparation. A few tees are set to be levelled, one or two green surrounds need returfing and Redding’s Apron green approach is due to be reshaped and returfed.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading and look out for the next update at the end of November.