Greenkeepers News April 2024

As we are all aware the horrendous amount of rainfall has made the course unplayable in the way we would like. The team has only been able to maintain the course on days when the weather allows. The fairways, tees, collars, and the rough kept tidy.

The main greens have been unplayable due to severe water-logging. Over the next few years (starting as soon as the ground is dry) we will be intensively removing the extreme thatch layer (as seen above) that has built up over many many years.  With multiple hollow coring being carried out and heavy sand dressings being applied throughout the growing season this will help but not cure the problem overnight.

March has mostly been spent turfing the 13th, 14th, and 15th areas and trying to keep the range stocked with balls every morning to sustain an important amenity to members not to mention a revenue stream.

As you will be aware the condition of the range has finally become untenable, with the sheer volume of rainfall and silted-up drainage channels making it a quagmire. The volunteers have helped hugely by offering their services and unplugging thousands of buried range balls. Once it is dry enough we will roll it, clear the existing drains, and add drainage where necessary before next winter.

On a positive note, 7 bunkers were renovated with new sand added – other bunkers that have not been in play will be brought back to life. Our course maintenance scheduled for early April has been put back to the end of April because we simply cannot get the machinery on the greens at the moment.

Final Thoughts

Even though this weather is highly frustrating to all of us, there are many clubs who have had it far worse – a small consolation I know but true. Please rest assured we want nothing more than to have normal greens in play! Every decision on every day is taken with this in mind in full consultation by myself with the Club Manager and Greens committee member along with every satellite weather app on the market!

There are saturated areas in key positions on so many greens that a few hours of sunshine between downpours may be cause for optimism but unfortunately doesn’t suffice. Ultimately, we need a run of dry days.  This will happen and things will improve, and like you all, we cannot wait as there is so much to be getting on with this year!!

Best regards,

Matt Lock
Head Greenkeeper