Greens Report June 4th 2020

Our work on the course has been admired…

I had a very unexpected, but pleasant call from the new President of the Cornwall County Golf Association Andrew Clotworthy.

He firstly commented on the great reports he had heard on the work that had been carried out at our club. He then went on to ask if St Austell Golf Club would be interested in hosting the 2020 Amateur County Championships in early September, subject to ongoing restrictions. This was later discussed at the Management Committee and all agreed that this was a huge honour for us all at St Austell Golf Club.

The only time that the club had ever been invited to hold such a major event was during our Centenary year in 2011, when the golf course was applauded for the condition it was in.

During that week, Darren Wisdom won the Handicap Challenge, Dan Olver won the Saturday medal, Simon Harper had a great week making it through to the semi finals of the Cornwall Amateur Championship. Tom Fox eventually won the overall championship, after three extra holes in the final against Josh Greenaway.

The week will open on Monday, September 7 with the Seniors and Founders Cup, cumulating the Amateur Championship with the week ending with the final being played over 36 holes on Sunday.

The full programme of events has yet to be finalised. There will be blocked out times for our members to play during the week, at this time the County are also requesting courtesy from neighbouring clubs. It will be a great opportunity for members to play during the week whilst enjoying priority and reduced entry fees.

On the golf course the improvements that we make are continuing to create a more natural and aesthetically pleasing course and since the lockdown we have enjoyed bright blue skies and the welcome return of the swallows nesting in the driving range and on the marquee. It is a joy once again to see these beautiful birds flying with speed and grace around the ninth and 18th greens.

Vince and his team have continued to be busy, but sadly are constantly being held up by having to having to repair underground broken pipework.

Throughout the course we have noticed reduced pressure in the system at certain sprinkler stations, such as on the 16th tee and this could be down to leaks that are unidentifiable, so we are now looking at replacing the old alkathene pipe installed in 1990 by pulling through new more efficient MDPE blue water pipe.

During this unprecedented hot spell, we are watering at night and in the early morning, but still struggle to get sufficient water to the tees and greens with Vince also watering when arriving at work ahead of play.

Following concerns of golfers not being able to hole putts (a common occurrence) we have turned the cups upside down to help the flags stay more rigid and save the firm putts.

A granular fertiliser will be applied this week to help bring on the greens and tees that are slowly improving with the pencil tining and light top dressing that will continue fortnightly. The tees will be left to thicken up and grow during this dry spell.

All the bunkers have now been edged and that has shown a good visual improvement to the course. Most of the fairways have now been redefined and David will be trialling a checker effect on the bottom of the 18th fairway as you approach the final green.

Work next week will begin next week on tiding up and widening the pathways for Buggies.

We are still awaiting the opening of Lanhydrock Nursery from lockdown, so that we can plant the shrubs and heathers that have been sponsored by members. When they arrive we are hoping to create two rockeries at the back of the ninth tee and in the triangle on the third/18th tee complex.

Many thanks also once again to Caryl Gould and her team for planting the boxes around the club house, they are looking really good and a credit to Caryl and her team.

Roy has done a great job in seamlessly changing to four-ball play. I must say I was surprised in enjoying playing in two-ball rounds. The pace at which we could all get around was encouraging and perhaps the committee could look at allowing single and two ball games off early on selected days?

On Monday the committee will be discussing the possibility of welcoming guests to the club and following a recent Covid-19 risk assessment meeting with the green staff, the feasibility of opening the driving range.

Thank you for your continued support in following the important social distancing measures and for helping us ensure the club remains a safe environment for everyone to enjoy.

Glyn Rowett
Greens Chairman