Greens Report – September 2020

Well, what a month we have just had.

The course has probably not been played by so many golfers since our Centenary celebrations. Firstly it was a great honour to host Cornwall County Championship Week for the second time in the club’s history. This proved to be a huge success and showed to visitors how much the course had improved.

Tom Fox from Tehidy Park must have enjoyed the course as he once again at St Austell Golf Club won the CGU Amateur championship in the final against stiff opposition from Jared Mortimer of Truro. (see post re Tom’s match here…)

The captain and I received a letter of thanks from the President of the Cornwall Golf Union Andrew Clotworthy which said: “A huge thank you for hosting and embracing what was an incredibly successful week. It is certainly not lost on how much work you put in to ensure everyone had a good time and I am sure the praise given throughout the week, has made you feel very proud. Great publicity for St Austell Golf Club.”

This was followed by our own Golf Week that was carefully organised by our hard working competition secretary Simon Harper who spent most of the week sat in the marquee. Well done to Simon and all the helpers for supporting the charity events that were put on.

The hard work that had been carried out leading up to these busy weeks paid off and with our greens cut down to 3mm the course coped well with all the traffic thrown at it.

This year we have seen a great improvement in the fourth and the sixth greens, where we experimented by introducing a dwarf rye seed that has shown us great rewards. These greens had poor coverage in damp stressed conditions. Since the overseeding they now have better coverage that is far more hard wearing. This blend of grass seed will now be introduced by over seeding on some of our other greens.

Our greens will be verti-drained on the 12th , 13th and 14th of October and dressed and over seeded straight after. We will do the same as last year having temps on the Monday 1-10 and on Tuesday 11-18.

The tees will also be verti-drained on Wednesday to keep up the focus on improving the tees. It is now time to apply the treatment to protect against leatherjackets within the next two weeks. This has to go down when it is raining so the product goes straight into the ground. So members must give way to our green keepers spraying as there is only a small window of opportunity for all the greens and the 9th and 12th fairways to be treated.

The sand in our bunkers will be on our winter programme with the fine sieving of sand on bunkers that splash out onto the greens that are causing wear. The new golf ball extractors in the hole cups have been a great success and are the envy of many clubs that have metal bars attached to the flags.

Work will commence shortly on a programme to improve our winter greens with banking on the back of the 9th and the sides of the 8th and 11th. There will be a new construction of a winter green for the 14th using the turf taken from the centre of the 3/18th tee complex to be constructed to the right of the green.

The hand mowers have been sent for regrinding in readiness for hand cutting of the greens. I do hope that the weather will be kind to us and we will not have many occasions to play on them but this does afford members all year round golf.

The watering system is still causing us problems with two more valve bank leakages. These valves control how much and when the greens get watered. The reason they leak is the mine water corrodes the galvanised collars between the valve and water point. As you will have all seen and thanks to Steve Omlo the rockery has been completed between the third and 18th tee complex. The large granite rocks came from Melbor pit and were kindly delivered by Ross Facey.

I would like at our next management meeting to propose that this area be dedicated to the late past President and Captain Gary Harper, who did so much work for the club with the sponsorship that Gill has provided to the club for heathers.

There will be a further plantation of trees, shrubs and heathers hopefully around the months of October and November to continue to bring some colour to the course. If you would like to sponsor the last few trees then please see Ann to pay your donation.

The natural rain has now enhanced the shaping of the fairways. The greens are greening up well and the cut has been raised to 3.5mm Some more good news, thanks to our Treasurer Simon Prior, we have received a grant of £10,000 to improve the driving range facilities.

Please remember to keep your distance when approaching our green keepers and stay safe.

Enjoy your golf

Glyn Rowett
Greens Chairman