Thursday, 20 February 2020

Riders of the Storm

Hi All,

This blog's title comes from the famous 60's/70's band the Doors. I have been thinking of a way to sum up how we are feeling with the recent weather.
Two Sundays in a row have been lost due to Stormy weather. Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis have taken their toll on the Course. We lost a huge Oak tree on the right of 7 and silver birch left of 5 and a lot of wind damage to trees and debris all over the course with Ciara. Dennis was a lot wetter with less wind but we lost a big Oak to the left of the 10th pathway and a Silver Birch on the right of the 7th. So not too bad but on a closer inspection we have several trees that now have huge cracks down them. These have now been assessed and will be addressed soon, Some will be reduced and other felled for safety reasons. I feel like we have all been riding out the storms, just waiting for them to end and for spring to arrive (I can not wait!)
Oak down on 7th 

Following Storm Dennis, a new lake formed at the bottom of the 18th due to the 51mm of rain

Rainfall wise, I have had enough... there I've said it. 209mm so far this year and that's in just six weeks. February is already the wettest in six years. this on top of the 486mm from September 10th until December 31st. That's almost a years rainfall in five months! I wanted the rain, and I ve got it. Mother Nature always tends to even herself out.

Maintenance Week rescheduled 
Unfortunately you will have seen we have had to move this weeks Maintenance week. Although it wasn't meant to be to aggressive with regard to the works on the greens, we still would need to drive around the course and more importantly onto the greens with the tractors. This plus forty+  tons of top dressing driven out to each green would have caused so much damage. Damage that would need to be repaired.
We were due to rope drain three greens (2,14,15) again this would require diggers on the aprons and the material removed from the holes. We would then need to drive on the greens again and the use of road roller to level before we the could tine them to get the levels back for putting was to much with the recent weather. we had 51 mm of rain from Saturday night to Sunday Night... thats alot of rain on every square inch of the course.

The date has been moved to the 2nd March when we hope it's drier... This was the only date the contractors could commit to regarding the greens and the week we have already booked into hollow tine Aprons, Tees and Surrounds.

You may have noticed

We have still been busy even with all the rain and storm damage repairs. The Oak tree on the 7th took five guys two days to cut up, burn and stack. This was purely down to the size and complexities of the branches.
Our woodland management work is slowly paying off as two trees in both storms isn't perfect but is still better than it would have been before. Reducing damaged, diseased and loss of the healthy trees is always our aim. Protecting the feature trees for the future!

You will have seen a lot of worn areas have been re turfed around the course. Some of these areas will need to be done yearly due to these being high traffic areas from golfers all walking the same direction (to and from tees and greens for example). Some areas will be fine and give better lies and are either damage repairs from two years of drought or damage from the bunker project over the last three years.

One of the bonuses from the wet weather is that it highlights all the wet areas and potential drainage projects for the future along with drainage issues with our current drains. Above you will see the repair being made to the 15th fairway drainage. The old clay pipe had collapsed, the team hand dug this out and replaced with new pipe, this was then stones but we left this open with the high amount of rain forecast over the last few days. This will be topped up with rootzone and turfed as the weather improves.

The pathway to the right of the 4th tee has been removed. This again like previous paths (18th next to the tee) was not being used as most of us walk on to the mens tee from the front corner.
This will be filled and turfed once we dry out enough to run the materials out. Our plan is to Tarmac this pathway this year and reducing the areas not used as this saves money and time.

The pathways have been getting some TLC. The sleepers from the 3rd tee have been removed as these were rotting and a slip hazard when wet. The sprinklers for the 3rd tee were on the pathway so Joe and Graham have moved these back onto the side of the tee. Weeding and topping up pathways has been on going but as you can imagine this with the current weather, this has been a never ending problem as the pathways are washing out.

Work is being carried out to plug some of the heather areas that died off during the drought. These will be monitored and watered where possible in the future.

The fairways have been deep solid tined (verti drained) and we have started our second run of this. We normally do this in November but we held off to allow the fairway seeding to establish. Doing this now will encourage the root development of the grass plant and help with drainage. We hope to do this as much as possible running into the new season.

The removal of the old clubhouse has now been done and the are has been filled with crushed concrete and road planning to give additional car parking spaces. we may add Tarmac to this area in the future but for now we need the area to settle. It is totally safe to park on. Above you can see the mounding being top soiled and turfed to give a attractive edge (and to allow for any bumps when parking) before we install the fence. 

Four of the team were lucky enough to attend the Greenkeepers conference this January. We attended courses on various subjects including bio stimulants, disease control without fungicides, Environment and Ecology, Man management and performance, Water Management, The future of golf 2030 and many more. I was lucky enough to present three times at the show. One workshop working with greenkeepers from all over on career promotion. I was then asked to be on the panel at the Young Greenkeepers Conference. This talked about many things including Social media good and bad, Career development and interviewing. Following this Myself and James Edwards presented a talk at the golf Architects Forum on the Stoneham Driving Range Project. We were in good company as the talks also included the JCB club, Dunbarnie, Royal Dornoch and Royal Portrush. 

As you can see all this plus the daily set ups of raking bunkers, cutting greens, dewieing greens, cutting the course (when we can), woodland work, College work for those on the team requiring training has kept us busy. The team have been fantastic this winter, especially with the weather and all the leaf clearing required. I thank them for their efforts and good humour. 

As we dry out expect a lot of work on the roughs, pathways and topping up bunkers, along with maintenance week, aeration across the course and work on worn areas.    

Like all of you and all of us, we just have to keep riding these Storms and being as productive as we can until the spring is upon us! 

Hopefully you will get some golf and we will see you out on the course. 

See you soon 


Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Maintenance Week February 2020

Maintenance Week
17th February – 21st February 2020

Below is the information on works to be carried out during course maintenance week

Monday: Deep solid tine to 200mm with 12mm tines, solid tine to 100mm with 12mm tines, fertilise, top dress and brush (Front 9 Closed)

Note: 2nd Green ROPE Drainage taking place Hole closed for two days

Tuesday: Deep solid tine to 200mm with 12mm tines, solid tine to 100mm with 12mm tines, fertilise, top dress and brush (Back 9 Closed

Note: 14th Green ROPE Drainage taking place Hole closed for two days

Wednesday: Top dressing Front 9 Aprons & Fertilise, Top dress greens again and over- seed. Deep solid tine aprons (Front 9 closed)

Note: 15th Green ROPE Drainage taking place Hole closed for two days

Thursday: Top dressing Back 9 Aprons & Fertilise, Top dress greens again. Deep tine aprons (Back 9 closed) (Holes 2, 14 and 15th Closed)

Friday: Cut and Roll greens, Possible snagging day for bad weather. Hollow coring 2nd, 14th and 15th greens to level after drainage. (Holes 2, 14 and 15th Closed)

Following the works the greens will be sandy and a little bumpy for a couple of weeks. We apologise for an inconvenience.

We will do our best to provide nine holes of golf daily to you the members. Please see the daily board by the flag pole.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Range Project Update

As we come to the end of 2019 we can reflect and what has been a busy, busy year. Over 11,000 lorries have come and gone from site plus a packed golfing calendar meaning a lot of patience from you the membership.

EDI visual on photo 

 By now you would have seen Nick Claytons email back in December, Nick outlined the costs and where we are with the project. Nick also pointed out the costs required to run the club and to maintain good facilities. With the cost of a new irrigation system looming, water provision, on course toilets and the old clubhouse removal for safety and additional parking plus a full clubhouse refurbishment. The list is endless and costly. 

The range project has been postponed since December. The amount of rainfall we have had since the end of september is staggering (570mm to date) and no let up is in site. Originally, the site became too wet to work and the amount of fill that required moving needed large machines to do it. To be honest I really enjoyed the break from the lorries, I think we all did! Being able to use the back tees on the 1st again and the 18th main tee gave us back the course as we like it. 

Weekly reviews of the site have been on going but at the moment we are too wet to start back up. Personally for me I want this to start up ASAP. I can see the end in site to the levels we require and would like the lorries to finish once and for all. Shaping up the range, adding drainage and topsoiling can all be done during the summer with no impact to the course. 

Above is the now proposed timeline * Subject to weather 

 How long will this take to finish? 

Looking at the weather at the moment and talking to all parties involved, above is what I think the timeline will look like.  First off, I think with a bit of luck Lorries will start back up end of February/March. I would like to start the carry/hollow on the 1st asap as I would like this back in play before the main golf season starts.  One of the issues we have is not necessarily the ground but what is being dugout out of the fields that supply us, at the moment this is slop and we cannot use this for fill at the moment.  Once this dries out a bit I think we can commence. 

Tree Planting 

 I have almost given up on the chances to tree spade this winter ( we have a month left to do it) I will never say never but I am not hopeful. To much work is required on the left of the 18th and then we need to get across the course to move these trees without causing damage and these are big machines. So for now I think this is unlikely. 
However we do need to plant the trees around the short game area to reduce risk and finish the site before opening. The option to bring in rootballed trees that we have already purchased is still an option and something I will be working on to get completed by the end of February. 

1st Hole Carry/Hollow

You will have noticed that the trees have been removed between the 1st and the range in the hollow. This is to allow us to blend out the range into the 1sth hole, this will stop huge puddles appearing at and creating poor drainage on the 1st. It will also make the range look like its always been that high in future years. I am very keen to get this area done asap as mentioned. 
During the fill the tees will need to go up on top of the bank probably level with the first bunker on the fairway. This will be Monday to Friday due to lorries but not at weekends when it will be on the normal tee. 

18th Pathway and Ladies Tee
The new ladies tee and pathway on the 18th have suffered due to the amount of rain and this being the low lying area. The finishing works have been postponed until this area dries out. Once dry, the area will be top soiled, drainage added to the pathway, pathway topped up, carry shaped and all areas over seeded. 
Behind the new ladies tee the area will be raised and heather and and roughs will be planted to naturalise. The irrigation pipe you can see lying along the surface will be dug into the correct depth as we shape the banks along 18. 

Short Game Area

The short game area is growing in nicely. We have added the first layer of sand to the bunker and are working on reducing the heights of cut on the surrounding areas to match the course. I hope to be able to Open this in May but we will keep you informed. Look out for details...

Lorries Finish

Once the lorries finish filling that won't be the last of the lorries? We will need lorries on site to bring in the rootzone, stone and other outfield resources. At this stage we are hoping to start the range building and all of these materials will need to be delivered to the site. Only once all of these are completed we will start to dig the road out across the 1st and the overflow car park and reinstating it to how it was before. The contractors will still be using the overflow car park as a yard until they leave, Once this is all complete we as a club can then finally get things back to normal. 

Proposed Plan

The Build

Profusion will be back on site to get the final shapes, the final shapes on the range, building of the tee subsoil, bunker and and greens. Once the shapes are in and agreed, the drainage will be installed along with Irrigation to the relevant areas. After this you will see the thousands of tonnes of rootzone being delivered and spread across the site before final shapes, seeding and fertilising of the areas. The bunker sand will be added once the grow in is complete. 

At the same time the power and water supplies will be ran into the new range building. The concrete slab will be created first an then the framework, cladding and fitting out. We hope to give the Pros a teaching studio to use this winter 2020 and the rest of the building to be fitted out and open in 2021. 

Grow in 

The grow in will take several months mainly over the winter period. It is essential to get this right so when we open we have no problems collecting balls and giving a great facility. 

Other questions...

What are the banks on the 18th going to look like? 

Above is a visual from James Edwards of how the banks will blend in with the 18th tee, Our aim is to get one band cut up the slope if possible and then have rough, eco roughs, heather and trees planted along the bank.

Why are we doing this? 

Old Chipping Green

New short game grow in  

The old range was 70m wide and dropped 15m from front to back

The new range will be twice as wide with very little fall. this will be fully drained,  have a grass tee, greens to aim at, fully equipped driving range and studio.  

The old Teaching shed!

As you can see, the old facilities were not fit for purpose. Most clubs are the same, the range is just some extra space they had and done nothing with. This project will be so worth it in the long run. Great facilities that you the members deserve. I hope this blog has updated you and informed you of the coming weeks/months works. I hope it reminded you of what you had and gives you an idea of what the future looks like (thanks to James Edwards for the visual images). 

We will need to be patient one more time for the final fill and then these facilities won't be a dream anymore! 

See you soon


Thursday, 7 November 2019

Be careful what you wish for!

Well, it's been a while and firstly I would like to apologise for my absence but we have had a busy period of works on the course and beautiful new baby arriving at home has made life a bit interesting. I normally try to do these blogs in the evenings at home but with time being against me, I am writing this one in the office and as I look out I can see leaves falling like rain.

Looking forward to these leaves falling 

The last blog/ vlogs and greens presentation night I explained how desperate we were for rain. Well be careful for what you wish for!  Since my last video blog in September and the presentation night we have had 88m in the last 20 days of September, 139mm in October with only two dry days in the month and 43mm so far in November (7th Nov). Thats alot of rain and 270mm in just over eight weeks. That's more rain than the previous six months...
Currently we are still well behind 2018 rainfall wise. 665mm to date v 978mm in 2018. Both considered drought years in the summer and then seriously wet periods. In 2018 it was the wet spring before the heat, 2018 was a dry winter and the dry spring of 2019 but Autumn 2019 is proving that Mother Nature tries to even herself out at some point but we feel like we are going into a more European climate which is ironic with Brexit just around the corner.

Drought damage 

I think we have all seen the damage caused over the last two summers. If you compare the areas we do have water (greens,tees and aprons) to the areas we don't (fairways and surrounds) the difference has been huge, with the loss of grass coverage and bare areas being a constant battle.
It's not a simple case of running hose's to 12 hectares of land. We just don't have the water supply, labour or irrigation system to cope. The hardest part of this industry is trying to predict the weather, no matter what planning you have in place you have to rectify problems after they have happened. As the Chairman Nick Clayton has report in his update, we have been working with Hydrologists and Irrigation designers. This is slow process as research and facts are checked. The chances of a borehole seem to be all but over. The quotes we have received due to our complex geology and chances of success seem to high a risk for the club to take and it would not be fair on members to invest the money into something we are not convinced it's going to work. Other options are being explored and we are working closely with Hydrologist and Environmental Agency to find a solution. Watch this space...

Cores from greens added to Short game green 
Short game green growing in

Back to now, Course maintenance week went really well and the recovery on the greens, tees, aprons and surrounds was quick. The greens were tined with 12mm solids and the dressed. The greens were then hollow cored with 8mm micro hollow TWICE. Why so shocking? Well our intention was to only do them once as we only cored this year for us to take the core and spread them on the new chipping green. This would then mean the chipping green is made from the same grass species as our greens and would play the same. Working with Profusion it was worked out that all 18 greens should be it enough. After 18 greens we had only made halfway. So we had to go again, which I didn't mind agronomically as it was maintenance week and you only hit about 5% of the surface with each tine process but they all had to be picked up by hand again. The team were fantastic and got the job done quickly and enjoyed the team bbq at the end of the week more. The tees, aprons and surrounds were all hollow tined and collected with 16mm tines. Doing this well help aid recovery going into the winter.
PC Drainage on the 18th green
18th green 1 week after drainage 

Rope drainage: One of the best things to come out of all this rain lately is the test of the newly installed (PCD) rope drainage. This was installed on the 18th and the 1st greens during maintenance week. The difference has been noted by a lot of people. This was designed by a US University Lecturer in the turf industry Dr Ed McCoy Ohio State University, who spent ten years researching the best way to drain push up greens. These have been successfully in many clubs over the last ten years including Queenwood, Wentworth, Walton Heath, Parkstone, West Hill to name a few. All the feedback I have had is positive. We will be monitoring how these greens perform compared to the others in the coming months and will give more feedback once all the data is collected.

Scarifying fairways 
Hollow coring fairways 


It's been another tough year fairway wise and I have never had two years in a row of drought summers. A lot of work has gone in to rectify the loss of grass coverage again. We have double hollow cored the worst affected fairways (1,6,9,11,12,14), the first core took place in August during maintenance week. At that point we carried this out to remove the dead layer thatch on the surface to allow moisture to go into the soil profile. The second core followed a deep scarify of the fairways again to remove the dead thatch layer. We have also applied a penetrant wetting agent to make the moisture get into the surface. Since then we have been around the course collecting the piles of debris/cores and removing for composting. We have over seeded the fairways by both broadcast spreader and using the Redixim 1575 overseeder. Liquid fertilisers have been added and next we will be divoting any deeper areas and granular feeding fairways. The rainfall has really helped recovery and I think we are in a better place this year compared 2018, but we still have lots of work to do.
Over seeding fairways 

Other works 

We have taken the opportunity start re-turfing areas that have died off during the summer months again. Bunker banks and worn areas around the course have been started and will be on the agenda again.

worn areas re turfed

Fertilisers have been applied to the surrounds and the worst areas over seeded.Again this work will continue throughout the winter.

You may have also noticed that we have been cutting down some of the surrounds around greens since August. The plan here is for us to have more run off areas around greens.
The long rough and heather have started to be cut down and this is something I am keen to more of once the frosts kick in.

Moving forward
The battle with leaves will be our main aim and keeping on top of the course condition as much as possible. Re turfing damaged areas and pathways are all on our list along with topping up bunkers. None of these are small tasks and take many man hours to do. We also need to do these tasks at the right time as moving tons of material over the course in its wet conditions will only cause more work when damage is caused. Working with the weather you are given and changing you plans is something we have to do in this industry daily.

Personally I am happy with how the greens have been performing but worry a lot about the drainage in some of them moving forward.
I think we can all tell how wet certain ones are and this is being highlighted even more now the two drained greens are performing so much better.
It's obvious now looking at the course, you can see how where we had water and where we do not. The loss of coverage outside of these areas dictates our working schedule but imagine how good we could be if the rest of the course looked like the greens, tees and aprons... this is something we are working on.
Damage repair and over seeding with the right grass species will be more important than ever moving forward but it will be worth it.

I will blog again soon about the Practice Ground project update and the new ladies 18th tee along with how the short game academy is developing. At the moment I am enjoying the break in lorries as we have a ten day break to allow the placement of material to be done and a survey of the levels.
We have made great progress this year and with the end of the lorries in site, I for one can't wait for it to be finished. As a club, we voted to do all of this work to be done and we all know it's going to be great when it's complete but during the process it can feel long and we all think ' Be careful what you wish for' ;-)

I hope this gives you a quick update of what's been going on.

I have loads more to catch up on and will blog again soon.

Enjoy the autumn colours


Monday, 12 August 2019

August Maintenance Week Plans

19th August – 23rd August 2019
Below is the information on works to be carried out during course maintenance week

Please give way to operators at all times

Rope drainage to be installed on the 1st and 18th greens
Monday: Deep solid tine to 225mm with 12mm tines, Hollow tine to 100mm with 10mm tines, fertilise, top dress and brush (Front 9 Closed) - All cores being Collected and used on Short Game green
Note: Aprons, Tees and Surrounds being hollow cored on entire course and collected

Tuesday: Deep solid tine to 225mm with 12mm tines, Hollow tine to 100mm with 10mm tines, fertilise, top dress and brush (Back 9 Closed) - All cores being Collected and used on Short Game green

Wednesday: Top dressing Front 9 Aprons & Fertilise, Top dress greens again and over- seed (Front 9 closed)

Thursday: Top dressing Back 9 Aprons & Fertilise, Top dress greens again and over- seed (Back 9 closed)
Note: 18th Green ROPE Drainage taking place Hole closed for two days.

Friday: Cut and Roll greens, Possible snagging day for bad weather. Hollow coring 18th and 1st greens behind. (Holes 2-17 Open. Holes 1 and 18th Closed)
Note: 1st Green ROPE Drainage taking place Hole closed.

Following the works the greens will be sandy and a little bumpy for a couple of weeks. We apologise for an inconvenience.

Please remember these works are essential for our greens to continue to improve!

Fairways 15th/16th October- Hollow coring, scarifying and over -seeding of weak areas around the course. Light top dress in weak areas.

Matt Plested

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Water be the key to life!

Wow, it’s been nearly two months since I last blogged.
I can only apologise, it’s been unbelievably busy with so much going on

Driving Range and Short game area
The new look 18th
New 1st tees growing in


The first tees have been moved and the short game, the green and bunker construction have started. The area we call Phase 2 of the driving range has been cleared and the fill has started. The short game area was our Phase 1, this has been done first to block the view from the clubhouse so we don’t need to look at a building site for to long it also gives us an opportunity to grow in the short game area and open it a year ahead of the range. 

Subsoil shaping of new Short game area
Out on the Course
Out on the course, we have gone from total despair to feeling happy following April’s 36mm and May’s 21mm of rainfall. This for spring is hugely low and the entire industry, Agriculture and other horticultural business were extremely worried. Last years drought had put us into a huge deficit and with a driest winter I can remember, our hope for spring was a wet one to help balance the water table. I would have bet a lot of money that the rain would come and it didn’t. 

Lots of hand watering April/May

May saw 21mm of rainfall but due to some hot spells (but cool nights) our evaporation was 53mm. So in fact, going into June we were in another drought state and the grass plant was dying back. All the work the team had done was dying, we re-turfed around 40 bunkers, over seeded fairways, worn areas and bare areas but we couldn’t see any evidence of the seeding because it was just so dry.
The turfs around the course from the Bunker project started to die off and we had all the new turf going down for Phase 1 of the practice ground project to keep alive. We ended up with two members of the team permanently watering. Just like last summer trying to keep things alive. We have certain areas we can’t get water too so this was sprayed using our sprayer filled with water but volume wise it wasn’t a lot but we felt we should try something.
At this point I could not believe what we are experiencing again. Last June was the month that Killed us. It was the first month EVER (since records began) that we recorded a 0mm in Southampton. Never before and I prayed it would not do it again and it didn’t!!! June 2019 has been our wettest month this year. Let that sink in...
We had more rain in one day than the whole of May. I was the only one loving it out in the course but we needed it. 88.1mm so far in June and the course has started to improve. “Water be the key to life” they say and the are right.
The seed from Autumn last year had started to come through and my worry was and still is without rain this will die back but has now established as grass plants. The seed from the spring has just popped meaning we are getting better coverage in areas. 

Seed coming through but more hollow coring work and seeding required in areas

We know there is still a lot of work to do in some places and getting the thatch out of the way is the first stage to this. This is something we are going to be working on between now and the autumn again.
The turfs we re- turfed are looking healthier or at least alive in areas. The noses of the bunkers will always dry out on us. The angles and the shallow depths of soil against the revetted edges make this a hard growing medium.
The entire course including the bunkers got sprayed with wetting agents when the rain started to try and force this into the ground and not to run off the surface. This has helped but as those of you who came on the course walks saw with your own eyes, it’s still like dust underneath and that’s my big worry. We just don’t have any moisture reserves going into July and August. A hot spell with no rain and we could be chasing again. The courses with fairway watering are coming into there own at the moment, but we don’t have this so we have to do our best and pray.

You may have also noticed a lot of weed spraying taking place.  Again due to last years drought the areas that are thin and bare in the roughs and outfields have had weed invasion. We all know how this happens from our gardens and flow beds or driveways. This is why it’s so important for us to increase grass coverage.
The only areas we haven’t yet sprayed are the fairways themselves. This is because we felt the new seed isn’t quite strong enough to take the hit off the herbicide. This is something I will watch, depending the heat.
Our normal liquid fertilisers  have started going out, again we had to wait for some moisture to get these applied. 

Boxing off (collecting grass clippings) Fairways has started. This reduces thatch and worm activity but take more man hours

5 Ton trailer full of clippings is becoming a regular site

We fertilised the fairways with no regulator to give them a kick and boy are the growing. This week alone we took over 50 tons of grass clipping off them.
We also gave them a reverse cut this week to tighten up the grass. The greens and Aprons are cut in different directions daily to stop nap (grass lying one way) but on outfield areas the more you cut in the same direction the better presented it looks. The trouble with this is the heights are false because if you brush it the other way the grasses having growing along the line and not up to the sky. For example a 15mm fairway might be 20mm as it’s laying down. So reverse cutting and raking stands this up and we get a clean cut at 15mm. We carried this out on the semi too but unfortunately it does look dull when we do this but the surfaces are so much better after. We can now step up the presentation of these areas. 

Fairways divoted at the Divot Trophy, thanks to all those that helped

The bunkers have had a lot of attention, with regard getting on top of the detail work on the banks. Flymoing and Strimming round each bit of heather and getting a consistent look.
The sand levels are checked when we rake them as best we can while staying ahead of the golf in the mornings (we can’t be moving sand around during competitions and with our busy golfing calendar, finding days to dedicate time to this is hard)but we do try our best daily.

We have been going round topping up the low ones and are happy if you let Richard or Lawrence know in the office if you notice any that are low so we can get this looked at. Please remember we cannot guarantee you a perfect lye in the Bunker, we smooth rake the edges daily giving the ball the most chance to return to the middle bit sometimes this won’t happen. Bunkers are a moving thing rain will move sand slightly through the bunker, golfers move sand all day through the bunker. Remember that our rakes are best at being push rakes not pull rakes. Please push the sand back towards the middle as you walk out. Most sand is found at the backs of the bunkers. The team move as much as they can but like I said this is done ahead of the golf teeing off at 7.30am and with 60 bunkers to rake it can be hard to stay ahead let alone move vast amounts of sand.
Sometimes you may find the rubber, but before you would have hit the clay. That motion itself would bring the clay particles into the bunker sand and following rainfall, the fines of the clay would work there way down and block the drainage meaning the bunkers were full of water. Sometimes you may bounce out but this did happen with the clay (granted not as bouncy) sometimes this will be lucky sometimes not but I can guarantee we are doing our best to minimise this. Occasionally getting a stance in the bunkers might be hard but like I said earlier we cannot guarantee the perfect bunker, I cannot guarantee the perfect stance in a ditch, or behind a tree or in a bush or in the heather as these are all HAZARDS that should be avoided. One thing for sure is we spend more time on bunkers than anything. We spend more time on bunkers than we do greens...

It’s been very busy for the team with lots to catch up on but they have been fantastic and I know how hard we are working as a team.
Working with the teams from TJ waste, Profusion, James Edwards Architect , The Tree management company along with the course has been hard and is something of a juggling act to get this Driving range and short game facility built but this obviously needs project managing from the clubs side. Along with checking the loads, the delivery notes and making sure everything is being done how we want it. The office have had to spend hours counting lorries and checking that everything is right also with Nick Clayton and Richard Arnold plus myself spending many hours on this project. During this the team have to cover work so I know how busy we have been not including all the additional work from growing in the first tees and building the pathway at 18th etc.

The MC have backed us by allowing us to bring back Matthew Moules for July and August while he’s back from University. It will be great to have him back as he knows the club well from his two years with us before and this will help agin back some of the hours lost on the project.   

Levis (left ) leaving meal. Jack opposite Levi
Levi Pethick our First Assistant left us in May for new job opportunity working as a Landscape Foreman. Levi had been a major part of our success over the last three and half years and we will miss him greatly but wish him all luck in the world and know he will make a successful career in this. I am sure he will be popping in to catch up with the team and the course.
Following Levi’s departure we have appointed Jack Wills to First Assistant. Jack came back to us from Ferndown last year and has great experience including working in Australia and will be a great addition to the management of the team. 

Matt Tubbs wanted to join a team on the up..

We have appointed a new member of the team who will come in and learn his trade and hopefully carve out a career in Greenkeeping. Matt Tubbs has joined us following a successful professional football career. He played for Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Wimbledon, Crawley and Eastleigh. Matt is also a qualified personal trainer and brings a very level headed approach and passion to succeed.

Members v Staff Match- Well this has not been played since 2007 and we felt confident with players like Lawrence, Adam, Steve, Richard, Graham and Rob all in our team but unfortunately it wasn't to be with the members winning 4-2 after Lawrence conceded a rumoured 20ft putt on the last and our team Captain Mr Young wasn't impressed as he doesn't lose at golf... a record that he has held for years :-) Next year 

Other changes?

You might have also noticed the new yardage posts on the tees and the new 150 posts on the course.  These have been planned for along time and with a Horse Chestnut being taken down from the 7th last year. This was the dried down and made by member John Bolwell. These were then treated by the team and the bonfire crew along with some help from friends, with Handy man Mart finishing them with the spikes. A massive thank you to John for all the hard work and to those that helped. The picture of the post went out on twitter gaining over 12,000 views and loads of positive comments. 

That's all from me and a brief catch up on where we are out on the course. 

Lets hope for some rain showers at night but a great summer for golf!

See you soon