Saturday, 14 January 2017

The bunker project- Finishing touches

Carrying on from my previous blog I thought I would tell you about the last stages of the project. I also have a you tube video you can watch to get you in the mood for the new bunkers. 
Here is the link below:-

After a delay of nearly a month on the Heather turf due to unseasonal dry weather and issues with the companies lifting equipment. It's worth remembering last year we were a trial site and it was lifted by hand. This year they have orders from a few very big clubs also, so they needed to make a machine to lift big areas quickly, making it easier for the guys to lay our end. So this took time too. 

The Heather turf arrived at the beginning of December... 52 pallets to be precise. Meaning we had a very busy run up to Christmas. 

The look we got from adding the Heather turf is something pretty special. It's aged the bunkers making them look like they have been here forever. Graham and myself, went to see the Heather turf being lifted and also collect pictures of what natural Heather areas looked like so we could replicate this back at the club. 

After a team briefing showing the greenstaff our pictures on the big screen the guys really understood what we wanted and done a great job. 

The surrounds and swails with the added Heather look natural and it really frames the hole. I have also been impressed with the quality of the Heather turf. Let's hope we get some rain to help bed it in! (Over night only would be perfect ;-)

With all 52 pallets of Heather turf out before Christmas the team got a much needed rest. 
They have had such a busy season and we have spent over 2200 man hours on projects alone. That works out as one member of the team working 42 hour weeks every week for a year just on projects! Obviously it doesn't happen like that as we have other things like running the golf course and competitions but you get my drift. 

So much work has been done on the course that I have been asked to go around the country in various places and to talk about 'Stoneham' to Greenkeepers, trade and General Managers. All this is great PR for the club and others are looking at what we are doing.
Okay, I m going off on a tangent now. Back to the bunkers. 

Now into January and the weather is still dry enough for us to get some sand into the bunkers. 

This isn't the final levels but the first layer. PLEASE DO NOT PLAY FROM THE BUNKERS. 
The Heather turf and turf haven't rooted well enough yet to take sand splash. 

The sand in the bunkers will get chance to settle and compact down and we will top up until the levels are right. The bunkers will open as soon as they are ready but not before. 

We also added Heather Turf to the 1st tee. Replacing the old hedge with heather has enhanced the view from the clubhouse and pro shop area and the Heather has brought the feeling of the golf course to the first tee. 

Following this we will cut in the last areas of heather, tidy and top up the drain lines ahead of the season. 

Other work's have included cutting, flymoing and preparing the new turf areas, woodland management, placing out winter mats on the high wear tees. Spraying the greens to try and prevent disease and add wetting agents. Edging bunkers and weeding and general works to get the course tidy following all the works. 

With the winter solstice done and now in mid January the season will soon be on us. 

We just have February traditionally the coldest month of the year to go and then (let's hope) boom! 

I hope you agree the new bunkers are starting to look the part and they have both improved the course strategically and aesthetically.  


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