Well… what bizarre few months we’ve all had!
Off the back of a global pandemic, our sport has been one of a few that have benefitted as a direct result of lockdown.
As the Nation found themselves cooped up, desperate to venture outdoors and seek ‘safe’ activities to keep physically and mentally fit – Golf really came into its own.
Brailsford Golf Course has certainly witnessed a consistent influx of new and returning golfers to the sport and this support has enabled us to make and plan for some significant improvements to the course.
Ben Archer, Brailsford’s Head Greenkeeper is delighted to share a few of these updates with you:
We’ve listened to your feedback relating to the 8th tee and we agree that the teeing areas are uneven, the banks are too steep for machinery to gain access and with ever increasing demand for fresh turf to play from, it only seems right to develop the whole area rather than just one tee box.
Some of you may have noticed that works on the 8th tee have already begun and I have summarised the necessary activity below:
- The land to the left of the 8th has been flailed down. The reason for this is to carry out some drainage work and assess the play-ability of the land throughout the winter. If this is playable throughout the year then we will look to push forward with the new 8th hole.
- The ground works for the new tee box will commence in October and be completed in time for the new season.
- The earthworks will cause minor disruption to the winter tee area.
- Several trees will be relocated to allow more light/air to penetrate in what is otherwise a dark and damp corner of the course.
- The existing path will be replaced with a more suitable stoned surface.
- The new tee will be 4 times the size of the current one allowing more room to play from.
- The hole will play as a par 4 straight across the water with the fairway running from the existing 8th green around the lake to the new green on the left hand corner.
- Developments at this hole will add another challenge to the course whilst utilising more of the available land and increasing the enjoyment of golf.
Several areas of the course which are currently harboring ‘long grass’ will be cut and collected. This approach will aim to stop succession occurring and will create more diverse grassland. We also envisage that this will allow more wildflowers to grow and create a sanctuary for various wildlife to prosper.
Several of the wooded areas which are currently overgrown with self set trees will be re-evaluated in order to decide which trees should remain and which should be removed. Our aim is to ensure that the course is aesthetically right and to encourage the remaining healthy and established trees to thrive without competing for resource. Be reassured, any trees that can be relocated will be used to plug gaps in the rough. Any trees which cannot be re-homed on the course will be recycled and utilised elsewhere.
In addition, we acknowledge that the 4th green and the 5th tee becomes very wet during the winter season meaning that the 5th has to be played as a shortened hole. We have plans to make the woodland area next to the 4th green and 5th tee managed woodland. Firstly this will echo the landscaping by the 5th fairway. And secondly, by removing undergrowth and brambles, we can speed up play and allow for more light and air to reach the 4th fairway, consequentially improving the fairway and the green.
To allow further growth of the facilities, plans are underway for a new utility and storage shed area which will be located behind the 12th green. This will incorporate a machinery wash down yard and green-keeper welfare facilities. Our focus for this building will be using only sustainable materials that blend into the surroundings along with a pollinator garden to also house bird and bat boxes.
As is always the case in green-keeping, all of the planned work is with the cooperation of mother nature. Certain projects may need to be postponed and some may take longer than we anticipate, but there are some significant developments coming over the next few months.
We are excited to continue to grow and improve our facilities for members, visitors and guests.