Golf Courses may be closed but we’ve got work to do…
We said with confidence last time we wrote to you that golf has really seen a spike in popularity, it never really dropped off until Mr. B. Johnson instructed us to close once more earlier this month. Despite these turbulent and unsettling times, we’re making the most of the opportunity and we’re confident we will prosper again once golf courses are given the all clear to reopen. And when we can reopen – we will be ready.
Ben Archer, Brailsford’s Head Greenkeeper is delighted to to take this opportunity to give you all a quick update with the progress of the scheduled course improvements as we head into winter.
As we delve deeper into the depths of winter we will increase aeration of the greens We can achieve this by using a slit-tiner, a piece of kit which slices down 200mm below the surface and allows water to pass through the soil easily. This method will also be used on the fairways to keep the surface open allowing water to drain away from the surface. In addition we have been using the Multi-tiner which works to a depth of 100mm to ease compaction.
We have completed the coring of the 7th green. This work involved removing 100-125mm of red clay sitting below the surface and replacing with straight sand. Doing this work will allow water to pass through to the drains a lot faster meaning a drier green. We have used 500kg of sand doing this work which will over time aid in changing the soil structure.
The beech hedge to the rear of the 3rd green will be brought down to a controllable size. The current hedge overgrows the path by 1m so it will simply be cut back to the edge of the path. The height of the hedge will also be reduced down to 1m. Lowering the height of the hedge will allow more sunlight to reach the back of the 3rd green during winter months when the sun is lower.
12th hole new bridges and drainage works
The construction of new bridges located on the 12th is now complete. We have used reclaimed sandstone from the local area to sympathetically fit our landscape and have laid new turf over the top. You can see me proudly showing off one of the bridges in the photo above.
Due to the amount of time drainage works on the 12th has taken, the 8th tee has yet to be started. The good news, however, is that this work can be carried out as and when we can get contractors back on site. Additionally, this work will not cause any disruption to the rest of the course, so we can complete the work as soon as it is possible to do so.
We have started removing some trees in this area and will continue to remove up to 50% of the alders lining the brook. Doing so will allow more wind to penetrate through to the 7th green and dry out the whole area. The remaining trees will thrive as they will no longer be competing for resource.
We hired a flail collector which has done a fantastic job in cutting and collecting all of the long grass on the golf course. Over the next few years we will continue to use this machine and remove nutrients from these areas allowing for a more diverse range and grasses and flowers to flourish and improve the bio-diversity of these areas.
The woodland next to the 4th green and 5th tee will become managed woodland like that located near to the 5th fairway. By removing certain trees and brambles not only will it speed up play it will also allow for more light and air to get to the 4th fairway, 4th green and the 5th tee which, during the winter months, becomes very wet meaning that the 5th has to be played as a shortened hole.
As is always the case in greenkeeping, all of the planned work is with the cooperation of mother nature. We’re on a good run, long may it last.