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Head Greenkeepers Report: March 2021

Following the Government’s announcement on the resumption of golf on Monday, March 29th it will be all systems go for the next 4 weeks.

As you know from my year-end report and February update, due to weather conditions, we changed things around with the Winter Maintenance plan, which allowed us to be in a good position to react to the announcement. This, coupled with the improvement of the weather over the last few week's has helped.

Since my last report, we have been able to plant over 120 new trees. These are Scotch Pines and Norwegian Firs. We have planted these on holes 1,2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 18. As they begin to grow, it will help separate the holes and in most cases, will enhance the view of the hole and shape the fairways and make the greens stand out.

We have taken photos of this work and can be seen below.

As the good weather has started to arrive, we have begun preparation work on the course for the re-opening and the season start. We have already started this work, and it will continue for the next 3 – 4 weeks.

We have been able so far to aerate all tees and fertilised them. We have also aerated, vertidrained and fertilised all the greens.

We have also been able to slit all the fairways three times, and the problem holes (2, 6, 7) we have done these four times.

We are planning to repeat all of this work, to continually improve the airflow and help improve the sward, which thickens the grass and helps in staving any disease.

In addition to the above, we are starting to cut all the rough and fairways.

We have, as I write this report, had a digger & dumper delivered from our partners Fairfax. The equipment is on loan for the next two weeks, and we will use it to resolve as much of the drainage issues as we can.

In my last report, I advised of the issue we had on the front apron of the first hole. We believe this was created by previous greenkeepers extending the green without using drainage. Whilst being extended, the extension came away from the original green that was built on ash, creating a wet area.

Consequently, the work we did last year worked in part, but not completely. This will be the first project to tackle, hopefully, we will resolve this by putting in a bunker and then drainage out of this to the ditch and away.

We are then going to start the preparation required on the 6th & 7th holes in readiness for the contractors to begin the new drainage work as soon as we can agree on a start date. We must be ready so that as soon as possible we can have the major work done and see the benefit.

A MASSIVE THANKS goes to our Senior-Captain, Graham Trotter who has been coming and working in a safe environment and has serviced all of the machines we use for cutting etc.

His work will save hundreds of pounds and will ensure we start without the possibility of having breakdowns or problems and means we will be ready to go from the start. It has been a brilliant job well done.

Finally, as always, a big thanks to our volunteers who without them we would not achieve as much as we do and I really appreciate all they do for the club and course.

These are Alan Puddyford, Alan Beaumont, Alan Palmer, Peter Rowbotham, Roger Elliott and John Allison, and of course my brother Lee Sneap. Each of them has been a great help, in getting the golf course ready for the re-opening and season ahead.



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