Head Greenkeepers Report: Winter Maintenance Plans 2020

Further to the meeting with the Greens Committee, below are our plans for Winter 2020.

Whilst we have improved the drainage year on year since my arrival, it continues to be the main focus of all our planning.

We are endeavouring to make the course more playable all year round as our long term objective and this is uppermost in our plans.

As you know through lockdown, we were able to concentrate on holes 3,4,5 as our ‘Essential Maintenance’ and this has proved to be very successful.

This has put us some 2 years ahead in this area because of no interruptions and being able to concentrate solely on the work needed.

We have identified the following areas on the 6th Hole that need attention for this year’s major focus.

In front of the 6th Tee near to the Ladies Tee area, we are still seeing the area continually being wet and this clearly needs more work on top of what we have done previously.

With this in mind, we are planning to dig out and create a pond. This will be not too deep but will be a ‘capture’ point for the additional drainage runs we are digging to feed into this area.

At the same time, we are going to extend the path from the Tee area down the right side along the treeline.

All the spoil from the digging will be collated in one area and marked off as GUR. This will be used for supporting future Tee Renovation work.

At the back of the 6th green, we are investigating the best course of action to dry up the area, the soil is predominantly clay so even though we have done some work, it’s clear further work is needed.

A possible solution could be to dig it out and replace the area with a bunker and add new drainage from the back of the bunker itself similarly to what we have done on 8th

To ensure the front of the Green is improved, we are considering opening the ‘old open ditch’ that was there.

However, it would be ‘sculptured’ differently with it being dug out and using the limestone we have to ‘hold’ the shape of the banks and ‘flat’ drainage using slabs we have.

This will continue through across the 7th Fairway and away into the trees.

We will continue to review the Tree re-generation programme and remove trees where applicable. There are some trees that are becoming dangerous as well as unsafe. These will be the focus of our attention.

Additional drainage work is needed on the 2nd Hole at the front of the green and the back right-hand side. We will, however, need to be careful here as to what we do as the irrigation runs through this area.

Again, we will assess what is required and determine subject to weather conditions what we can do.

Subject to weather conditions, we are looking to add diagonal drainage runs down the 7th/13th ‘from the top of the hill’

Again, if the weather is kind and we are able to complete the tasks we have set, we are hoping to extend/create paths on holes where applicable.

To help in all of this, we have been given FREE 30 tons of ‘crumb’ by M&H Contours

We may need to purchase additional limestone to complete these works but I have a contact to get us a very competitive price.

We are looking to start the digging work as soon as we are able to secure the machinery required from Fairfax and when grass growth slows down – this is potentially early October and we are wanting to get ahead of whatever bad weather may come!

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Opened in 1990, Drax Golf Club is a hidden gem situated in the North Yorkshire district of Selby.

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