British Summer Time is just about to start and we have not even had a sniff of Spring yet. In the 9 years I have been working on this golf course I have only closed the course once due to snow. Three times, the course has been closed due to snow in February and March alone.

With the season supposed to be starting before winter has finished and in spite of the weather the course was open and playable for the Steve Mellor Memorial and the Winter League final. The latter was lucky to finish just before the snow started to settle.

Even with the weather and ground conditions making it impossible for any major movement around the course, we have still been able to concentrate on clearing tree and scrub areas. This is part of our big plan to tidy up the whole site, not only to improve the aesthetics of the course and surrounding area, but also to improve turf and plant health by allowing more light and air to get to the playing surface.

A small break in the weather in February allowed us to solid tine and disc seed the greens and some tees. Even with ground frost and snow the following week, we are still seeing germination. As the weather improves and we start seeing some more consistent growth, a light sand dressing will be applied to smooth out the surface. The greens look to have come through a tough winter really well and I can’t wait to see how they perform this season.

This month has also seen further investment in the golf course with a new John Deere rough mower and John Deere tractor having been purchased to help us take the course to the next level. The rough mower has already been delivered and will enable us to improve the playability and overall presentation of the semi rough. The tractor should be with us by the middle of April and will not only reduce the workload for our existing tractor, but enable us to aerate the fairways and flail the set aside rough at the same time.

We still have a few projects outstanding on the course, and because we like a challenge, we decided to start improving the path between 13 and 14. With a little help from the weather, we should have everything all finished up before Easter.

Roll on summer!
Tom Collings
Head Greenkeeper

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