14th bunker- before renovation with the basic shape sketched out Click to view all 9 images...
First two levels of the turf wall
Revetted face taking shape
Each level is partnered with an application of rootzone behind to help with compaction and to create a sturdy face
Laying turf to the top to blend in the bank
Finished revetted face
12th tee after the turf has been lifted and roughly rotivated
Petrol turf cutter in action
2nd green after it's been verti-drained
With the playing season coming to an end, our attention turns to course protection, recovery, and playability for next season, whilst simultaneously completing the winter projects that have been scheduled by the greens committee.
The mild weather, conducive to growth, continued for longer than anticipated, meaning regular cutting of the greens, tees, fairways, surrounds and semi-rough continued well in to mid November. As the cold snap has now set in, we will strive to cut, were weather and time permits throughout the winter months.
The acquisition of a new tractor and a verti-drainer attachment has been a vital addition to the fleet and will benefit the course now but also for years to come.
Already the greens, tee boxes, the majority of fairways and selected walk off areas and other problem areas have been verti-drained.
Verti-draining is designed to de-compact the soil. Regular deep spiking, using the verti-drainer, is imperative for healthy root growth. The model that we selected for purchase can shatter compaction in almost all ground conditions.
The idea is that equally spaced holes provide a 'surface pan shatter'. This allows water, air and nutrients to disperse to the grass roots easier and more quickly and also means that the roots can penetrate the ground deeper. This process has an instant improvement to the turf. We will continue to verti-drain areas systematically throughout the winter and also the playing season.
Tees: It was decided that the 9th medal, 12th medal and 16th medal tees would all be relaid. To date, using a petrol machine, all turf has been cut with the majority of it already removed. The next process is to rotivate the existing surface to loosen it up before getting it level. Then it be left to settle and new, more hard wearing turf will be laid.
Additionally, in order to help protect the medal tee on the 16th, and help minimise wear and stress; it was decided to widen the tee and square the shape off. This meant the removal of around 8 hawthorn trees to create the needed space. After the trees were felled, and removed, the stumps will then be ground down.
Bunkers: Concurrently with the above mentioned tees, bunkers on the 6th and 14th have been elected to be renovated. Starting at the 14th, the three bunkers on the right hand side are being made in to two, with the top right bunker being filled in and turfed over. The remaining two are being reshaped with a revetted face being installed on both. To do this, turf recycled from the tees will be fully utilised in building a turf wall. Each level of turf is recessed by 10-20mm from the level below, creating a face with a gradient that is not overly steep, meaning bunker shots will be easier than the grass face before. A revetted face will also be installed on the left side bunker on the 6th.
On all bunkers that receive attention, efforts have been made to expose the drains/ sumps beneath and to assess their effectiveness and to make adjustments were necessary to improve drainage and to try to eliminate bunkers flooding from heavy rainfall.