From Richard Hill, Course Manager: The golf course held up well during the recent hot spell, and we now head into a cooler week before another forecast hot spell arrives at the start of August. The course hasn’t been this green heading into August in the 14 years I’ve worked at the Club and this means it will be in a great position as we head into the autumn when we are usually looking for it to recover from the scorching summer sun.
The September overseeding will have an even bigger impact than normal along with the September/October growth flush we usually see. The grass coverage will increase and the health of the fairway turf will greatly improve as its root mass increases. Of course, it depends on what the weather does, but, historically, as we get further away from June 21st, the chance of long, hot summer nights reduces significantly, as do long, hot days. This should leave the cool season grasses to thrive should an Indian summer arrive.
The new yellow tournament pins and flags have arrived and are now out on the golf course. We have also ordered a 10ft flag to use when the pin is placed towards the back of the 13th green. The new hole cutter is a big upgrade on the previous equipment used to change holes. There are new yardage discs on order and as soon as these arrive, they will be out on the golf course.
Bill Bolton’s Bar on the 9th tee will also be making a return very soon, just in time for the next forecast hot spell at the start of August. The investment into Hampton Court continues, as we recently took delivery of a spin dresser and are awaiting the delivery of a new green’s mower, all of this helps us to keep improving the course.
We have some irrigation extensions to make to some tees, these will be taking place on the main 2nd, 5th and 15th tees on July 27th and 28th, again just in time for the next forecast hot spell.
The changes will help us water more efficiently and gain better coverage over the tee, thus improving the quality of the surface and reducing our water usage. The irrigation run time will also be significantly improved, allowing us to irrigate far more effectively, especially as we now need to find the time to irrigate the 1st and 18th fairways.
The new additions to the greenkeeping team — Carl and Max — have settled in very well, which has very positive implications all-round as we look to continually improve golf course and the way we work.
We did not, however, come through July without a mistake. Many of you will have noticed the lines on nearly all the greens. These lines aren’t the result of an oil or hydraulic leak but of a slightly twisted nozzle on the sprayer, which then put out a more concentrated amount of solution. Unfortunately, the errant nozzle was located at the rear of the sprayer, out of sight from the operator. The lines, which are dark in colour due to the iron and seaweed present in the solution, aren’t immediately visible when spraying, which makes it hard for the operator to spot. They will eventually disappear over time as the grass grows it out.
On a positive note, the team has installed a new drainage system and soakaway in one of the 7th greenside bunkers. This will reduce the amount of time the bunker is waterlogged significantly, and means it will be back in play far sooner after any substantial rainfall. We will also be looking to do the same to a few of the bunkers on the par-3, 8th.