Monday, 14 December 2015


Today (Monday) we started drainage work on the 2nd green by cutting and lifting the turf, where pipe drains will be installed.

Both photos below are examples of the 2nd green following heavy rainfall which has gradually become a far to familiar sight.  Effective drainage in turf management is of paramount importance to:

  • general plant health & physiology.
  • provide firm surfaces and greens performance.
  • minimising course closure during winter, as well as disruption to competitions during the summer months.
  • reducing soil compaction.
  • maximise playability all year round.
  • reduce likelihood of turf diseases such as fusarium.

2nd Green Following heavy rainfall - December 2013.

2nd Green following heavy rainfall - December 2013.

Remedial work for the 2nd green drainage is now being addressed and will generally involve:

  • Lifting turf lines where drainage is being installed.
  • Digging trenches using herringbone drainage system method - by hand and utilising trencher machine on main lines and positive outlet (across 7th fairway).
  • Installing 100 mm perforated pipe - (about 350m in length).
  • Backfill with gravel, then free draining rootzone material to depth of 300 mm.  
  • Re lay existing turf.

It's expected the 2nd green will be back in play during March 2016.

Turf cut by using turf cutter and being lifted in sections, then placed to the side.

Turf being cut, using turf cutter.

Turf being lifted and placed to side of the green.

Turf lifted, ready to start digging trench.

On Tuesday the trencher machine starts digging the trench across the 7th fairway as a postive outlet. This will allow the water to be quickly discharged from the 2nd green as well as helping improve drainage to 7th fairway.

Leaving clean and tidy finish.

Heavy clay soil
Irrigation pipe and cable located before the machine does!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


As we approach the shortest day of the year, the work load for the greenstaff certainly doesn't decrease!

People often ask me 'there can't be much to do over the winter months' so hopefully this post along with others over the winter will give you an idea about some of the tasks going on around the course.

Below is brief description and I plan to post more detailed information on certain topics, hopefully this will keep you informed.


  • Leaf clearing is regular morning task, with only the Oak trees holding onto the last leaves.  

Robin blowing leaves from 6th Green

  • We have seen a fairly mild and wet winter so far with mowing windows limited due to recent rainfall levels.  Luckily we were able to make use of the rare opportunity to cut the greens, last Thursday.

James mowing 13th Green last Thursday afternoon.

  • Spiking of greens, tees, approaches and fairways using solid tines started from October onwards.  Optimum conditions for this have allowed us to achieve best results.  However, the turn in weather means there are still a few fairways to complete which will have to wait until ground conditions allow.  Spiking is crucial in relieving soil compaction and helping improve drainage by increase pore space for water percolation.  It's a fairly slow process as some fairways take a full day to spike!
Brian spiking the 15th fairway - using 19 mm solid tines to depth of 4-5 inches.

Other regular tasks over the Autumn / Winter months include:
  • Bunker raking.
  • Managing and monitoring course foot & trolley traffic using black mats, white lines, rope & staking to move away from delicate areas.
  • Movement of tee markers.
  • Hole changing.
  • Greens spraying, using plant protection applications.

Recent poor ground and weather conditions have allowed the team to push on with work involving the least movement of equipment around the course.


There will be information on separate post specifically on this topic explaining current and future work planned.  However, below is brief description on work currently in progress around the course.

  • Tree plantation by left side of the 3rd hole has been thinned out and trees pruned.  The rational is to allow the best trees to flourish, prevent branches from damaging tractor during mowing, reduce chance of losing golf balls as well as speeding up play and generally tidy area up.

3rd hole before scrub clearance and tree pruning.

3rd hole during scrub clearance and tree pruning.

Now easier to locate ball and still be penalised yet possible to play shot out.

  • Tree removal by 2nd tee / behind 1st green.  There were a few conifer trees still need dealt with as a result from storm damage earlier in the year / previous years.  We also took opportunity to tidy whole area and make old ladies tee (from years ago) accessible with view to utilise over the winter months.  Other trees were also felled behind the 1st green to allow more sun light into the green.

Conifer tree by ladies tee that blew down back in January - used some branches for tee markers!

Further trees felled to make route to old ladies tee accessible and to allow more light into the 1st green.

  • Scrub clearance around the 11th tee.  This work is ahead of plans in the new year to re build and extend this tee. Following the members course survey this tee has been identified as being the least level teeing surface which is being addressed with further improvements.
Scrub clear to side and rear of the tee prior to re construction.

The tee will be levelled, raised slightly,  and extended in size with drainage installed to help cope better with all year round play.

  • 12th Green Oak tree coppicing.  Some over hanging branches pruned along with some basic tree maintenance carried out to maintain this majestic Oak tree.
Jimmy showing his tree climbing skills!


  • Bunker renovation is underway to re define edges and re shaping alterations to provide an even and consistent base.  Drainage with be rectified if necessary.
Bunker base has been smoothly and evenly contoured with the edges re defined.  Photo taken after heavy rain  and drains water quickly.  The bunker is also more visible from the tee and now ready for fresh sand.

  • Turfing some poor areas of ground around greens on the 7th, 13th and 16th.  Grass type known as RTF was used which is tolerant for heavy wear and drought conditions.  Once allowed to fully establish together with good maintenance practice we should continue to manage good grass coverage in these high traffic routes.
Banking by 7th green re turfed in October, establishing nicely.

  • Out of bounds on the 18th has been moved back inside the fence and defined using white posts.  The aim is to make the out of bounds clearer and visible form the tee.

  • Fairway posts are being replaced with black and white ones which are removable.  Having all these posts the same colour will look tidier and the ability to remove will reduce labour intensive strimming work.  There is a chance 'kids' might steel them, however it's anticipated the posts will not go far if this happens and as we make ourselves they only cost about £10! We will trial and monitor the possibility of them disappearing.
Post on 8th fairway - turf still to be added around base.  The same to follow on the 4th, 10th, 13th and 14th.

  • New tee markers being made from tree branches.  We are aim to have all markers replaced for spring 2016 including some spares!

Tee markers made from branches - ready for treating then ends painted relevant colour.

  • 17th Medal tee path.  Work just started to widen this section of path to facilitate better (and safer) access for the golf buggies.  
More room for golf buggies with lack rubber mats to be installed as path surface.

That covers most work around the course over the past few months. I'm aiming to post shorter reports and monthly news around the course as well as progress on individual projects of topics.

Sunday, 19 April 2015


All the green staff have been working their through a heavy work load over the winter months, carrying out course improvements as well as regular maintenance work.  It's the time of year when we start to see a transition from winter into spring/summer.

Below is a video clip showing a re cap of some of the work over the last 4-6 weeks.

Grass growth and mowing is gradually coming.  In the meantime, other planned work over the next few weeks and into May is listed below:

  • Bring 5th green side bunker back into play.
  • Turf drain lines on 3rd, 7th and 15th.
  • Complete last few bridge alterations for golf buggies.
  • Flymo and trim bunkers
  • Clear fallen tree (from strong winds) left side of 2nd tee and fell poplar trees behind 1st green - allow more light / air flow around green.
  • Replenish sand in bunkers.
  • Edge bunker edges.
  • Grade out soil in hollow between 4th tee and 6th hole.

Please note the list is not exhaustive and other work will need done!

As the season competitions begin and your just starting to dust of the clubs again, then welcome back!

Sunday, 15 February 2015


There are various course improvement jobs in progress, so below is a brief update about what's been happening around the course.

This post briefly covers:-

  • Greens drainage
  • 18th tee bank
  • 5th bunker
  • 6th - area left side of bridge
  • Tree work
  • 10th old tee

If you have played recently, you might be thinking - why do they keep starting something new without finishing the previous job?  

Well, mainly down to weather/ground conditions and resources.  We have a lot of work to get through and are aiming to work efficiently, so if weather or ground conditions hold things up with a certain task then we move on with something else.  

With the greens drainage work we generally get a few greens to same stage which also helps manage machine hire costs.  Also, some projects link up and we try to make use of all materials.  For example, if we remove soil from digging drainage trench, we like to use elsewhere. 

So, there is some method in the madness!


Sub surface drainage is being installed on the low lying areas of the green.  This will not be an overnight cure as additional drains will likely be required along with a reduction in thatch.  However, an improvement is expected and is certainly a big step in the right direction. 

Area highlighted where drainage is initially being installed - 3rd green.

Drainage installed with turf soon to be re layed.

Greens with work in progress so far include the 3rd, 7th, 9th and 18th with additional lateral drains to be added next winter if necessary.  Other greens are also to be included with the 2nd green a high priority next winter.  More detailed posts for each green will be posted on the blog soon so keep a look out.


Some tee banks around the course have quite sharp edges which creates additional maintenance work over the summer.  Normally this tee bank would have to be cut with a flymo type mower which is more labour intensive.  

Now the bank has been landscaped to a better gradient, it will allow a ride on machine to mow this area therefore eliminating labour intensive flymo work. 

Other tasks on the tee itself also become easier because now the machines can turn on the bank where before it was not possible.
Tee bank re landscaped

Turf was lifted then using soil from nearby drainage work was used to re shape the bank.  Following soil preparation the same turf was re layed.  The same work is currently being done to the left side.

None of this work cost a penny!


Many bunkers on the course have an uneven base which leads to inconsistent depths of sand on the surface.  

All grass over growth around the edge was removed to leave a fresh clean edge and shape restored to original shape.

Before work started.
Base re shaped and grass over growth removed.

Once the sand was removed, some clay soil was brought in from another job (12th/13th path work) to help re shape the bunker base.

Some wet weather back in November limited the progress for this project, along with other work priorities.  Conditions are currently good (dry - rain & clay don't work well together!) and it's expected the next step will be carried out over the coming weeks.

Having an evenly shaped base will allow us to manage sand depths more easily and therefore improve playability.


This sharp slope and deep hollow is labour intensive for mowing (flymo work) during the summer which is unnecessary.  

Using soil from other jobs to re landscape deep hollow.

By softening the slope and reducing the depth of the hollow will make more accessible for a ride on mower, saving time on flymo work by hand.  This will likely be seeded in April/May.


Over the winter there has been bursts of tree work going on around the course. The reasons for this work are:-

  • Tree felling following recent strong winds, most notably around the 12th tee. 
  • 'Crowning' as basic tree maintenance.  This involves removing lower branches and will improve accessibility for mowers, as well as helping you find your golf ball more easily!  It also allows the tree to grow properly.
  • Felling to reduce tree numbers which allows more desirable trees to grow and flourish.
  • Improve much needed light and air movement for the turf, especially around the greens.  
  • General scrub clearance (such as 'suckers', brambles etc) that sprout up from nothing and eventually suffocate more desirable species.

Below are photos of some of the work carried out.

Following recent strong winds early January. - 11th / 12th.

Work well underway around the 11th / 12th.

A lot of wood and not many trees left, 11th / 12th.

The 6th medal tee 'carry' now has a clear sight to the green.

Clear view to 6th green and more aesthetically pleasing.

BEFORE - looking back to medal tee.

AFTER - looking back to medal tee.

10th TEE

Soil removed from drainage work for the 9th green has been dumped around a previously used 10th tee.  This is with the possibility of re instating the use of this tee, even as an additional tee or winter tee.

An old 10th tee.

Soil dumped and tracked in around bank at 10th.

Drainage work on the greens is expected to be fully complete, with turf layed by next week.  Look out for additional posts on some of these points, giving a bit more information throughout the various stages of the project.

Remember by entering your email address in box at top right side, you will automatically be notified with any new posts.  

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


We have started some drainage work on the 18th green this week with the turf lifted on Monday 26th January.  

The area of the green where water initially starts to puddle is along the back edge, as illustrated in photo below.

18th green - December 2013.

We are initially targeting this area of the green by installing sub surface drains. Two drain channels are being excavated along the back of the green and will be connected to an existing drain on the approach as a positive outlet.  

Once the drain is installed, a sand root zone will be back filled to a specific depth of 300 mm (12") and will be carefully consolidated every few inches.  When the back filling of root zone is complete, the turf will then be re layed.

Turf is cut, using a turf cutter machine and put to the side.

Now the turf has been removed, boards are layed ready for the trencher machine to excavate the drain line.  Use of boards are essential to protect the green surface during the work.

'Kanga' pedestrian trencher midway along the first line.

Wheel barrows are used to remove to root zone from trench, then load to trailer.

Work in progress.....