Friday, 21 February 2014

Gorse coppicing

Over the next few weeks we'll be coppicing gorse in various areas around the course.  Some work has already been done and the recently purchased chipper has made the clearing up much more efficient and eliminated the need for fires to dispose of trimmings.  In the main we will be selecting small and widely spaced areas of leggy gorse for coppicing, to reduce the visual impact.  More extensive work will be done in a few areas but these are mainly where safety issues have been identified and sight lines need to be improved.  The long term aim of the gorse coppicing programme is to improve the visual appearance of the gorse and increase its value for wildlife by creating more diversity in height and age.

Practice mats

Two artificial tee areas have been installed on the river course practice ground, these will be brought into play once the seeded areas around them have established.  Another section has been laid on the short game area; this is ready for play immediately.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Storm damage

In the high winds today, yet another tree was blown down on the course, this one in the copse right of the 9th hole.  More trees have been uprooted or broken by storms this winter than the total number during my previous 16 years at the club.  Although we've had very high winds this winter, I don't think this fully accounts for the level of tree loss sustained.  The very cold spring and cold and dry early summer of 2013 put the turf under a lot of stress and it's likely that trees suffered too.  Many trees weakened by last year's record breaking weather have been unable to withstand the storms.

On a more positive note, the timing of our purchase of a chipper could not have been better.  It's been very busy over the last few weeks and has saved many hours during the clear up work. 

The pine tree, uprooted right of the 9th hole

The new chipper in action

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Short game area

Work has just been completed on the extension to the chipping green and new bunker.  If growing conditions are good the area could be in play for early summer, although the height of cut on the green will not drop below 7mm this season.

Please keep off the new turf to give it the best chance of getting established quickly.

Laying turf to the extension to the short game area

Weather summary for January

The month was very wet and temperatures were well above average.  We had 81.2mm of rain; nearly double the 45.1mm average and it was the wettest January since 1995 when we had 81.6.  The wettest January since our records began in 1979 was 1988 with 134mm which must have been pretty grim.  The average temperature was 6.5 degrees which is warmer than usual and much warmer than 2013 when the average was 2.6 degrees.  The highest temperature recorded was 11.4 degrees on the 6th with a low of -2.6 on the 21st.

                                   The mild weather brought the rare sight of a fairway mower at work in February.                              Note the river in the background - muchcloser than it should be