Welcome to the latest course update, it’s been a while since our golfers stepped foot onto the hallowed turf which brings solstice to our lives. Just prior to the Christmas period the course was becoming challenging due to the soft ground conditions. Our volunteers have completed a sterling job in our absence; it would be remiss not to praise the efforts of Paul Jones, Tomos Jones, Lindsay Fisher, Martin Thomas, Dewi Roberts, Bryn Hughes, Paul Duffy & Nick Gibbs. They have all contributed so much to the course over the last couple of months. With now a full team of staff, it gave us the platform to complete an enormous amount of work in a short space of time.
I’m sure all our members are familiar with the challenges USGA greens present with thatch production or as it’s more commonly known as organic matter. We are in a constant battle to manage the OM levels, the more fertilisers and water we use the more OM we produce, the most effective ways to restore the equilibrium is using mechanical appliances such as hollow coring and scarifying. With no golfers present we had the short window of opportunity to complete hollow coring and scarifying the greens twice in the last week. This procedure isn’t recommended this time of the year with the low and unpredictable ground temperatures, the perfect strategy is lightly and often. However fortune favours the brave, I recognised with no golfer present we were able to be aggressive and remove as much OM as possible. It would be impossible for us to complete these tasks whilst golfers were utilising the course. The greens have recently been treated with lawn sand, this will kill any residual moss and also increase the general colour of the greens. Depending on when the course opens, the greens will change from black to a dark green, this is common with the application of iron. The greens are scheduled for topdressing once we have several days of dry weather. This will only have a positive result on the performance of the greens, with the addition of vibrating rolling we will ensure the greens are in a true and perfect condition. However I am asking for some patience as in reality we haven’t reached official spring as of yet. With each passing day the greens will become firmer and better, within the next couple of weeks all the hard work on the greens will pay dividends.
All the fairways are looking immaculate for the timing of the year, the units for the fairway mower will soon be sent for a regrind with new bottom blades, this will ensure we can maintain our fairways to a high standard for the remainder of the season.
The rough has been mown with 95% capacity and only isolated damp areas remaining, with improving weather next week we aim to complete all the rough.
The tees and aprons are responding well to their first cut of the season, with improving weather conditions we expect to achieve a high standard in the coming days.
The bunkers will soon be edged with additional sand added, it may take a few days for the sand to compact and become more prevalent to what a bunker should be.
In recent times the willows on the 5th hole have encroached the green and caused a variety of issues, the removal of several limbs was deemed necessary for the health of the green. The plan was to reduce the volume of foliage on the last two trees, this will increase the airflow, improve the grass coverage adjacent to the green and also keeping good practice in the general health of the local area. The first two willow trees will be reduced next year, the idea is for them to act as screening from the carried out work from the tee until the foliage has recovered. Next autumn the first two willows will be reduced and within eighteen months there will be a full recovery and the hole will be picturesque once more.
I’m sure all our members are now aware there may be some disruption to the flow of golf due to the flood alleviation works in conjunction with Conwy County Borough Council, there’s a temporary tee installed at the bottom of the first path, the contractors have installed a temporary path for our golfers and visitors to transit from the putting green to the temporary first tee, please see the attached picture for the advised route to the tee. The temporary tee will be utilised for midweek and we will revert to our main tee for weekends, any balls landing in the work area will be governed by a local rule in the designated dropping zone.