Let me start with a belated Happy New Year to you all!
2018 was a very tough year beginning with very cold weather followed by one of the driest, hottest summers on record and I would like to say thank you for bearing with us when the conditions became incredibly challenging to manage.
I would also like to say how well my team worked throughout the year to make sure the playing surfaces remained as good as possible! They all worked tirelessly through one of the toughest years I have ever encountered as a greenkeeper.
We intend to continue with the same quality and standards as last year (hopefully without any dramatic weather conditions!) and the year has certainly started off well and the greens look in good condition for January. There has been a little fusarium on greens but this is fully under control and should not spread as may have happened in previous years.
We have a number of ongoing projects including repairs to the bridges on the 11th and we are also rebuilding our maintenance bridge by the 9th which was becoming a little rickety.
Our tree surgeon will be on the course over the next few weeks to complete maintenance work on the 10th and 11th (left and right hand side).
We are still considering work on paths from greens to tees (14-15, 15-16, 16-17) and aim to complete this before the season starts.
The final task for the winter is to put some drainage on the 14th green and big greenside bunker which is one of our problem areas – however we are still at the planning stage.
On a final note, may I remind everyone of a few points of etiquette on the course – please repair your pitch marks, please rake your footprints in the bunkers once you have been in them and remember the greenkeeping team are working on the course on a daily basis and in order to achieve the best standards possible they may be working where you are playing – already this year one of our greenstaff has been hit with a golf ball.
PS – our swans are becoming more and more confident and trying to steal food from golfers (or in fact anyone who they encounter) so please do not feed them and they will hopefully get the hint!