Well what a difficult week!
FYI, We do not shut the course to gain some perverse pleasure and deliberately wind the members up!
The course is only closed during periods of exceptionally bad weather to prevent damage in a variety of areas. We carry out a full course inspection first thing in the morning to determine conditions, as rainfall can be extremely localised.
The past 2 weeks, since Storm Doris, have been some of the most testing for Greenkeeping and course management I have known. The combination of heavy, persistent rain, followed by sunny days is the perfect storm for frustrated members and Greenkeepers. When the soil is saturated, it takes hours for surface water to disappear. But while the puddles may disappear, the ground is still full of water. Consequently, even small amounts of rainfall bring the puddles back slowing the drying process down even more.
The course has 2 distinct characters. Holes 1,2,3,16,17 & 18 are built on soil which drains much quicker than all the holes over Trub Brook. The contours across the course, gather rainfall into low lying areas. These areas have been drained, but following persistent rain, the drainage process slows.
Recent conditions have even stopped the Greenstaff from gaining access to the course to carry out work. The last thing we want to do, is cause damage ourselves when we are so close to the start of the season. While allowing play during poor conditions would keep some happy, the damage will linger on well into the season annoying all who play.
FYI. From 1/1/2016 to 10/3/2016 there were 18 days when the course was closed.
From 1/1/2017 to 10/3/2017 there have been 9 days when the course was closed.
Despite the wet conditions, we have managed to start putting sand in the new bunkers and renovating the old. The additional seeding to the main greens has been delayed, as has the installation of the Perma Trak material around the 1st tee. As soon as conditions improve, these jobs will be completed.
Kevin Butler, a member of the Greens team, is leaving us today for pastures new (and dry, S&A). He has been a much valued member of staff for the last 5 years and we wish him well.
Fingers crossed for the weekend.
Mark & the Greens team