During the lead up to Christmas with adverse weather in the form of heavy rain towards the end of November and snow with freezing conditions for the majority of December the teams main efforts have been towards getting the course open and playable. We have managed to tick a few smaller winter jobs off such as tree work, slit tinning and cutting of the long rough.
With the 2nd green continuing to be an unnaturally wet area we decided to explore and trace a previously fixed lead pipe that draws water from the natural spring well behind the green. As suspected we traced the pipe to the previous fix and it was leaking under the back left corner of the green (typically the wettest part). We managed to stop 95% of the flow but not a complete fix. We needed to call the Castle Estates to come out and fully block the pipe.
This picture shows the water still leaking from the pipe that was freezing over night.
The castle estates have now been to fully block the pipe, however this has created a new problem in that the natural spring is still bringing water to the well that, without the outlet of the now blanked off lead pipe is overflowing and releasing water into the surrounding area. Over time this will disperse into the ground that will ultimately filter down to the 2nd green causing a similar but lesser problem. We could fix the lead pipe so that it continues to draw water away under the green but with the age and wear on the pipe the risk of it breaking again is too high. For now we have installed a sump for the overflow to drain into but after the Christmas break we will extend an existing land drain up to the well leaving no risk of the 2nd green being effected.
This picture shows the ongoing drainage work on the green and the winter tree canopy of the copse behind the 2nd green.
This week we have also been working on the removal of selected trees in the corpse behind the 2nd green. This work will improve wind flow and sunlight to the green which is known to struggle in Autumn, Winter and Spring. It is the first to suffer from disease and last to dry out come Spring, this on a high sloping site should not be the case. Along with prolonged shade and restricted wind flow the 2nd also suffers from the spruce tree needles that litter it. These needles cannot be blown off, when the green is cut a percentage is removed but that in turn reduces the quality of cut on the putting surface. The 2 main issues with needles on the green are firstly the effect they have on play by disrupting ball roll and secondly, they create a micro climate that promotes the development of disease. The 2 spruces behind the 2nd will be removed to provide a simple fix and big benefit.
Spruce trees to be removed
During the removal of selected trees behind the 2nd we aim to improve the agronomic values of the site whilst retaining the golfing aspect. From the tee the green will still have a backdrop of trees that can be selected as waypoints and a mixture of trees will remain to produce various colours through the seasons.
This picture taken Tuesday 14th Feb 2017 shows the path of the sun at various stages of the year.
In the above picture the yellow line represents the suns arch on the day the picture was taking and also where the sun will be at hourly intervals. The turquoise line represents the suns arch during the lowest arch of the year. The green line representing the arch during March. From this picture we can see that sunlight is heavily restricted from December to certainly March potentially May. Any increase in sunlight and airflow will be a huge benefit to the green.
This picture shows work carried out on 2nd.
From the before and after picture you can see little difference has been made to the look of the hole but we should see a big improvement to the green once all work is complete and the green is firm enough for play.
I would just like to finish by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from the team and thank you for supporting us through a great year.