Some course work news and main plans for this week on the golf course to help keep you informed and perhaps answer any questions.
The scheduled greens renovation work is well underway and have been lucky to time it with fantastic weather conditions for doing the work.
Work which has been carried out this week is being done in the following phases:
Phase 1: Verti cut and cut the greens prior to coring.
Phase 2: Hollow core to remove thatch (10 mm diameter hole) and collect the cores.
Phase 3: Apply heavy sand topdressing to fill the holes and smooth out the surface.
Phase 4: Deep spike with 12 mm solid tines to a depth of around 10-12” to relieve soil compaction and allow in more sand. Work in the sand with a ‘sweep & fill’ power brush.
Following the spiking and top dressing work, greens will be rolled with additional sand applied as necessary to make sure all holes are fully backfilled with sand.
Once this work is completed, a granular fertiliser application will be applied to help boost growth for quicker recovery.
A surfactant application is also planned to be sprayed on Friday to help manage dry conditions and prevent issues with dry patch.
Holes will be changed on Friday only this week, after the work is completed.
With all resources assigned to the greens renovation work, other regular mowing will take a back seat until later in the week.
Semi rough will miss a cut this week and all other areas, such as Tees, Approaches, fairways and 1st Cut will be mown over Thursday and Friday.
As usual, many thanks to Colin for co ordinating and for the help from a large group of members with the clearing of the cores (or plugs) on the Monday & Tuesday. It was an incredible amount of work with everyone working together to get the work done. Thanks so much, we are simply unable to achieve this level of work in these timescales without this help, well done.
The work involved is essentially four tasks (verti cut, hollow core, deep spike, top dress) in one week so quite an intense renovation week with a lot of equipment & timing involved.
Understandably, this level of disruption in August isn’t ideal and is unpopular so thank you for your patience during the process. Every golf course has their own mainte-nance plan relevant to specific needs and targets so it's not quite a ‘one size fits all’ situation.
In recent years, it's now more typical for golf courses to carry out some kind of greens renovation in August, due to quicker recovery, more intense levels of play and more desire to play all year round golf.
After 14-21 days, I’m anticipating 80% recovery with noticeable improvements every week. We are at the mercy of the weather and I assure you, everything that can be done for optimum recovery is being done.
Have a great week.
LOCAL RULE: PREFERRED LIES
To promote fair play the Greens Committee would like to advise members and visitors that "preferred lies" will be in operation from the 1st April 2021 until the 30th April 2021.
Local Rule E-3
"When a player's ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:
Reference Point: Spot of the original ball.
Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: 6 inches from the reference point, but with these limits:
Limits on Location of Relief Area:
Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
Must be in the general area.
In proceeding under this Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.
Under the current Covid Tier 4 guidance restrictions the current “Winter Route” will remain in place until the 25th April. On the 26th April play will resume following the normal (summer) playing route. Information on the route is available from the Pro Shop. This will be conditional and subject to the easing of the Covid restrictions by the Scottish Government on the 26th April.
Until further notice, members are reminded not to turn up more than 10 minutes before their tee off time, maintain social distancing and avoid:
* touching surfaces with your hands
* sharing equipment
* touching your mouth and face
Use hand sanitiser or wash your hands as soon as possible after your game.
TIER 4 – Practice Area Facilities
Under the Tier 4 restrictions outdoor practice facilities can remain open but access must be controlled with safe physical distancing and appropriate hygiene measures. If you can, please carry with you an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
So until further notice only two members can access and use the practice facilities at any one time. Practice is only permitted from the 2 marked bays in the astroturf matting, no practice is allowed from the outfield grass area.
To prevent any cross contamination members must be able to identify/mark their own golf balls and you must ensure you take them away all with you. Do not pick up any golf balls other than your own, and do not pick up another members golf clubs.
If you are going to use the practice facilities please limit to your practice time to a max of 45 minutes, this is to allow other members the opportunity to use the facility.
Outdoor coaching is permitted so the Professional Paul Brookes has priority and access to the practice area bays over members. Please assist in this matter
should you be asked to vacate one of the practice bays.
Failure to follow this guidance may leave the clubs/facilities open to enforcement action from local authorities and/or Police, or be subject to disciplinary procedures from Scottish Golf.
Tee booking following recent "lockdown" announcement
Following the announcement by the Scottish Government and subsequent guidance from Scottish Golf, we are required to now limit play to “2 balls” until advised otherwise.
The decisions we make now must again put the wellbeing of our staff and members first above all other considerations, and we cannot step backwards from where we were previously in terms of the distancing and safety measures.
After review and discussion we have decided to clear BRS of upcoming bookings made previously, and to re-open booking tonight at 7pm with clean booking sheets for the normal 8 days in advance booking capability for members.
We recognise that this isn’t ideal and will result in a level of disappointment for some, but these are unusual and difficult times and we must react accordingly.
We would also ask members who can play midweek to do so where possible as a consideration for those who can play at weekends only.
In recognition of the supply/demand challenge we will now face with tee booking availability we are restricting members (temporarily) to three tee bookings in any 7 day period of Mon-Sun. (empty tee times on the day of play can be booked by anyone, regardless of how many other bookings they have in that 7 day period).
PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT WE WILL RELAX THIS RESTRICTION AS SOON AS IS FAIR & PRACTICAL
Please remember during frosty conditions, all temp greens will be in play.
When the snow melts and ground thaws, holes will be changed again.
After a continuous wet and mild spell into December, we now see an abrupt change to more typical winter conditions. It’s just unfortunate that despite some lovely sunny days has resulted in a closed golf course following a light covering of snow.
With frozen ground the course attention shifts to some tree work. We only have two greenstaff in this week so are using this time to clear some of the back log of damaged and fallen trees.
The fallen tree behind the 7th green (summer 7th) from earlier this year is being tackled, along with felling the leyandi trees just along from the 17th medal tee. These leyandi trees have been gradually encroaching and restricting the tee shot for some time and were never part of the original hole strategy.
This work is part of the planned winter work programme for 2020/21.
The fallen group of trees on the right side of the 11th hole (summer 11th) is also being addressed in the New Year.
The course currently has a light covering of snow with some icy ground conditions which has kept the course closed. As soon as temperatures increase again and the snow melts we should be able to get the course open again.
Best Wishes for 2021 when it arrives.
Protection of selected areas during winter months
As we find ourselves in the midst of another wet winter season, it naturally follows that we see significant wear and damage done to areas of the course where there is heavy traffic.
Some of those areas take significant time to recover, and we therefore try to avoid using them where possible over the coming months.
One such area is the walkway off the summer 4th tee, and that is why we are using the temporary tee that is currently in place for that hole.
In order to avoid confusion, and to hopefully minimise any associated delay with this temporary measure, we would request the following protocol for order of play.
On completing the 11th(summer 13th) hole, move quickly to the temporary tee area and allow the group behind to play their approach shots should they be ready to do so before teeing off at the 12th(summer 4th).
If the group behind aren’t ready, then don’t delay and commence play of the next hole promptly.
We have a membership who cope fantastically well and without fuss with the crossover we have at the 5th & 15th throughout the normal course route and season, and we appreciate people accommodating this temporary inconvenience on this year’s winter route.
The Greens Committee.
Expectation is Terms of Pace of Play
Several members are complaining about pace of play especially as we move into the winter months.
To address this issue club would like to give some guidance:
a) During the winter when we are playing off forward tees members should aim to complete a round of golf in approx 3hrs 45 mins. Each nine holes taking approx 1hr 50 mins.
b) Your group should aim to keep up with the group in front, and politely request the group in front if they are slow to improve its pace of play.
c) Adopt ‘Ready Golf” (see examples below)
It is not the aim of the above for the Club to promote severe sanctions for slow play. However when a player or group has repeatedly caused pace of play issues and has failed to alter behaviour after repeated requests, it is entirely appropriate for the Club to take some form of disciplinary action for the benefit of the other players using the course.
"Ready golf" is a commonly used term which indicates that players should play when they are
ready to do so, rather than adhering strictly to the "farthest from the hole plays first"
stipulation in the Rules of Golf.
During the Winter months the Club is actively encouraging golfers to agree on adopting 'ready golf' to help improve the pace of play.
The term "ready golf" has been adopted by many as a catch-all phrase for a number of actions
that separately and collectively can improve the pace of play. When "ready golf" is being encouraged players must act sensibly to ensure that playing out of turn does not endanger other players.
Examples of "ready golf" in action are:
l Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else's line.
l Marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off.
l Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options.
l Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait.
l Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play.
l Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball.
l Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker.
l When a player's ball has gone over the back of the green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot.
Colin A. Bain