Welcome to our latest newsletter from Portsmouth Golf Course. As we rapidly approach the reopening of the golf course what better time to update you all on what we have been focusing on. We are sure you are all fully aware of the date that golf has been given for reopening, this being Monday 29th March. Originally when this date was mentioned sighs of discontent were heard far and wide. These sighs now turn into excitement as that first tee shot draws closer. Our tee sheet went live for bookings on Monday 8th March and is still open and live now for those wanting to book a tee time. Since our last newsletter we have also gone live with online memberships. This means you can join us from the comfort of your own home. This has proved popular and we send out a very warm welcome to those that have joined us over the recent weeks.
As you can imagine, a huge amount of effort has gone into the golf course as we approach Monday 29th March. We welcome back Kevin, one of our greenkeepers who joins and strengthens the team over this busy period. The team has done a fantastic job in keeping on top of general maintenance in line with industry guidelines.
All 18 holes will be open from March 29th which is great news. As we write this newsletter the team are busy out mowing and shaping all holes. All areas including rough, fairways, approaches, collars and greens will be presented immaculately for you all to enjoy.
In our last report we shared with you our plans for greens maintenance in March. These works have been completed over the past 2 / 3 weeks. All greens have received a verti drain spiking process at the start of the month followed last week by deep scarification. The spiking process alleviates compact soil and encourages air into the soil profile. This was followed by deep scarification which penetrates the thatch layer removing fibre, debris, moss and thatch. The combination of the two sets us up for the season ahead. We knew the importance of getting the work completed before we open to eliminate disruption. Following the deep scarification we have top dressed with sand and seed to enhance the playing surfaces. The greens will still be recovering from this process once we reopen so please have this in mind when playing the course.
Our teeing areas have been cut on a regular basis throughout lockdown. We will be moving away from winter mats and straight onto grass tees for when we reopen. Throughout the winter we heavily dressed teeing areas in need with soil and seed to aid recovery. On holes 6 and 18 we may temporarily GUR sections of the tee area to assist with regeneration now the warmer weather is starting to arrive. Please do help us here and avoid using these areas.
Bunkers have been edged and will have a full rake before we reopen. Sand levels will be assessed and moved around if necessary to ensure consistenty. As before there will be no rakes in bunkers so we ask for you just to smooth the sand over with your club once your shot is played.
We’ve taken delivery of our new course rating sign which is on display for all golfers to use if they so wish. This is located on the wall as you exit the clubhouse. This sign accompanies a new scorecard that we have had designed to incorporate the recent changes. We have also taken a delivery of new holecups, flags and flag sticks which will give the course a fresh look.
Within our last newsletter we mentioned about some exciting news relating to new machinery. We have placed an order for eight electric buggies which should be with us over the coming weeks, we are just waiting on a delivery from the USA. We have also placed orders for a new articulator deck for our tractor and a new ATV for the team to use to transport themselves around the course. In addition to this the company have also invested in a Pro Core machine which will enable us to carry out more frequent aeration work to our greens. The investment falls just shy of £50k and contributes to our desire to keep improving the golf course.
Finally a message from us to say that we can’t wait to welcome you all back to the course next week. The past 12 months have been a struggle for us all and once again we hope golf can provide some respite from these challenging times. Please remember the course will be busy and rounds may be that little longer than usual. We’ve also just come out of winter and the course will be making a recovery from the colder wetter months. With this said all we ask is that you enjoy yourselves in a safe manner and appreciate the joys and benefits that golf brings to us.
Thanks for taking the time to read our latest report.
See you all soon,
The team at Portsmouth Golf Course