Welcome to our latest blog updating you all on what’s happening at Portsmouth Golf Course. After a very warm and dry summer, it’s safe to say that the wet weather has caught up with us. Since the start of November, we have had an incredible amount of rainfall, around 3 / 4 times more than the November average. This huge amount of rainfall has reduced the golf course to 14 holes but we will continue to monitor ground conditions with a view to opening the full course if we can.
Our greens are in a good position as we approach the colder months ahead. All greens were spiked and slit to alleviate compaction and assist with the draining of water from the putting surfaces. We applied a granular fertiliser in November to give our greens some much-needed nutrition which will help strengthen the leaf in preparation for the winter conditions. This time of year also brings disease pressure which we will carefully monitor. We have a spray application ready to go if we do start to see signs of disease although this risk reduces as ground temperatures decrease.
Our fairways and rough will continue to be cut whilst we still see growth following somewhat milder conditions over the past few weeks. As we start to see temperatures dip into single figures these cutting routines will reduce significantly. Our efforts right now are focused on the collection and disposal of leaves around the course including the holes out of play. This will be an ongoing process over the next couple of weeks.
We are currently going through our second phase of tree works that relates to a safety survey conducted in the spring of 2021. We addressed the higher-priority trees last winter and now move on to those deemed medium-priority. Similar to last winter the work heavily revolves around the management of the Ash trees on the golf course and the associated dieback disease that the species is suffering from. Once again, we emphasise here that nothing healthy is being felled, just trees that jeopardise safety. Trees that are felled will be stacked where possible to provide habitats for insects and animals.
As mentioned in previous reports the team spent some time in the Autumn improving the golf course drainage. Ditches were cleared with a digger and existing drainage pipe outlets were rodded and cleared to assist with the flow of water coming off of the golf course. The increased flow was certainly evident throughout November, although the course remained very wet. We are hoping that this work will have a positive effect, whether it be prolonging holes from closure or getting holes opened quicker. These works will be ongoing alongside planned visits from external contractors to improve the situation further still. We will keep you updated on the progress.
Now we find ourselves in the winter season, we will commit ourselves to some projects over the next 3 / 4 months. These projects will improve the course and are based on feedback received over the 2022 golfing season. These projects will range from more work on tee areas in need of re-turfing to extra course furniture in areas of need. We will also invest in some clubhouse improvements, in particular the bar area where we look to improve the current offering. In addition to this, we also have invested in our machinery over the winter period in preparation for the 2023 season. This investment will replace some current machinery for new which is great news. As a business, we now have an external contractor in place delivering a service contract ensuring our machinery is continually serviced and maintained to the highest quality. This, in return, will have an ongoing positive effect on course conditions which is of utmost importance to us.
This will be our last blog before the new year so may we take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. Please keep an eye on our social media pages where we will keep you up to date on projects and course conditions. We always state our course conditions on our Intelligent Golf tee time booking page, so do refer to this for the most up-to-date information.
We will remain open throughout the Christmas period, with Christmas day being the only day when we will be closed. We’d love to see you over the festive period, so if festive golf is on the agenda please book online to receive our very best rates.
Team News – On a final note, we would like to introduce Dylan Wood as our new Chef. Dylan joined us in mid-November and is settling into his new role nicely. Dylan will play a big part in improving our catering service as we move into 2023 and beyond. Whilst sharing team news we’d also like to congratulate greenkeeper Paul Olden on collecting our recent employee of the quarter award. Well done, Paul!
Thanks for taking the team to read our latest update. We look forward to updating you in the new year!