Welcome to ‘Fresh from the Fairways’, the latest blog from the team at Castle Point Golf Course.
After what has one of the wettest starts to the year in history, we’re now dealing with unusually hot and dry conditions for early summer.
This has created a challenge for greenkeepers across the UK, so we wanted to keep you updated you on how we’re tackling these issues.
We’ll start with the obvious ones. You’ll no doubt be aware that several greens on the back nine have suffered damage to the playing surfaces. This is partly due to the extreme drought conditions we experienced in summer 2022.
Castle Point Golf Course opened in 1988 so the infrastructure is 35 years old, including the complex irrigation system that is responsible for watering all 18 greens. While the system is regularly maintained, we have recently had an unexpected problem that has set us back in our repairs to the damage caused by last year’s drought. The recent run of dry, hot weather has exacerbated the problem.
So what are we doing about it?
Many of our regulars are understandably concerned and asking the same question.
The solution is simple – the greens need water, and lots of it.
During prolonged dry spells, the automated irrigation system on any golf course isn’t enough to keep the greens healthy and… green. This is why you’ll see greenkeepers frequently hand watering during the day. We’ve just taken on a full-time team member with one objective – to hand water the worst affected greens.
While we’re busy watering, a ‘sarel roller’ will be used to carefully open the surface of the green to make it more porous. This allows water to quickly reach the roots and speeds up recovery. In addition, our greenkeepers apply wetting agent, which encourages water to spread.
Once the greens start to show signs of recovery – and they will – we’ll then start a programme of overseeding to improve grass coverage and return them to full health.
Within a few weeks you’ll start to a see a big difference.
All hands to the pump!
Many golf club members lend their services to help improve their golf course. We’d welcome volunteers to help with hand watering – just a few hours a week will make a big difference. If you’d like help our greenkeepers then contact me at email@example.com and I’ll arrange a training session.
To ensure we’re on the right track we’ve commissioned independent grounds maintenance experts to oversee the programme and provide support. Furthermore, we’re in the process of overhauling the automated irrigation system to ensure it can do its job properly.
The additional support we’re getting means the greenkeepers can focus on other areas of the course that need attention, such bunker maintenance and routine grass cutting. This month sees the arrival of an additional rough mower, to help our team keep on top of the thick stuff. In the trade, Castle Point Golf Course is notorious for being a ‘grass factory’ so needs extra hands to keep this under control.
All businesses have to deal with setbacks from time to time. Our small, but passionate team is working hard behind the scenes to return the golf course back to full health, as quickly as possible.
We’ve seen some big improvements in recent years, supported by significant investment from our parent company Glendale Golf. We recognise that we have some work ahead to put things right, but want to assure you that we have a plan.
I’ll wrap up by thanking you for reading this, and your patience while we tackle the above challenges. As always, I’d welcome your feedback, thoughts or suggestions.