Course Update – 11/12/21
Following on from the brief update given by Barry Arnold yesterday I thought I would provide a more detailed situation report on the course condition and the plans to get the course open as soon as possible.
The exceptional rainfall for those of you that live local has caused major disruption to the road network and dealt the course a major blow with extensive flooding and associated damage. This must be heart breaking for the greens team as they have worked hard to set up the course really well for the winter period.
I conducted a course walk yesterday morning with Jon our head greenkeeper to set out what the next few days look like to carry out repairs and get the course fit for play. As things stand today the whole course is pretty well saturated and unfit but the first, fourth and the seventhare completely unplayable.
Today at the crack of dawn the green staff were out retrieving the bridges that had floated off their supports. By lunchtime the two bridges over the 8th and 9th had been straightened, repaired and re-positioned. All other bridges have had a thorough inspection and repair actions agreed. Whilst the bridges have been re-positioned, they still need to have the approaches consolidated with new stone to make sure that there is safe access and egress for footfall and trollies.
I have just re-walked the course myself today and whilst the floodwater and the levels in the brook have reduced it was raining heavily again and those holes still remain unplayable, and the debris strewn around the course as the floodwater recedes is a challenge too.
There will be no work carried out today as the floodwater needs to further recede and the course drain so we can safely access machinery to transport and lay the materials required. This is dependant on the forecasted rain not being as bad a predicted so we can access the machinery needed to do this.
This work will be done Sunday along with anything else that the greens staff can do to in the time available. At this stage I am afraid that the course is likely to remain closed on Monday and Tuesday whilst the team look for suitably dry and accessible tee locations, rope off the driest routes to allow golfers to cross the brook and prevent as much damage to the course as it recovers.
I realise that having the course closed until Wednesday will be disappointing for many, but I can assure you that the work to clear the course of debris caused by the flooding will be a major exercise once the floodwater has fully receded. In addition to this there are safety considerations as many paths, slopes and areas are extremely slippery and cannot be walked upon without risk.
During my walk out today crossing the bridges over the brook onto the first green is almost impossible even in well-treaded waterproof field boots. Again, I realise that we all have a different perception of risk, but the club has a duty of care just as we as members have a duty of care to ourselves and others.
Below are some images taken yesterday afternoon of the 1st approach and green, the area between the 8th and 9th at the base of the slope and the 7th fairway and the area between the 2ndtee and 3rd green.
I can assure you that myself and the greens staff are doing everything we can do to get the course open and fit for play as soon as possible. I share your frustration and thank you all for your patience as we work hard to get the course fit for play. I’m aware that the Ladies have a Christmas competition on Tuesday but at this stage its too early to make a call on whether the course can be readied for play.
Neil Johnson, Chairman of Greens