Greens Update-Drainage Work June/July2022
I do hope everyone is well and you are enjoying your golf? I’m really pleased to report that all planned work barring some final work on the 7th which I will explain later is now complete. The work has been done professionally with minimum interruption and most importantly with no accidents or incidents. This is a collective effort between the greens team, our sub-contractor led by Bryn and Rhys as well as the patience and goodwill of our membership.
Just to re-cap on what has been done since April:
➢ 3rd; In April the complete green was re-drained by DJ Jukes using a passive capillary drainage system, the work was done in two days and the green re-opened after 48 hours. I’m sure you will agree that a few weeks on no one would know the extent of the work undertaken. After this work the outfall pipes to take water away were left exposed. These drains are now tied into a new outfall back into Whitehall Brook with lateral drainage pipes installed on the approach.
➢ 9th; A drain running the full length of the fairway has been installed in the semi rough. Lateral drains have then been installed at 5M centres across the fairway connecting into this outfall which is then connected into a manhole and drain into Whitehall Brook in the corner adjacent to the Oakwood.
➢ The Black Brook has been de-silted along its full length to its original depth and the confluence with Whitehall Brook has been fully reinstated and ditched with more fall to assist better flow. What has been truly amazing is the number of golf balls that were in the black brook and also the number of members like fly’s round a honey pot every day re-claiming the lost balls! I won’t call any body out but you know who you are….
➢ 7th; This hole has seen the majority of the activity for fairly obvious reasons. The work on the 7th has cost circa £26K and has been made up of:
o The pond behind the 4th tee been de-silted, cleaned and made bigger to retain more water using the 25T of excavated material to re-define the edges and banking.
o A new lateral drain at the bottom of the slope discharging into the pond to which 7 new drains from the top to the bottom of the slope now discharge into.
o The fairway from the bottom of the slope for about 25M has had lateral drains installed and some sand slitting undertaken. These now discharge into the newly cleaned Black Brook.
o What we also discovered is that running east to west across the 7th fairway to the black brook was a 9” salt glazed drain which at first we thought was an outfall from the Black Brook to the fields beyond and towards the bypass. Upon further investigation this was not the case. After locating the drain at the eastern side of the fairway it is clear from the levels that the land drained into the Black Brook. This drain was 40% silted at its invert level probably explaining why the fairway over the years has become wetter and wetter. The two excavations have been left open if you really want to take a look. So, the plan next week is to dig a sump area at the eastern side of the fairway so the water that would ordinarily drain into the Black Brook is retained and can dissipate more naturally. If we have to encroach the course in the semi-rough near the fairway we will mark this up as a hazard and demarcate withred stakes as is normal. This will be communicated to Gents Golf once the work is complete. The contractors may also start work to de-silt Whitehall Brook if time and funds permit.
I would at this point like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that what we have been doing is installing and improving the land drainage system and not installing flood defences. When monsoon conditions return, Whitehall Brook will flood, and parts of the course will be inundated. This work will allow water to clear more quickly once the flood water recedes and dry out quicker.
In addition to the drainage work there has also been extensive work around the 7th green and the 8th Ladies tee to de-limb, prune and cut down trees for safety reasons but also to provide more light to the 7th green through the winter months. The work was planned to coincide with the drainage work so that major plant movement was concentrated into this period.
In respect of work on the greens we have continues our programme of sanding, pro-coring and using wetting agent pellets to maintain the healthy sward. We have also booked in the Korro deep scarification plant for September which we had to cancel in April due to the wet weather at the time.
As I write this note we are in a period of hot weather which for our staff is a real headache. Our irrigation system which is temperamental only covers the greens so last week Jon and the team-initiated drought mitigation measures by reducing the amount of mowing, increasing cutter heights and more regular application of wetting agent. I would ask that you bear with us through this dry spell as the team endeavour to keep the greens as healthy as possible. The main points of issue will be the tee’s which will show more signs of wear and will bake hard in the hot weather.
So, work this week will be concentrated on the greens, conclusion of the drainage work and consolidation and seeding of the trenches.
Thanks again for your patience through this period of major work for the course.
Chair of Greens