October Update

Dear Member,

I was pleased to be voted back onto council to continue to act on your behalf as Chair of Greens.  Myself, the greens staff and the greens committee will do our very best to keep making improvements to our course.

September was a mixed month, it saw the final work completed for this years drainage programme with the sand slitting on the 3rd and 7th. It saw the first real deluge and I was pleased playing the day after to see that the drainage did seem to be doing what it was designed to do. The bottom of the 9th is still a bit wet but certainly better in most places.

Unfortunately it also saw us lose Jake one of our assistant green keepers who was tempted away to work at Wilmslow GC, disappointing but a demonstration that Jon had trained him well. We have advertised and continue to interview for the vacant post and I’m hopeful that I will be able to make recommendation to council in the next couple of weeks.

Now for a little reminder of what happens at Alderley during the winter when the weather turns and the course becomes wet. We are now losing light and after today’s heavy rain the ability to cut the greens on a Saturday morning before play begins is impossible. This coupled with being down to one member of staff means Jon and Adam are stretched as most work on our course during the winter is by hand and not by ride on machine.  The team will of course judge each day and week on its merits in order to maintain the course in the best condition possible but not to cause damage. Through October and November the team will be heavily deployed leaf blowing as we can’t deploy mechanical means and most mowing on the greens and tee’s will be hand cut.

After closing sides we will be re-setting cut heights to winter settings and applying winter treatments. It is also likely in discussion with gents and ladies golf that we will be moving to fairway mats to add a further protective measure in the wetter seasons. I realise that this is always contentious but since their introduction the benefits through the summer outweigh the downsides.

over the next few weeks I will be convening a greens meeting where we will discuss and agree course priorities for the winter where possible and the spring as the weather improves. Just to remind you your representatives are, Andy Slater, Mark Walker, Celia Berent, Graham Moss and Harrison Peck who have all agreed to continue in their roles. Your feedback and suggestions directly to myself or to team are welcomed.

Kind Regards

Neil Johnson, Chair of Greens