In this latest Greenkeepers blog from the team at Whitley Bay we find out what the team have been up to, across all areas of the course from greens to new projects.
This blog is aimed at the members, but l hope as Greenkeepers you will still find it and enjoyable read.
During the initial period of lock down maintaining the course with no golfers was very strange and actually quite eerie. It’s great to have the hustle and bustle back and a golf course which is busier than ever.
We are now seeing over 2000 rounds being played every week which is a phenomenal achievement in the current situation.
Throughout such a turbulent period routine playing conditons have remained constantly superior then ever before. This is testament to the transition of the course to the sustainable model we see to day. Over the last 6 years the club have embraced an approach which created a 12 month golf course that can stand up to continually rising customer expectations along with extreme situations such as drought, flooding and legislative product bans.
We never thought that our plans would need to deal with a world pandemic, but they have, comfortably and we should all be very proud of the golf course and club we now enjoy and we enjoy keeping you up to date via our Greenkeepers blog.
Generally all main areas across the course continue to perform well. It has been a tricky year with minimal rain fall for long periods followed by torrential rain and high temperatures.
Our main focus during the crisis remains to maintain routine daily standards at the levels which are now expected at WBGC. Where possible the team will always endeavour to keep moving forward making small tweaks and improvements to further improve our members experience.
Following the rest period during lockdown putting surfaces remained in good conditon throughout. During prolonged periods of dry and hot weather some isolated patches of softer meadow grasses lost some coverage.
These areas will be seeded using bent grass which in the long term will help improve surface quality.
Regular light sand dressings have been applied to help smooth out any inconsistencies, maintain firmness and dilute organic matter.
We are thrilled that nutrient imputs have once again been reduced year to date against 2019. This has been achieved by only focusing on plant survival and not performance during lock down along with increasing our use of bio-stimulants.
The addition to these organic compounds to all nutrient applications increases synergy and product efficiency.
A lot of work was undertaken earlier in the year to integrate sand in to the surface. This has helped to firm up surfaces and level out any minor issues with playing surface levels.
Financial limitations created by this years Covid19 crisis has resulted in what is achievable being responsibly reduced. Some products used to make areas more aesthetically pleasing, seed to drive recovery and topdressing to maintain levels has needed to be reduced or removed.
The teams short term game plan for the remainder of 2020 is to continue to provide a playing environment which then club are happy with while ensuring no negative effects are Carried into 2021.
Team member Grant Burton snapped up the responsibility to ensure that all teeing areas are maintained to the best conditon possible. Grant hand mows these areas around three time per week
Mown rough around the course has become a little lively recently. To help keep on top of growth, growth regulator products which were initially purchased for use on the fairways have been applied. This slows the speed which grass plants grow meaning playing conditons can be maintained between cuts.
Due to Covid19 budget limitations areas of mown rough which are annually treated with a selective weed killer have yet to be sprayed. We will look to spray any problem areas over the next couple of weeks, and will let you know in our next Greenkeepers blog.
Areas of environmental rough around the course are now looking fantastic. Beautiful colours of wildflower and seed heads which move effortlessly in the breeze. These areas also provide great habitats and are bursting with life, try and take a minute to stand still and appreciate the amazing fauna that lives in these areas
Following poor weather conditons during autumn 2019 followed by Covid19 in spring 2020 a lot of Annual rough cut and collect operations had to be cancelled. As a result of this there are a few areas which are a little dense at the base and create over challenging playing conditons.
The worst areas will be tackled over the next few weeks with the entire course cuting and collection starting in September.
As competitive golf returns to WBGC Bunkers are now receiving more focus to ensure that they are kept in the best condition possible. The team continue to smooth rake bunker edges, as well as looking great firmness created by smooth raking help balls to roll to the centre of the bunker.
Extremely high levels of play and no rakes currently in any bunkers due to Covid19 regulations make it virtually an impossible task keeping them in first class condition all day every day. The team would like to thank players for making a huge effort to repair any damage they create.
The new seating area to the rear of the 13th tee box has been created using recycled railway sleepers which were removed from various steps around the course. The surrounding area has been seeded with fescue which will be left to grow freely. We are thrilled with the finished results and feel it is a great improvement to the course which will be there for many years to come.
The course is currently alive with various wildlife, flora and fauna. Deer sightings have now become a daily occurrence as they wonder the course freely all day long.
The team would love to see any photos our members manage to get while out playing. Please email them in and we will add them to our Social media page.
What an amazing job volunteers have done throughout 2020 undertaking various tasks around the course and grounds. We now have a large group of members who give up their time to help ensure all areas are maintained in pristine conditon.
We are so proud of all our volunteers who play a vital role in producing the course our members now enjoy on a daily basis.
If anyone has a little spare time and would be interested in helping. please get in touch. Thank you
Over the next few days the Team will undertake some essential non disruptive maintenance on putting surfaces, tees and surrounds. As the course continues to be extremely busy it is vital that we balance out any stress and wear which has been created to allow routine standards to be maintained.
This work will have little if any effect to playing quality in the short term and ensure first class standards continues.
Finally everyone on the team would like to thank all of our members for their ongoing support and hope you enjoyed our Greenkeepers Blog. Together we will all get through this.
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