A result of the well-known financial constraints across all areas of our club is that we are constantly reviewing all areas of the Course to allocate the limited resources towards various improvement works whilst ensuring that much needed maintenance work does not suffer.
This means that some previously mentioned improvement ideas and plans must be put back to be replaced with others and an example of this is in the corner of the 15th Green and 16th tees.
The levelling of the 16th tee has been planned for some time now and this work will involve the use of our heavier equipment to strip it down, move soil and re-lay turf etc. Whilst that equipment is at the 16th we will, in a change of plan, now begin to address the recurring issues with drainage from the 15th greenside bunkers, the pathway and other surrounding areas.
The 16th tee levelling is straight forward but:
DID YOU KNOW – each time a bunker is edged and trimmed you increase the size of it.
Stating the obvious? Maybe but the outcome is astounding and can even be detrimental, consider this from the point that our bunkers were last reshaped etc 10 years ago.
Each time edging & trimming is done a minimum of 1cm of soil is removed from each edge of the bunker meaning an overall loss of up to 2 cms across it. A bunker is edged 5 or 6 times a year so the sizes across it can increase by a minimum of 10 cms every year.
Losing 10 cms per year for 10 years means a total loss of 100 cms (39.37” in old money) – is it any wonder that we keep going into them !
The serious side to Did You Know is that the drains laid in the 15th greenside bunkers 10 years ago were made for the full length of each bunker. They were not connected to any outlet, instead they were laid in the base to function almost as soakaways that would gather water in to prevent flooding but then allow it to dissipate through the base at the lowest end of the bunker.
Now that the bunkers are bigger the drains are at least 0.5m from each end of them so in the left hand greenside bunker when the drain is full the water floods it at the low end.
All of this has complicated any proposed work to achieve efficient drainage around that whole area so, given budget constraints, there is no option but to split it into two or even three phases as follows:
Phase 1 (presently underway)
Level the 16th Tee (Mens).
15th Bunkers – Front left of the green we have a relatively large but little used bunker that if retained would require considerable work to bring it up to standard. As a result this will be converted into a grass bunker which will be shaped so that it will still provide a hazard in front of the green but without sand and the maintenance necessary for a sand bunker. The 2 greenside bunkers will be redesigned, in line with “our preferred style” as has been completed around the 6th green. This will involve a smaller base, larger gather areas and renewing drainage.
Weather permitting this should all be completed by the end of February.
Phase 2 (as/when finances allow)
Monitor closely the impact of phase 1 especially in the areas from the pathway along the left and across the front of the green. If necessary a new drain will be laid running to a soakaway well to the right of the green. The drains from the two remaining bunkers will be connected to it.
Phase 3 (as/when finances allow)
Once phases 1 & 2 are complete it will become clearer as to what is needed to solve the very difficult issue of drainage along the pathway between the 15th tee to 16th tees. Whatever drainage is there is not proving adequate but one of the problems seems to be no-one really knows what drains have been laid in the past i.e. where, where to and how deep they are.
There is no doubt that a solution will be found for Phase 3 but it would be of great assistance if any member past or present who has any knowledge of previous works undertaken would share that with us so that we can avoid any duplication of ‘good try but not successful’.
If you think you can help please contact any member of the Greens Committee.
MJC (for the Greens Committee)
25 January 2018