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Denzil Martin (Greens Chairman)
Peter Leith (Head Greenkeeper)

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Greens ChitChat

posted 10 May 2016, 05:15 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, 

Firstly, a big thank you to those who gave of their time to help with the divotting. It has given us a great kickstart to improving the fairways. 
One small bag over 18 holes is a really small gesture, but collectively the result is astounding! 
Where do I start? I haven't been too well recently so I'm sorry if I've appeared a little grumpy but now all back to normal - permanently grumpy! 
If you look at the clay piping on the wall just where I park my car, you will see the impact of tree roots when they manage to sneak into the drains. The pipe work you see there was the drain leading from the front right bunker on the 17th! An expensive business should the problem develop elsewhere on the Course. 

1. We have purchased a new overseeder which will be used to overseed in the Greens surrounds areas and the fairways. You will have seen the work around the 4th - now roped off. I fear that with the volume of traffic on the Course those tough hardened areas of the Course will always be with us. With upwards of 900 rounds being played in summer weeks plus all the trolleys some ongoing damage is inevitable. 
Vary your route around Greens, walk down the road on the 2nd, avoid walking right at the edge of bunkers - eg walking from the 2nd Green to the 3rd tee. On the approach to the 1st I would ask Members to leave their trolleys by the last tree on the right before the Green and take your driver and putter with you from there. I get mad about people taking their trolleys right up between the Green and the tee. Often they are the people who will be moaning about the bad lie they have when they have to just chip up onto the Green!!
Pitch marks!!! For heavens sake, who are these people who can't be bothered to repair blemishes or pitches on the Greens. I spent 35 minutes yesterday just working on the 18th!! Pete says if we don't start mending our ways, he is going to cut 18 temps for us to use on the weekends!!!! Really good Greens marred by unsightly scars - come on guys, those of you getting carried away in the excitement of the game, do your bit on the Greens! 
Pete has been working hard on the 9th to pull it back from its Winter upset. We have once again hollow cored, seeded, fertilised and sanded it. With a bit of warmth and showery rain it will soon come back. Meadow grass is doing its work over the next 6 weeks which will upset the trueness and smoothness of the Greens but it will pass. 

2. The fairway mower sprung a hydraulic leak last week causing some damage on the 4th fairway. The fairway cutter is getting on a bit - 7 years old - so breakages do occur. However, it is going in for a bit of an overhaul this week and the bottom blade is being replaced or reground so we should see a significant improvement in the appearance of the fairways - though it will cost in the region of £1,000.  We are planning on replacing the fairway mower next year ( £50,000! ). 

3. I was asked by a Member yesterday if we ought to put a sign up telling long hitters not to tee off on 11 until the Green is clear. I don't think a sign is necessary,  but I would say that if you feel  you are going to drive a Green when there are Other Members on it, then please use common sense and hold back until the hole is clear. 

4. Drainage work on the 8th and 12th has worked. However, it has given us a new problem on the left hand corner of 12. It may be that we will just have to plough up the area and start again there!

5. The new Greens Committee are putting together a plan of long term goals for the Course. Obviously it is dependent on finance - but at least we can start with a plan! Ben Gig and Peter Heath ( not Leath ) are the 2 committee members coordinating it. Any input, please pass it on to them. 

6. We had a problem with the old shed roofs which was going to cost us several thousand pounds to sort but, fortunately, Pete and his staff have bought the materials for a few hundred pounds and are repairing it themselves! It's interesting that I heard that one of our local competitors spends up to £130,000 on machinery maintenance and upkeep each year!! We are extremely lucky in that our Greens staff do  practically all the maintenance and upkeep on machinery without any additional cost to the Club!! That's a huge saving to us - perhaps we should ask House if they could do the same thing!!! Only teasing Bob! 

7. The white fencing across the 7th is likely to be taken away for the Summer to help with the grass cutting process. Please spread your walking in and around the 7th - like all the other holes-  to help minimise horrible hardened pinch points! 

Well, that's it! A bit of a lengthy update. I'm always around the Course or Clubhouse if you want to natter about Course matters. In the meantime, we'll keep working to keep the the place as "top dollar" as possible. 

Enjoy your golf,
Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens 
Tuesday, 10th May 2016

Greens ChitChat

posted 6 Apr 2016, 04:48 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, here we are again - a new year, new Presidents, new Captains and Vice Captains, new Directors and many new Committee Members. Fresh blood and renewed enthusiasm will hopefully help us to continue working to improve what we have. For us on Greens, it's business as usual. We lost one Member of staff in November but this week we have had 2 new guys start, who are with us until the end of October. Their names are Edwin and Kevin. Please give them a warm welcome when you see them around the Course. 

What are our plans for this year? Well, the Greens staff and myself have talked at length about where we would like to get to - the perfect Augusta!!!! The reality - we want to see the Greens remain healthy and true. We are off to a reasonable start despite the Greens having lost much goodness in the soil through excessive rainfall. Applications of minerals and magnesium have helped to keep them stable. Gentle applications of fertilisers this coming week will help to awaken the Greens. However, Springtime growth come late April and early May is going to bring back the period of meadow grass ( Poa Annua) seed heads flourishing. Nevertheless, we shall continue to do all in our power to maintain and improve the Greens surfaces. 

Fairways have been treated for worms and fertilised so we look for improvement there. This year, after much discussion with the Head Greenkeeper and Deputy Head Greenkeeper we are going to run with no 2nd cut. Why? Well, the 2nd cut is only really apparent for maybe 2 months of the Summer period thus leaving the fairway/ fringe area looking somewhat unsightly. Our rough is not that punishing so it is not a major issue. The fairways will end up somewhat wider and presentation will look far superior. There will be less wear and tear on machinery and a major saving on time and fuel costs. 

One of our primary objectives during the year will be to seek to improve the appearance of the approaches and the surrounds to our Greens. The new scarifier should help in trying to break up those difficult hard areas around the Greens and approaches. With the right weather and overseeding we should see an improvement. 

The drains in all the bunkers are being cleaned out and the surrounds improved to help with drainage and appearance. 

We still can't afford to fund irrigation to all our Tees so if we do have a dry period we will continue with manual irrigation. 

Pathways will also be added and improved as time allows. 

The 9th copse is now virtually finished and hopefully acceptable to the majority of Members. 

Tree felling is over for the time being with just a few more tree stumps to be removed. 

Away from the main Course we will continue to maintain and improve the practice facility at the area to the side of the First Tee and fairway. 

The trees to the right and left of the 8th fairway were brought down because the roots were beginning to choke the new drainage. The stumps will be treated to kill the residual rooting and then the stumps will be removed. 

DIVOTTING DAY. Friday, the 22nd of April, the Course will be closed until 1100 hours for the purposes of fairway divotting. I ask that as many Members as possible make a note to come and help on the day. We shall start at 0815/0830 and end with coffee/tea and a sandwich before re-opening the Course. The Fiddle will be running a 9 hole Comp starting at the 10th leaving the First Tee available for Seniors and other Members. All or any Members are welcome to join in the Fiddle comp. draw takes place before play. 

Divotting bags are now back in play. Please take one when you go out on the Course and deposit the empty (!) bag in the bucket by the 18th shoe cleaner. Also, and it doesn't need saying to most people, can you please make every effort to repair pitchmarks on the Greens. 

Enjoy Your Golf, 
Denzil Martin, 
Chairman of Greens
Wednesday, 6th April, 2016

Small ChitChat!

posted 30 Jan 2016, 07:16 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, 

We have had an atrocious 7 or 8 weeks of weather leading to Course closure for almost a month. Fortunately, the majority of Members have taken Course care and preservation to heart with many - including many of our senior golfers - using a carry bag instead of trolley. There are also many Members now getting down to repair the endless pitch marks accumulating  on our Greens. 

However, we STILL have some Members who are either short sighted, forgetful or too old to get down to that repair work and a very small number who probably can't be bothered!!! 

An equally serious issue - and which breaches standard golf etiquette - is the wheeling of trollies between Greenside bunkers and main Greens. 2 people were reported, yet again, this morning for taking their trollies and parking them on the fringe of the 10th and then wheeling them between bunker and Green before proceeding to the 11th tee. The offenders probably know who they are - they tee'd off about 1026! 

I don't want to start a witch hunt but, in the future, the Greens committee will take a more sclerotic approach to those who feel the rules don't apply!!!!

We have applied treatments to the fairways to help alleviate the worm problems, but it is a thankless task - did you know there are more than a thousand earthworms per cubic meter of our soil!! We shall also be looking to re cut the fairways this coming week. If we can get a run of dry weather we can then also lift the restrictions on buggies. 

Enjoy your Golf
Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
Saturday, 30th January, 2016

Greens ChitChat

posted 26 Jan 2016, 05:53 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, not a lot to report so, fairly short and sharp! 

Finally open and hope it remains so for a while. The Course is slowly drying out but there are still many unsafe and boggy areas around the rough and the Green to tee areas. The Greens staff have asked me to thank all those who made the effort to get a carry bag out - it does reduce some of the stresses on the Course. 

Our thanks to all those Members who showed support during the closure. It was a difficult time for the Staff as all regular work came to a halt and we had serious problems trying to cut the Greens. Fairways and rough were not cut so everybody is on catch up this week to get the place looking as it should. You will see many fusarium spot damage marks on many of the Greens as the rains constantly washed away the fungicide treatments. The recent application of iron will help to firm up the turf, give it a bit of colour and camouflage some of the spots!! They will grow out as it dries out and we move towards Spring time. 

All the Greens have been slit timed this week and the last 3 of the 18 have been pencil cored. We will now repeat the process of doing roughly 3 per week throughout the remainder of the Winter. The work on the 9th Copse is now complete apart from removing the debris piles which will happen when it dries out a bit. The area looks a bit odd but I think it will grow on us slowly. Pete is hopefully going to plant some rhododendrons along the waters edge to the right of the pool which will add a little colour. 

The 3 large poplars to the right as you approach the 8th Green will be brought down during February ( weather permitting). 

Whilst the majority of Members have been supportive during this difficult period for us all, I have received 4 emails from some frustrated Members about closure and buggies. I hope the individual replies will help to satisfy that frustration. Regarding buggies, I have had the Equality Act being quoted to me. Most people are understanding, so all I will say, again, is that buggies are not banned out of spite. Whilst there are areas where buggies cause dreadful damage, a far more important concern is somebody overturning a buggy on themselves. I would be mortified if a Member or fellow Member was killed or seriously injured because we had not taken the precaution of restricting them! 
Hopefully, the restriction will very soon be lifted and we can ALL get back to playing on our great Course. 

Any issues, I'm in the Clubhouse most days or you can txt or email

Enjoy your Golf,

Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
Tuesday, 26th January, 2016

Greens ChitChat

posted 5 Jan 2016, 05:18 by Denzil Martin   [ updated 5 Jan 2016, 11:17 by Clive Mason ]

Dear Fellow Members, welcome to a wet and soggy New Year! Think on this before I start - it's only just over 11 weeks to Springtime! We hope. 

In December we had almost 4 inches of rain for the month and since the 1st of Jan we have had 49mm ( 2inches ). Hence the current difficulties with Course opening. Your first question is going to be "When is it going to be open?" Well, we don't have crystal balls (!) so we can't predict the weather. Nevertheless, let's assume we get absolutely no rain during the next 3 days ( Tue/Wed/Thurs ), then the Course could possibly partially open on Friday or Saturday. However, the forecast is not good with heavy overnight rain forecast for Wednesday night and Friday night through Saturday - so the outlook is poor! It will settle down - let's hope we don't swap it for frost and snow!!!! Sorry, shouldn't have said that! 

Buggies! The Club operates a buggy policy and is ever mindful of the need to ensure a commitment to buggy usage for those Members who have difficulty in playing without one. However, They are a problem from 2 perspectives. Firstly, they can be very dangerous in current weather conditions. If one started to slide or overturn, there could be serious injury to the occupant or his fellow playing partners. Secondly, there is the topographical damage being done to the Course.
You will accept that the Club has a duty of care to ensure, where possible, the care and safety of Members in particular and the Course in general. 
Therefore, until we can step aside from this unprecedented weather, no personal or Club owned buggies will be allowed to play on the back nine ( holes 10 to 18 ). This applies to ALL BUGGIES. The Club, being ever mindful of equality and safety issues, will not keep this restriction in place for longer than is absolutely necessary. It will be reviewed on a daily basis and the information will be disseminated in the normal manner - phone and/or  BRS. 

As to up to date information regarding Course closures, we have had some problems and I apologise to all those who were inconvenienced on New Years Day. The information that it would be closed on that day was given to the Club on New Years Eve. However, the admin systems don't allow the professionals shop to deliver that info unless they are physically present at the Club. I believe that the Match Secretary, the Professionals shop and the IT Director will be looking at how we may avoid the situation in future.

One of the large silver birch trees just forward of the 2nd tee - on the left hand side - came down last Tuesday in the wind. The Head Greenkeeper cut it all up and removed it - one less tree to stop my left to right drive!! 

Work continues to clear the copse on the 9th corner. It will look a bit odd for a while but it should be a great improvement and will help improve the pace of play a little. 

Not much more I can say, we will re-open as soon as possible

Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
Tuesday 5th January 2016

Greens Chit Chat

posted 17 Nov 2015, 05:52 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, well, it has been almost 2 months since my last ChitChat so I thought you may like a little catch-up to read on these wet November evenings! 
Bear with me whilst I scribble away!

The Course has done well over the 2 months and the days of worry and fretting about hollow cores seem far away. However, there are now new problems to contend with. 
The drainage at 8 and 12 has worked well and the fairway surface is recovering. However, you may have noticed that it is now a bit boggy near the big oak at the 12th corner. I suppose it's better to have it there than on the fairway. The 4 big trees to the right of the 9th winter tee will be coming down soon. We have contracted to have them removed along with removing many of the old stumps around the Course. The trees by the 9th winter tee are coming down as they have come to the end of their useful life and they interfere with the new drainage on 8 and 12. 

Stu Bailey gave in his notice this month. The Greens team is now down to 4 and Stuart probably won't be replaced until the Spring. Stuart has worked hard for the Club over the past 8 or 9 years and we shall miss that cheeky smile of his around the Course. I'm sure you'll all join with me in wishing him well in his new employment. I suspect that in the Spring we will look to find 2 full time Summer employees. We have the time to give it plenty of thought. 

The ropes and hoops are back with a vengeance, especially after the rainfall of recent weeks. Unfortunately, there is a Club buggy ban in place at the moment but it will be lifted whenever conditions allow. I would ask those people who do own their own buggies and are therefore allowed to use them to be extremely conscious of the dangers in soft and muddy areas of overturning the buggy. Furthermore, may I say that the driving of buggies AND trollies between Greens and bunkers and up to the edges of the Greens is totally unacceptable. A favourite example is the route between the left hand bunker and the Green on the 10th. Going under ropes, through the hoops etc shows a total disregard  for caring of the Course in Winter conditions. Nuff said - moaning over! But, please don't do it!!! 

As we are not divotting these days, may I ask that you now turn your attention to pitch repairing. It is the biggest source of unsightliness on our Greens and when the sun is low in the sky ( and out! ), it is frightening to behold! If your ball pitches on the Green rather than rolls on to it - there is going to be an indentation or mark. As some Members are disinclined to bother may I please ask that the rest of us work to alleviate the problem. 

The fairways are in reasonable shape apart from some worm activity and divots but at least we are not in the same position as Members of Donald McKellars Scottish club where members have to carry with them a small mat to play off as they go round or drop in the rough - no penalty!!!! To add insult to injury, members have to buy the little mats through their Pro shop at £10 pounds for a pair ( get in there Neil!). The 2nd cut is slowly fading so use some common sense when debating whether a lie is fairway or not! It will be back in the Spring. 

The Greens have been treated for fusarium yet again! The mild, wet, conditions create the problem and it is an expensive cure to have to carry out each time it occurs. We have applied several dressings which help with maintaining and improving the plant roots and we have applied iron which helps to firm up the turf - and give you blue fingers so don't lick them!
The Greens are currently quite wet and are softening up as a result of water retention in the ground. As a result we are likely to be carrying  out a programme of pencil tining over the next few weeks. It doesn't take cores out just punches long pencil like tines into the ground so it shouldn't cause too much problem. 

Please remember that outside of Club Competitions, the White tees are not available to Members throughout the winter without the express permission of the Greens Chairman or the Club Professional. We will revert to Members choice in the Spring. 

It is our intention during the coming year to work hard at improving the Greens approaches and surrounds and to hopefully maintain the high standard of Greens that we have had this year. As we run up to Christmas and the difficult and cold few months ahead, I would like to thank the Greens Staff for all their hard work this year both in Course management and machine maintenance - in house repairs have saved us a fortune! I would also like to thank all those people who quietly and conscientiously get on with divotting around the Course - you have had an enormous impact on the appearance of the fairways. 

I shall come back to you with a Winter update, keep enjoying your golf and please tolerate the Winter Greens when they happen - it will soon be Springtime. Any points, comments or issues - I am around the Clubhouse most days

Enjoy your Golf,
Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
17th November 2015

Greens ChitChat

posted 17 Sep 2015, 08:36 by Denzil Martin

Well, what a month! It has been almost 6 weeks since we did the hollow coring and I'm amazed that I'm still alive!!! I jest! However, not everybody has been happy with the disruption to the Course!! I believe that if we had left it till after next week we may have ended up with poor Greens for the Winter. 

Next year the work will be done at the same time but if ground conditions permit, we may get away with just pencil tining. The small prongs go down a lot deeper producing good aeration but the reduction in the underlying thatch is totally inadequate. Thatch is the build up of dead organic matter - dead root growth, clippings etc which ultimately produces a small black layer of impenetrable mass which then prevents root development and prevents water drainage. Imagine what happens when somebody gets constipated! If you don't remove the blockage - BOOM!!! Same with the grass really. Anyway, we'll see what the Spring brings and then we can make an informed judgement. 

The little dark green patches currently on some of our Greens are type 2 or superficial fairy rings - superficial basidiomycetes for the technical members out there! Biologists and agronomists have never been able to come up with a satisfactory reason for their occurrence so we live with them! Old school call them "elephants foot"! What happens is that the basidiomycetes fungus starts to eat the thatch beneath the surface. This in turn releases nitrogen which causes a flush of green growth but in eating the thatch it also causes small depressions in the surface. We camouflage the problem by applying sulphate of iron which greens up the entire Green and, hey presto, you don't see it!!! In theory!! 

If you are playing this Sunday - or Sat/Mon - you may find the rough a little heavy as it has not been cut for almost 2 weeks to "toughen" things up just a little for the PGA event. If you are playing late Sunday there may not be any yellow/ red markers on the tees. They will have been removed for the Pro Am/ PGA Tournament. Please play off the relevant disk markers. The Greens and fairways should be in reasonable condition for the Weekends events and Darren ( our Deputy Head Greenkeeper) is producing a pin placement sheet for Members playing in the Club Championship event. 

The Winter work programme is going to include the following:

a. Moving the Ladies tee on the 5th hole to a position immediately in front of the Men's tee at the 5th hole. 

b. Restructuring the Men's 10th Tee as it is no longer a level playing field

c. Rebuilding the wall at the "ha ha"  to the back of the 17th Green. Our Head Greenkeeper Peter Leath is donating a large consignment of sandstone to the Club to do the job. 

d. When time permits, the Greens staff will start work to begin clearing the growth within the copse on the left of the 9th fairway. 

Loo at the 8th Tee. The Ladies have asked if we can build a proper toilet at the 8th to replace the portaloo. This is being looked at. 

Pesticides are likely to be applied soon to help alleviate the problems of worms on the fairways and Greens surrounds. We will not be overseeding the fairways this Autumn but may well do so in the Spring. 

Temporary Greens are being rekindled!!! Yuk!! Please move your ball off them and DO NOT take divots out of them!! Only applies to a few people!!! 

A plea from Darren - please look for a couple of pitch marks to repair on EVERY hole. Counted over 150 blemishes on the 6th last week from ignored or badly repaired pitch marks!

More trees need to be removed and we are just obtaining a quote( approx £2000 ) for the removal of the 30 or so tree stumps still in the ground. 

Work re-doing the drainage lines on 8 and 12 is now almost complete. After the Events of the next week and all the divotting that has been done ( 30 Members came in yesterday to do it ), it is my intention to ask Match Committee to agree to a "roll off newly seeded divots" temporary rule till everything is settled down and growing properly. 

That's it folks, I'm off on holiday ( to the Welsh Mountains! ) from next Monday for 12 days. 

Enjoy your golf, email any thoughts - or see me round the Club -

Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
Thursday, 17th September, 2015

Greens ChitChat

posted 10 Aug 2015, 08:41 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, it's been a busy 2 weeks on the Course. Fertilisers have been applied, all the Greens and surrounds have been hollow cored, we have over seeded and applied almost 60 ton of sand. It has been major heart surgery and the patient needs some quiet recovery time! Unfortunately, in the hectic world that we live in, people never allow you all the time you need for recovery. They want you back at work or coming out to play like yesterday! Problem is - it slows down your recovery. 
We are the same with our Course - we rush out to play with our Course 5 minutes after she has come out of Theatre and then we are not 100% happy that she has spots all over her face!!! 
All being well, we shall take the time to consider if we can stagger some of next years work or, maybe, we can get away with just pencil tining. I played yesterday and the Greens had stood up well to the treatments with very little chatter on the surface and zero snaking. Today's heavy and WARM showers will help speed up that recovery and the new seedlings should be pushing through by Thursday. We are also watering over night. 
An application of fertiliser tomorrow or Wednesday will encourage new growth and within 10 days I suspect we will be close to normal on the Greens. 

The new Greens and Surrounds scarifier are already making an impact. We expect to see significant improvements in these areas as Autumn approaches. 

The white chain link fence is going to be re- introduced in the front of the 7th Green. 

I am looking to organise a short divotting morning. Maybe 2 hours followed by a 13 hole competition. I am looking at Wednesday the 16th Sept at 0830. Would appreciate as many volunteers as possible. Sandwiches and / or chips with tea or coffee will be provided. That's WEDNESDAY THE 16th of  SEPTEMBER at 0830.  

The Oak tree to the left of the 5th Green is poorly and it looks like its life could be short lived. It may last another year or 2! The plan is to plant 3 small oaks to the left of the existing one and when Grandad Oak gives up the ghost, we shall select the healthiest of the 3 little ones to remain. 

Something for Members to consider! Please feel free to give your input! During the coming Winter it has been suggested that we make a small change around the 12th hole. If you look to your right as you approach the 11th Green you will see that there is a small avenue that looks up towards the 12th Green. The proposal would be that on approaching the 11th Green you would leave your trolley on the right, play out the 11th and proceed to " 12th Avenue " ! It would remain as a par 4. Traffic would not churn up the area around the pathways of the 12th tees and a shot up 12th Avenue would reduce all the divotting issues that take place at the corner and, finally, it would probably speed up play. Please give us some feedback. 

I have been asked that where you make a divot, should you repair the divot or put divot repair mix in. My answer to that is, that if you repair the divot well, ( not just a smash down with your heel! ), then a repair is much quicker and more cost effective. 

My thanks to all those people who gave of their time last week to work on the Course during the closure. Special thanks to Derek Aulton for organising the work team. The Greens Staff are doing a sterling job and are taking a lot of pride in their work. However, whilst on the subject of our Greens Staff, please remember that when they are working on the Course, they take priority over Members. In other words, please show them the same courtesy you would any other Member - especially when it comes to safety!!! Sorry to have to raise that point but there are maybe just one or two people who get carried away in the excitement of play and don't always give due deference to the safety of Staff! We must all remain vigilant about Course safety. Here endeth the first lesson!! 

Enjoy your golf, 
Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
Monday, 10th August, 2015

Greens ChitChat

posted 17 Jul 2015, 04:27 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, well, we are mid summer and, so far, so good! As to the Greens, they are like children - well behaved until you bring important guests along! We are constantly vigilant about the behaviour of our Greens and this year is no exception. 

2 weeks ago we applied a mix of trace elements to the Greens to encourage root growth, health and appearance. Unfortunately, of course, this produced a flush of growth which slowed the Greens down somewhat! That flush is dying back and we have today reduced the height of cut to 3.5mm and sanded them. Should improve matters!

We have also been applying wetting agents. Depending on requirements different wetting agents do different things, so, you can help retain moisture in the upper sward or get it to flush through. We have also applied an £800 application to protect us from Anthracnose - a disease which attacks Greens around July/August time. Once you get it, your stuck with it, so we put it down as a preventative - it's like a flu jab - it stops you getting what you might get!!!

The First Green was recently hollow cored. The 1st is the wettest Green we have and there is a constant build up of thatch just below the base sward. The thatch compounds the drainage problem and also discourages deep root growth. Hence our 1st is made up predominately of shallow rooted meadow grass. By pulling cigar/cigarette sized plugs out of the green we are able to remove much of this thatch ( thatch can be built from all sorts of organic waste in the ground from dead rooting to old clippings!) thus allowing better drainage and root development and allowing for overseeding with better grasses - in our case we are introducing more Bent Grasses - broader leaf, deeper colour and less susceptible to the diseases of Poa Annua ( Annual Meadow Grass). With the weather and warmth we have seen a quick recovery. 

This year during the Annual Closure ( 3rd - 5th August inclusive ), we will be hollow coring all the greens, over seeding and sanding so we will upset the surface for a while. Timing and weather are critical to a fast recovery. Why do we do it when the Greens are seemingly in good shape? Well,  they haven't been done in years and thatch is building beneath the surface which will, at some stage , bring us disease problems. Furthermore, as you will have seen from the recovery on the First, warmer weather and warm rain (hopefully - otherwise it's sprinklers!) will speed up recovery. Why not leave it till the beginning of October? Make a mistake with the weather or get a cold snap and they won't recover before the Winter sets in. 

You will have noticed the tining and scarifying work going on around the Greens - not the rough but the areas immediately adjacent to the Greens - the fringe! Some areas are unsightly with clumps of Perennial Ryegrass and shallow rooted Meadow Grass. As with the First, hollow coring helps remove much of the bad stuff and with a programme of overseeding with finer Fescue Grasses it will greatly improve the appearance. Unfortunately, our tining machine is out of the Ark so it has ended up causing some damage - it will recover - and that's the reason we are getting a contractor to come in to do the hollow coring for us in August.

We are currently talking about new items of machinery - a new scarifier and small tractor to improve the rough areas around the Greens and to improve our tee areas and an overseeder so that we can constantly overseed when we feel it is needed - which is always! Unfortunately, it is costly - in the region of £20,000 and we have already spent some £30,000 on a new Greens mower. I know that if it is justified and the Club can afford it then the Board will always give its support. Compared to many Clubs our Subs are probably not as high as they could be - just think, an extra £200 a year per Member is almost £100,000!!! Maybe we'll get lucky and have a rich Member leaving all his money to us!!!
If we need to wait, the world won't end. I'm sure we all want a Club built on sound financial planning as we have, rather than one loaded down with debt. 

Derek Aulton is going to coordinate a team of helpers to work on the bunkers during the August closure. If you can help in any way please ring Derek or just turn up on the day by 0830-0900 and Derek will direct your efforts. Hopefully a notice is going up in the corridor so it would be helpful to place your name there. Quick plea - please take and return a divot bag at least every other game - doesn't take long to use up one bag on the Course! Pitch marks are our other big problem - please go look for your indentation!!!

Sure I've bored you enough, any issues - you know my number or Email ( - please contact me. 

Enjoy your Golf
Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
Friday 17th July 2015

Greens ChitChat

posted 23 Jun 2015, 02:51 by Denzil Martin

Fellow Members, a few words before I go on a brief holiday!

The latest STRI ( Sports Turf Research Institute ) Report has arrived and a copy will be hung up in the corridor. If you wish to have an emailed copy, please request one from me or the Office. The Report is laudatory and constructive in its comments and gives some views on future requirements and works needed on the Course. Any queries, please don't hesitate to ask, txt or Email me. 

A moan - the Captain and I were talking by the Millenium hut on his recent Captains Day Sunday. There are those Members who carry a divot bag, observe the trolley and direction signs for movement around the Course, walk the long way around the 9th either for safety or to limit course damage around the Green fronts. Then there are those who wouldn't be seen dead with a divot bag, take the straightest line when walking or driving the Course and some who even walk their trolleys between bunkers and Greens!!! Ask yourself honestly which type of Member you are when you play theCourse. Moan finished!!

The Course and Greens are currently healthy. There is a lot of time, work and thought going into how to keep them there. Although requests and comments are often repeats on a theme please don't ever hesitate to make your comments known to me. We can't fix it if we don't know it's broken!

My thanks to Dick Richardson for spending almost 6 hours last week before Captains day cleaning and tidying the distance boards and disks and the various road signs and litter boxes. Great job Dick, thank you very much. 

We have just replaced all the hole cups to freshen them up and replaced all the flag sticks. Looks much better. Meadow grass is easing off on the seeding so it should help improve the Greens smoothness and trueness. The Greens speed will then look after itself! For the technical amongst us, we are currently cutting at below 4mm! 

That's it! I appreciate that not everybody wants to read ramblings! I'm away till the 3rd of July. 

Enjoy your Golf
Denzil Martin
Chairman of Greens
23rd June 2015

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