Repairing terrible greens

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JonW

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Ouch. The lack of green staff would explain why the greens are in such appalling state then.

I think that the problem is that the course has been going downhill for a few years, meaning that members leave and there’s less money, so the course doesn’t get the financing it needs - a huge downward spiral!

P.S. Does anyone want to buy a golf club - asking for a friend! 😉
 

Robster59

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We have 5 green staff but during lockdown they furloughed three and kept two on general course upkeep. They've since brought another one back in anticipation of the course eventually being allowed to open again.

The correct, and motivated, greenkeepers are key. We changed ours a couple of years ago and what he has done to the course in that short time has been a revelation. And they have the backing of the club and the members as well which is also important.
 
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The local course where I’m a member now has truly awful greens. There are big bald patches with no grass on the surface at all, they’re really patchy and bobbly and are (currently) rock hard.

I appreciate that they may have had reduced maintenance during lockdown, but this deterioration has been happening for a long time (I’ve only been a member for 12 months).

I brought them up with the course owner and he blamed the dry weather over lockdown and said that the roots are still good and they’re going to be watered every day this week.

My membership is only £550 per year, but is due up in June and I’m wondering:

A) is there any chance of these being repaired back to a decent level,
B) How long this would take?
I'd guess this would be due to lack of coring and thatch removal. If clubs don't have the equipment to do this, it will obviously cost them a rental every time they do it.

If what the course owner is saying is true, grass would grow very quickly with watering but really it would be absolutely crazy to let greens get to that level if they were 'still good' and they were actually in control of things.
 
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This is how bad I’m talking (from someone else):

That is appalling for a moderate UK climate.

Even in a very warm season, like in 2018, clubs will and should be getting enough water on their greens.

Yes - it's been very dry during much of March and April - but they look past the point of no return due to lack of water, and I'd guess would require a fair amount of machinery and money spent to get them to a reasonable condition.
 

Bunkermagnet

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Greens that play well and look good need regular work that usually comes just at almost the best playing times. We started a program of work on the greens quite afew years ago, and right now they are the best they have ever been and stood up really well through the winter.
However 2 greeenstaff is no-where near enough so I say your beef is with the course owner, not the overstretched green staff regardless of how motivated or not they are.
 
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Greens that play well and look good need regular work that usually comes just at almost the best playing times. We started a program of work on the greens quite afew years ago, and right now they are the best they have ever been and stood up really well through the winter.
However 2 greeenstaff is no-where near enough so I say your beef is with the course owner, not the overstretched green staff regardless of how motivated or not they are.
I’m guessing that if the greens team hear the moans and groans (directly or second hand) about the state of the course that in itself will hurt and demotivate because they will know that with just the two of them they can’t get and keep the course in good condition. If they care - which I suggest they do - they will be feeling as upset and dispirited as any member.
 
Thread starter #33

JonW

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I’m not looking at name calling or blaming anyone. I think that the owner and green staff under huge pressure to make ends meet and I feel sorry for them.

I was more wondering whether those greens were repairable, and I should give it some time, or whether just to move on to another nearby course now.

It’s a shame because I’ve got some friends at the club and take regular lessons from the pro, but it’s killing my enjoyment of the short game. 🙁
 

Robster59

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What's it like as a club now? I had a friend who was a member there years ago but he left as felt that the club was going down a bit even then and that visitors were getting preferential treatment over members. If they are as reliant now as they were then, then this crisis will cause them real issues in terms of cash flow.
Greens can be very expensive to keep right, and if the owner is not investing in personnel then they're probably not investing in greencare either.
IMHO, I can't see those greens being recoverable this year, especially when you only have two green staff. That simply isn't enough.
 

Bunkermagnet

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I’m not looking at name calling or blaming anyone. I think that the owner and green staff under huge pressure to make ends meet and I feel sorry for them.

I was more wondering whether those greens were repairable, and I should give it some time, or whether just to move on to another nearby course now.

It’s a shame because I’ve got some friends at the club and take regular lessons from the pro, but it’s killing my enjoyment of the short game. 🙁
Of course the greens can be recovered, but that doesn't put a time frame on them or the amount of investment they will need to get back to good.
TBH I'm a bit lost as to the purpose of this public shaming.:)
 
Thread starter #36

JonW

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A public shaming was not my intention at all. I love the layout of the course and really want the owner and the course to do well and get things back on track.

My question was more about whether the greens are likely to improve (with time and love) or whether I should cut my losses now and move on before they become unplayable (if irrecoverable). It sounds like there’s a chance they could get better, so I’ll probably renew and see how things progress.
 

HomerJSimpson

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I’m not looking at name calling or blaming anyone. I think that the owner and green staff under huge pressure to make ends meet and I feel sorry for them.

I was more wondering whether those greens were repairable, and I should give it some time, or whether just to move on to another nearby course now.

It’s a shame because I’ve got some friends at the club and take regular lessons from the pro, but it’s killing my enjoyment of the short game. 🙁
Even if you leave, and I would definitely be doing so based on what you've said and the pictures posted, then nothing to stop you using the pro ongoing for the lessons. He'll still need the money and nothing to stop some of your mates signing you in as a members guest from time to time. If you walk, you might find a few of your mates will as well. Perhaps they feel the same but just haven't voiced their opinions as strongly or at all
 

Robster59

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A public shaming was not my intention at all. I love the layout of the course and really want the owner and the course to do well and get things back on track.

My question was more about whether the greens are likely to improve (with time and love) or whether I should cut my losses now and move on before they become unplayable (if irrecoverable). It sounds like there’s a chance they could get better, so I’ll probably renew and see how things progress.
If I'm being honest, I think you're being a little optimistic in thinking there is a reasonable chance that those greens will get much better before the end of the year. I fully understand your loyalty to the club as I have the same with mine. I am even old enough to remember when Frodsham GC was built and, as you say, the course itself is not a bad layout (although I do remember one green with a wicked left to right slope) but if members are leaving then there is that downward spiral of lack of income = lack of invesment and so on.
We had a course near us close last year after being in existence for 125 years. Bad management basically left the club bankrupt yet members where still trying to keep the club going with contributions. A club needs money to run and if it isn't invested in the course, people will walk away.
At the end of the day it's your call but I would have a look around to see what deals you can get locally. At the moment I imagine a number of clubs will be happy to welcome new members.
 
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I’m not looking at name calling or blaming anyone. I think that the owner and green staff under huge pressure to make ends meet and I feel sorry for them.

I was more wondering whether those greens were repairable, and I should give it some time, or whether just to move on to another nearby course now.

It’s a shame because I’ve got some friends at the club and take regular lessons from the pro, but it’s killing my enjoyment of the short game. 🙁
issue is that when a course has gone to 'shoe string' level of maintenance and upkeep, it's very tough to get it back. Obviously hugely difficult for courses to try and make any money, but it is really very important to invest in the course and if you can't do that, then the business / club doesn't work and is probably going to go one way.

Ultimately a course is only going to attract new custom by being in decent condition and so all that will happen here is it will probably continue to have fewer customers and fewer resources for maintenance until someone buys it and spends a bit of money on it, or someone buys it builds something else on it.
 
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