When Greenkeepers fall out of love...... How is your course this year?

HampshireHog

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I’ve never played it myself but local consensus has always been Hartley Witney is a 9 month a year course due to drainage issues.

They certainly won’t have been alone struggling with the weather patterns of recent years.

Shed maintenance and carpets come out of a normal operating budget, drainage and irrigation having been through it are much more significant in terms of investment, planning and disruption. Members have to want it and be prepared to fund it. I know we had to vote it through at our AGM.
 

mikejohnchapman

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We are struggling with several fairways as they were overplayed when saturated over winter and despite reseading in spring didn't improve due to lack of water. We have had winter rules all year. Hopefully a good winter program and mild weather may do the trick.
 

HomerJSimpson

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our general manager likes to utilize the term 'unprecedented weather' when it comes to challenges about course condition. One wonders how many dry and hot summers and wet winters consecutively constitute 'normal' instead of 'unprecedented' ? i always think a decent course plan incorporates drainage/irrigation improvements rather than trolley stores, changing room carpet replacements and the like. its a difficult balance.

interesting that many posters share the slightly longer/slower greens this year. a deliberate ploy to protect the greens for the only summer not full of competitions and pro ams etc?
We're currently running at 9.6 as an average according to the latest greenkeepers report. They have rocked that up for the Jamega this week and plan to do so for the club champs. On the plus side they are rolling superbly. Our club have acknowledge the wet winter/scorching recent heat and the fact we don't have fairway watering but don't hide behind this. We did invest in drainage from our Red Bull money a few years back. The 15th and 16th still need work and again the club know this and are doing what they can to improve this
 

sunshine

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What do you mean?
We have USGA greens and they are as good as any surface I've putted on, just superb.
I remember when the USGA greens went in at Northwood, it was quite controversial and many members felt it was not in keeping with the rest of the course. They were awful to putt on at first (obviously), but I'm sure they are top notch now.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Not sure if anyone has upset our greenkeepers but some of the pin placements for the honours board event this weekend were wicked. Definitely a case of needing to be in the right place especially the 4th where anything above or to the side swung violently and wouldn't stop if it missed. That said they ran smoothly and at a good pace. Hopefully they'll be spot on for the club champs in two weeks.
 

Traminator

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I remember when the USGA greens went in at Northwood, it was quite controversial and many members felt it was not in keeping with the rest of the course. They were awful to putt on at first (obviously), but I'm sure they are top notch now.
Seriously superb at weekends when comps are on.

I understand a few of the members weren't in keeping with the rest of golf at the time 😅
 

sunshine

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Seriously superb at weekends when comps are on.

I understand a few of the members weren't in keeping with the rest of golf at the time 😅
As I understand it, a member left a considerable amount to the club in his will (I heard £300k but this could be made up). The club decided to set aside this windfall for a major project that would have a long term impact. Ultimately the committee went for USGA greens. Sounds like it was money well spent.
 

Traminator

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As I understand it, a member left a considerable amount to the club in his will (I heard £300k but this could be made up). The club decided to set aside this windfall for a major project that would have a long term impact. Ultimately the committee went for USGA greens. Sounds like it was money well spent.
Yes I heard similar.
 
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When I read through this thread, it highlights just how bad things are at our place. Gripes like pin placement or USGA greens are wonderful problems to have :p

We currently have 5 temp greens and we received an email from the committee last night saying that is now unlikely any handicap qualifiers will happen until WHS (does WHS still count rounds with temp greens?). The Club Championships have now been put back to late October, but surely we can't run that with temporary greens?!

Several members that I am friends with are leaving, and although I don't want to make that jump myself, I certainly won't be rejoining. Such a shame as in the right hands, it has the potential to be a really decent course.

We're in the South East of England, where I would say we have had a fairly typical English Summer. We had a bit of a heatwave for a couple of weeks, some storms, a little bit of rain, and higher winds than perhaps expected, but overall it has been fairly settled.

The head greenkeeper is apparently blaming lockdown, and the fact he wasn't allowed to carry out any major work during it, eg hollow tining. But my understanding is that no course could do that during lockdown? Every other course in the area is busier than ever, and looking in good nick. Ours? Dead as a dodo and looking worse than that :(
 

sunshine

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When I read through this thread, it highlights just how bad things are at our place. Gripes like pin placement or USGA greens are wonderful problems to have :p

We currently have 5 temp greens and we received an email from the committee last night saying that is now unlikely any handicap qualifiers will happen until WHS (does WHS still count rounds with temp greens?). The Club Championships have now been put back to late October, but surely we can't run that with temporary greens?!

Several members that I am friends with are leaving, and although I don't want to make that jump myself, I certainly won't be rejoining. Such a shame as in the right hands, it has the potential to be a really decent course.

We're in the South East of England, where I would say we have had a fairly typical English Summer. We had a bit of a heatwave for a couple of weeks, some storms, a little bit of rain, and higher winds than perhaps expected, but overall it has been fairly settled.

The head greenkeeper is apparently blaming lockdown, and the fact he wasn't allowed to carry out any major work during it, eg hollow tining. But my understanding is that no course could do that during lockdown? Every other course in the area is busier than ever, and looking in good nick. Ours? Dead as a dodo and looking worse than that :(
Sounds like your club needs to sack the head greenkeeper. Lockdown ended over 3 months ago, blaming that doesn't wash. Temp greens in summer is extremely poor, never heard of anything like this before.
 
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We're just coming to the end of our second year with our new head greenkeeper. He came from the same role at Trump Aberdeen and he has transformed the course. He has brought enthusiasm, good team management and more modern ideas than our previous head greenkeeper. As a result there is a general concensus that the course is looking better than it has done for years, despite being on reduced staff at the start of the year. They've rebuilt two greens, put in more drainage, profiled the fairways and got the greens into excellent condition.
The rough is heavier in places but that's due to the green staff prioritising the tees, fairways and green. Notwithstanding that, our head greenkeeper still apologises to members it should be better but that's due to his own high standards.
So overall, I'd say that we're in a really good place.
Absolutely outstanding from Paul and the team!

The course and greens are first class, the newly designed 13th is a work of art. We are very fortunate to have a man of such talents.

If I had to gripe, the only things I would say is the fairway at the 1st is shaped too narrow, still no consistency of sand in the bunkers as some are very deep fluffy whilst others have barely no sand, and the heavy rough on the left at 9th is not cut back far enough, makes the 9th even harder as you can tug a good drive left and punished with a lost ball.

But honestly, apart from that I'm delighted!! Haha
 

Crazyface

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Had a knock yesterday at my old place. Despite all the recent rain, the huge lakes that used to frequent the 15th and 16th fairways were nowhere to be seen. The marshland that was the 14th had gone as well. The greens weren't up to the very high standard they were, but were still really good and a pleasure to putt on. If they had done this work when I was there moaning about the state of the place I'd still be there. It's going to be a dilema next year. Massive reduced fees for anyone rejoining after 3 years away. Everyone I know there always asks if I'm coming back, which is nice.
 

Robster59

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Absolutely outstanding from Paul and the team!

The course and greens are first class, the newly designed 13th is a work of art. We are very fortunate to have a man of such talents.

If I had to gripe, the only things I would say is the fairway at the 1st is shaped too narrow, still no consistency of sand in the bunkers as some are very deep fluffy whilst others have barely no sand, and the heavy rough on the left at 9th is not cut back far enough, makes the 9th even harder as you can tug a good drive left and punished with a lost ball.

But honestly, apart from that I'm delighted!! Haha
I'd agree with you about the bunkers. They were pretty compacted today. For the 9th, the fairway is actually pretty wide but the big o.o.b. on the right makes people pull it more to the left. Very much a hole that plays with your head. A bit like the 18th before they took down all the trees. It used to be a magnet for balls. No hardly anyone goes in there.
 
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