End Of Season
As the playing season has now come to an end, we would like to thank Malcolm Latham and the greenkeeping staff for their hard work and effort. I am sure you will agree that the course has been prepared to a very good and consistent standard.
Following Member and Visitor feedback, the semi rough has been maintained to a shorter height. We believe that this has improved some of the slow play issues and we are hopeful that this will have enhanced the enjoyment factor of playing golf at Hexham.
This project is almost complete. Final preparation of the playing surfaces and the perimeter paths will be completed during the winter season. We have decided that opening of the facility will be deferred until grass growth has been fully established in the Spring of 2016.
A significant amount of hard work and effort has been invested into this project by all parties who have been involved in all aspects of the project. Many thanks to all those who have actively participated in the scheme to date.
Hollow tining of the greens was carried out at the end of August. It is important to carry out the work at this time of year so that the greens have sufficient time to recover whilst there is still sufficient grass growth during the months of September and October.
The hollow tining work followed by heavy dew conditions inevitably results in the return of fusarium to the surface of the greens.
Our green staff are currently controlling this situation with the use of organic compost teas.
During the winter months the greens staff will complete the outstanding work on the walled garden and they will continue clearance of scrub growth to areas beneath trees in a similar manner to the work which was carried out on the bank side between the 10th and 5th greens.
The recent membership survey expressed concern about the poor quality of the winter mats. To improve this situation, we are replacing sections of mats which are in the worst condition to improve playing during the winter period.
Concern has also been expressed by the membership about rakes left in bunkers which cause accessibility problems and decay of the wooden handles. We are therefore intending to install Y shaped support posts so that the rakes can be left in more accessible positions outside the bunkers.
Wear & Tear
There are several areas of the course which continually suffer from excessive wear and tear such as the area to the left of the 15th green.
The green staff are intending to establish temporary barriers to protect these areas during the winter playing season.
We would therefore ask all members to avoid the protection which will hopefully enable the grass to return to a good condition once the playing season commences in April 2016.
Feedback from the green staff suggests that general etiquette of golfers in relation to their use of the course has been on a downward spiral in previous years. This is disappointing and unnecessary. We would therefore encourage all golfers to be mindful of the following.
- Repair all pitch marks and make an effort to repair any other pitch marks which may have been neglected by fellow golfers. This is an important issue during the winter period once the greens become softer. If we all try to repair at least one pitch mark on each green, we should be able to collectively overcome this problem.
- It goes without saying that all footprints in bunkers should be raked, however we would encourage golfers to rake the bunkers in a careful and tidy manner to prevent ridges and humps and to avoid raking the sand to the edges of the bunkers.
- We would remind all members that it is not acceptable to take trolleys on to tee boxes. It is even more unacceptable to use trolleys on greens although such practice has been witnessed by our greens staff during the recent playing season.
- Finally, we would make reference to the fact that on two occasions at the end of the season, large divots have been taken out of the 10th green and out of the putting green. This is totally unacceptable behaviour by members or visitors. We would therefore remind all members about the consequences of rash behaviour caused by frustration. Please therefore behave in an appropriate manner to prevent such issues.
The water fountain adjacent to the 11th tee was repaired during the playing season after a long delay to acquire an appropriate fitting. Many thanks to Alan Heslop for his ongoing assistance with this matter.
For financial reasons we decided not to re-employ the casual green staff worker during 2015. As a consequence of this, the flower beds have not been maintained to their normal standards. This is an important part of the club which makes a good first impression to would be members and visitors.
The greens committee would therefore ask for volunteers to assist with the planting and maintenance of the flower beds during the course of next season.
Please contact the office if you are interested in providing assistance.
In a previous members’ update we referred to the National Greenkeeping monthly magazine dated September 2015. Hexham Golf Club was included in a full page editorial which referred to the excellent results which have been achieved in relation to environmental and sustainability initiatives. This is excellent coverage for the club and worthy recognition for Malcolm and his team at a national level.
On a similar theme, Hexham Golf Club have recently received a Gold Award from Britain in Bloom. With additional assistance from volunteers during the course of next season, we may be able to progress this accolade to a higher level.