Winter Greens Report May 2023

Winter Greens report 2022/23

Hi Folks, here’s a short report on the greenstaff’s work over the winter.

Apart from the general maintenance of the course machinery, bins, tee markers etc, we managed to get a few projects done on the course. Most notably the alterations to the 8th hole, namely the existing greenside bunker and fairway bunker, along with the addition of a new LHS fairway bunker, these are still growing in and will hopefully be in play soon. There was a small green extension added to the back right which will allow us a little more freedom in pin location on our smallest green. The unsightly hollow at the rear of the 8th/11th green was filled with over 100T of earth, it was formed into mounding which will give a bit of a backdrop to the 8th green when playing. This will be mown to short rough height (32mm) and will hopefully be in play soon.

We had planned to undertake construction of new fairway bunkers on the right of the 6th hole at the end of last season, but unfortunately the area became too wet, we’re hoping that this will be undertaken in the near future. We did however fill and turf the existing RHS bunker.

A section of willow bushes were removed between the 9th green and 1st tee, this is to make the area a little more visually attractive, as well as improving player safety.

Continuing with spruce tree removal, we attended to the area right of the 12th fairway, close to the 17th green, to allow certain species to flourish, the lower limbs of the remaining trees were also trimmed to promote upward growth, this process was also carried out between the 4th and 5th holes.

Greens and tees were solid tined to give them some aeration and aid drainage. The 1st and 3rd greens received a sand topdressing, we will continue maintenance of these new greens throughout the coming season.

In March, we had David Mitchison from Hunter grinders here to service our cylinder grinder, 2017 was the last time this was done, its now in great working order. Stromness, Westray and South Ronaldsay GC’s all utilised this facility we provide bringing much welcomed income to the club. David also provided us with a days training along with staff from Stromness and South Ronaldsay.

The club was very fortunate to receive the services of the head mechanic from Royal Dornoch GC for 2 days to look over our ageing machinery fleet, this was in part due to myself volunteering for a week last summer at Royal Dornoch for an R&A tournament they had. His knowledge and experience is invaluable to us, and he managed to troubleshoot a few major issues we were suffering from.

In January I was fortunate the club allowed me to attend the BIGGA BTME (Greenkeeping) conference which is held in Harrogate every year. Once again this experience was invaluable, networking with many other greenkeepers, suppliers and industry leaders across the UK, it was fantastic to see…….mainly looking at machinery that’s out of our price range!!!HA

It’s now the start of the 2023 season, although the course is a little soft at present, I’m hoping it’ll firm up soon and we can have the course in top condition very soon.

Happy golfing

Chris Rae

Head Greenkeeper