Ah the old days when skelfs were all you had to worry about, football was played on grass, winter golf was a pencil bag, half set of sticks cos the thin wheel trolleys were banned for the period, yer sisters tights on under yer trousers (old habits die hard and Morton Knight hadn’t changed his name to Galvin Green) and play the first three (trad course) last five, clubhouse for 3 or 4 large ones, then pile into the Ford Capri and up the road.
All the while the Greenies got on with the essential winter maintenance.
Now many things have changed not least the attitudes to drink but also the expectations for winter golf now they are so mild (more on that later), where sometimes especially with our younger members, the feeling is that the playing conditions, tees and greens specifically should be better than they are. Now young folk are nothing if not young and perhaps are right to ask for more, us auld yin’s are happy just to get playing more than ever before but rest assured that we are always trying to produce the best conditions the weather, time and resources allow, while we do all the work that keeps us on an upward path.
This week’s been a perfect example, the greens need a cut and roll, frost for two days, then rain for the next three meant we couldn’t get that done, so Saturdays greens will not be how we would have liked.
We are aware that to thrive as a club we need to appeal to all classes of golfers and to that end we have been busy reshaping bunkers, the front bunker at the 14th being a perfect example. We know it catches loads of us that can’t quite make the carry, nearly always leaving what is the hardest shot in golf – a 40-yard bunker shot and the usually from up the bloody face as well, so we’ve made it a good bit smaller, the faceless steep and as an “ode” to our love of all members heart shaped too!
We need to clear up some confusion around the new teeing areas. Although one of the reasons for the new tees is to create a shorter green tee course the main reason is to relieve the wear to the well-used tees with the main considerations being having winter tees that still satisfy all members and attract visitors with a reasonable challenge, while taking traffic away from the worn areas over the winter months.
Talking in the sheds the other day, the chat strayed from the usual football (Rangers good, Celtic bad and it’s great to see Killie doing so well), Narcos (new season a bit slower but VG nonetheless) and incredibly broccoli soup (tasty it was too and maybe worth talking about later), to climate change, global warming and the weather, just like the “Trumpet” that calls the tune in the Whitehouse it’s important the get our heads around these terms before we even consider if they should play any part in our strategic long term planning, so if you can be hooped then the following is from the US website –
““Climate change” and “global warming” are often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings. Similarly, the terms “weather” and “climate” are sometimes confused, though they refer to events with broadly different spatial [areas or spaces I think!] and timescales.
Weather vs. climate
“If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.”
– Mark Twain
Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur locally over short periods of time—from minutes to hours or days. Familiar examples include rain, snow, clouds, winds, floods or thunderstorms. Remember, weather is local and short-term.
Climate, on the other hand, refers to the long-term regional or even global average of temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns over seasons, years or decades. Remember, climate is global and long-term.
Global warming refers to the upward temperature trend across the entire Earth since the early 20th century, and most notably since the late 1970s, due to the increase in fossil fuel emissions since the industrial revolution. Worldwide since 1880, the average surface temperature has gone up by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), relative to the mid-20th-century baseline (of 1951-1980).
Climate change refers to a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as sea level rise; ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide; shifts in flower/plant blooming; and extreme weather events.”
Right then – the weather on a day to day basis is just that – Tuesday calm and frosty – Wednesday wet mild and windy (Mark Twain must have had Scottish roots), then rain and yes even more rain whereas the climate over the last 40 years if you listen to JT (number two in the sheds) has changed quite a bit, evidenced by the fact that we will need to cut the greens this week (if it ever stops raining), but when Jim was a lad the mowers were put away at the end of September, so that’s definite proof that things are changing.
But but the World has always turned, you say, and in the sheds we all have stories of seeing dried out fresh water lakes in the middle of the Sahara Desert with perfectly water rounded pebbles covering the ground, or perfectly formed but miniature king sea crabs 1500m high in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, stranded there after a Teutonic Shift even before Jim learnt to say “Comon’ Ra Sellick” as evidence that our world is and has been changing and over enough time will change completely.
However, you have to consider that if you pump a load of new stuff ie hydrocarbon gases into the finite earth’s atmosphere (the equivalent of the skin on an apple) then there is surely a good chance that our actions could at the very least have an affect then what should we do? You only need to see (and smell) the Caspian Sea coastal areas around Baku for evidence of oil extraction killing every form of life in the water to know that what we do makes an impact, especially if it’s done with no consideration to the mess we leave behind. These Old Soviet oil wells now belonging to Azerbaijan (whose rulers are amongst the richest folk in the world) and have been leaking crude oil into the sea for 75 years and still are.
These questions seem much bigger than any of us but if you break them down into changes that we can and should make to how we do things as a club, that maybe even change the way we go about the rest of our individual lives then at the very least we can say we did something because “for evil to flourish good men need do nothing”.
Reducing our use of pesticides is already well established. We are looking at better ways to separate our rubbish and the rubbish we collect from the course (one radical thought is to remove all bins and golfers can be responsible for their own empty bottles and sweetie wrappers after all every bit of trash on a golf course comes out of a golf bag so why can’t it go back in?).
New cleaning station treats and recycles the oily waste from the machines
Heating and lighting are already under review with the house convenor (aw’rite Norry) organising a trial of a greener type of heating for the sheds, encouraging natural areas for the course, reducing our fuel consumption by sharing cars to work, proper storage of chemicals and contaminants to name but a few.
Farting against thunder perhaps but as my addiction councillor (surely spiritual leader) the first thing we have to do is acknowledge we have a problem, then the solutions become obvious i.e. nae mair bevy!
Enjoy your golf
The Greens Team.