Folks,

 

Another busy week – I know we say that a lot but we promise if the weeks not been interesting, demanding, challenging or another “busy” type adjective well just write “played cards and darts  – Craig – still cheating”.

 

The course is holding together well, although it’s getting that end of season feel. The bunker faces are getting their last short back and sides (a Carlisle it’s called – half way to Crew) and winter tees all scarified and seeded. We made a start on the winter greens so please folks no play off these areas so we are not putting over divots.

 

Fallen trees nearly all cleared up with Big Robbies help and while he was here we did a survey of what needs done around the sheds. We were incredibly lucky when the largest tree to fall missed the water tank by not very much (it didn’t even fall during the storm it fell like an Italian footballer inside the box – not even touched – went down like, well, a felled tree) so doing nothing is not really an option as it’s only a matter of time until one comes down onto the sheds, so we booked him to come back in December for three days and get them down using the hydraulic access platform.

 

Now we have finished with the hand cutting mowers for the year, it’s a good time to review the effects of hand cutting 2/3 times a week (we hand cut a total of 8 times ALL last year) and the effect it had on the greens and the perception that we always had “slower” greens than most other courses.

 

The greens were faster this year both from the stimpmeter and the vast majority of feedback confirmed this, coupled with the turf iron they also felt smoother and more consistent.

They looked great which also helps perceptions as to “kwality greens man”.

Fine, great – faster, firmer and fairer surfaces, perceptions and reputation up so job done, but as in everything there’s a price to pay.

Man hours – it takes 4 men 3.5 hours first thing to cut and then clean, service and prep machine for next cut. Against 3 men 2 hours to do them with the Toros, so that’s a cost of 8hrs per cut.

The wear on the cutters is also greater and that costs too.

Our blade sharpening costs have gone up by approx 5k this year so you can see for yourselves that if you want “kwality” you have to pay. We think it’s well worth it.

 

Another debate out of this is at a yearly cost of 7k to keep all the blades sharp, would it not be cost effective to buy a good second-hand sharpener at around 18k?Worth a more detailed investigation we think.

And it’s only money –

As Gerry Cinnamon sings:

“But I’d rather huv holes in ma shoes than be drowning in gold”

“Fortune favours the bold”

Thanks Alex – yer a belter

 

Which feeds perfectly into budget setting meeting number 2 where Doug got to ask the difficult questions like: “what have you done with all the money” and “the only thing new you’ll be getting next year is a new Greens convenor”!

Cue mumbled, stammering replies – Seed / fertiliser/ wetting agent costs due to fairway repairs. Beast from the east blew away first lot of seeding at the new 6th and 12th holes, the areas cleared of gorse, 9th and 11th and both turf nurseries had to been done twice – 16k all in.

2k to Harrow said turf batteries, 4k increase in lecky bills – cold winter = space heater on a lot.

Wet spring = drainage pumps pulling plenty amps.

Dry summer = irrigation pumps working harder than the condom machine on a Nurses night out. New equipment wash plant ……

Blade sharpening as mentioned above.

Ok ok but the important thing here is to separate the one-off costs i.e. seeds for new holes from the ongoing costs i.e. utilities & blade sharpening so we can get the budget right next year.

 

Greenkeepers day seemed to be well received with the anecdotal feedback very positive so we’ll go again next year hopefully, and a very sincere thank you to everyone that donated to our night out and if you haven’t got around to it yet the box is still in the same place at the bar and we’re told there’s plenty of room left in it still.

 

Paul Kimber sent through his proposals to enlarge and reshape first tee and to reshape fairway bunkers. Over the next few weeks we will review/cost project for the councils consideration.

 

Enjoy your Golf

 

The Greens Team.