As we have now entered the 2015 Golf season, we thought it would be the correct action to take in informing members and visitors what has been going on regarding the Golf Course over the Winter months and some of the intended actions which will be looked at for the end of the season to start preparing for 2016.
There has been a lot of obvious work carried out over the Winter months, for example, the extensive removal of Gorse from both the Links course and the Hillhouse Course.This action was undertaken after consultation with our own Course Manager and advice from an outside Agronomist.
Should no remedial action have been taken the Gorse would have eventually encroached on larger areas causing damage to the Golf Course.The affected areas will grow back in with Heather and other plant life but will be much more manageable.
Our neighbours at Glasgow Gailes , Irvine and Royal Troon have all undertaken similar operations.
We have had the arrival of a Green Iron and already, after the Spring Meeting, the comments regarding the smoothness of the greens have been very encouraging. Consistent use of the ‘Iron’ at the correct times will ensure the greens continue to run smoothly which will give increased speed over the season.
The Bunkers are being closely looked at and in the short term, the Green Staff are endeavouring to ensure consistency in both the amount of sand in the Bunkers and the quality of the sand in selected bunkers which have been identified as being particularly poor.There is a Bunker programme being planned over the winter months 2015-2016 when the shape and size of some bunkers and the style of these bunkers will be looked at with a view making them more appropriate to their position on the relevant hole.
Last year, many areas of rough grass were tackled with the view to making the rough more manageable and very importantly to help speed up play.To achieve the levels required to manage the rough properly, the rough areas had to be cut well down and basically started from scratch.
We now have the machinery in place to be able to grade the length of rough so that at various times if required, it can be allowed to grow to punitive lengths but can now more easily be maintained.
We are at present looking at the drainage issues affecting the areas well documented on the Links and the Hillhouse Courses and once the final assessments and prices had been reviewed, information will be put out to the membership.
You may also have noticed that a bell has been situated several yards in front and to the right of the 10th green on the Links course.This was situated there after considerable debate and advice from our Health & Safety adviser. Most mortals will be looking to place their tee shot at the corner of the dog leg? This being the case, it was felt that as soon as the game playing the hole had reached the bell, it would be the correct thing to do to ring the bell in passing indicating to our more aggressive members that the players in front had reached the green and it would be reasonably safe to play.
There is no safe place on a Golf Course, it is incumbent upon all members, member’s guests and visitors to be aware of what is going on around them and behave in the appropriate manner.The Green Staff have also undertaken considerable work on the Bridges over burns and some pathways which again was part of our Health & Safety review.
We are currently investigating new signage and Tee ‘furniture’ to further improve the look of the course and this will involve all 27 holes.
Finally, thank you to all the members who take time to email their comments, thoughts and concerns.
Any correspondence received is acknowledged and a response given which hopefully satisfies the enquiry.
The Green Conveners