Friday, 21 December 2012

The Drainage Works!

Its been another tough week at EGC. Over 25mm (1 inch for you old timers:) has left many parts of the course sodden, but not the 3rd and 4th holes! If you look below you will see the 4th fairway with a picture taken yesterday morning when it was pouring down. The next one was taken this morning showing it completely dry. A great effort by the guys who have worked tirelessly for the last 4 weeks installing new primary drainage in this area.
4th Fairway 20 12 2012
4th Fairway 21 12 2012
This week (again) it has been about moving water away from the course. Our efforts concentrated on shifting water from the high side of the course (left of the 1st green), down to the ditch by the 13th and then finally in to the river. The video below shows you the outlet, with water gushing out:)


All that's left for us to say is we hope that our members and guests have a Merry Christmas and lets hope Santa brings us some dry weather!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Leaves on the Golf Course

At this time of year most of the leaves from the autumn drop have been blown and collected. The Oaks are always the last to drop and looking around the course this morning, we see a few just wont let go! In days gone by leaves used to be a huge issue here at Ealing, before the club invested in a tractor mounted blower (as the one below) and a leaf collector. Prior to this the Greenstaff just couldn't get on top of them. Not any more, and anyone playing at the weekend will hopefully be surprised as when they hit it in to the rough, they should actually find their ball!

The other thing that we have implemented this autumn are four leaf drop stations around the course. In the past, the collection of the leaves have just been wasted in rough and out of site areas. Our aim now is to compost these over the years and use them for top soil when needed. 
Leaf station left of the 6th fairway

Friday, 7 December 2012

3rd and 4th Holes Drainage Works

Another week, another drainage area is being worked on at EGC. This week the Greenstaff have been working on the 3rd and 4th holes. For the last 25 years (and more) we have been looking at water in this area. It starts from the left hand greenside bunker on the 3rd, through to the approach and on to the 4th fairway. Not anymore! As you can see from the slideshow below work has been pretty intense this week. So far the 3rd approach has been drained, connecting in to the 4th fairway and on to the river. Next week we will connect the two greenside bunkers on the 3rd in to the system and then go on up the 4th fairway. It is quite big and intense work and will all be completed in house (with the help of our drainage expert, Christian Brown). Well done to all the guys in tough conditions and hopefully we have a heavy frost next week to help with our trenching!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Work begins to the 3rd Approach and 4th Fairway

Moving on from last week (where we completed drainage works to the 7th approach) this week we start work to the 3rd and 4th holes. Our aim is to take water from the 2 x bunkers by the 3rd green, through to the approach, over to the 4th fairway and install an outlet in the river bank. Having looked at a puddle in the left hand bunker on the 3rd for 25 years, it will be a relief to see it dry once completed!

These works (if weather allows) should be completed within the next two weeks. When we are working in these areas the 3rd hole will be closed and you will play a small par 3 to the 4th green. It will mean only 17 holes will be in operation during the week, but all 18 will be open at the weekend. These works will also help the 4th fairway area when the river bursts its banks. Which unfortunately this years has been quite often.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Frosty Mornings!

Now that we are entering the 'Frosty Season' we thought that we would give you a run down of our procedures at EGC. They area as follows:

Frost - As soon as the grass plant freezes (either the leaf or the roots) it goes into a dormant state. This means that although it is still alive it is not growing. There are two types of frost. A leaf or white frost freezes the water cells on the leaf leaving the roots unfrozen. Any wear on the leaf at this point will cause the cells to die, leaving a scorch mark. After a week or so you will see yellow marks on the leaf. At this stage the leaf has been bruised and is open to infection. Disease will soon follow. There is also a risk during this period of the leaf breaking away from the roots due to foot traffic. The second type is a ground frost. Not only will the leaf freeze but the roots too. The plant when it is in this state will be solid. I believe that damage to the plant during this period is minimal. 

So in mind of the statement above we implement the following guidelines:

• White frost; the greens will be put onto temporary holes until the whiteness has dispersed. There will also be a trolley ban during this period.
 • Ground frost; the greens will remain in play during this period. This could mean that the greens go back on during the day, because the white frost has gone but the ground is still frozen.

We hope this explains the tricky subject of frost and if you need up to date information please view the club website (where a header will explain current conditions) or phone the pro shop.

In the meantime to cheer us up, it was a lovely morning this morning and here are a few pictures that were taken!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Giving the Greens a little trim in the morning!

At this time of year, cutting frequency gets a lot less. From cutting seven days a week during the main season (March to October) we go to one or two cuts in the off season (November to February). Heights of cut are also increased from 2 to 3mm. The other difference is that we hand cut with pedestrian mowers in the off season, which gives a nice visual appeal but requires extra man hours. During the main season it takes four hours to cut greens with a ride-on mower (1 greenkeeper), whereas at present it takes twelve hours with 3 x hand mowers (3 greenkeepers). The benefit is less aggression with the turf. At least it keeps us fit walking all these miles!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Drainage Works - Monitor Progress!

So that you can monitor how progress is going with our drainage works, we have included a slide show of the operations. Updates will be posted throughout the programme.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

It's Wet!!!

Just walking around the course this morning you can see how wet it has become with the storms of the last few weeks. Areas such as between the 1st green/2nd tee, 4th fairway and 6th/7th fairways are just overrun with the amount of water that has fell. Have a look at the pictures that were taken.

Between the 1st and 2nd Tee

Left of 12th Green

13th Ditch

7th Fairway

Monday, 26 November 2012

Work Commences to the 7th Approach

First up is the redraining of the 7th Approach. Over the years this area has got wetter and wetter. There is old clay pipe drainage in here but these pipes have either collapsed over time or got blocked up by root roots. The system to be installed here will reconnect the two ditches from left to right and then reconnect the green to the ditch on the right of the fairway. Weather permitting this work should be completed by the end of the week. In the mean time a temporary green will be in play in the fairway. Looking at the course this morning, this work is well overdue!