Monday, 30 September 2013

Drainage Project Commences!

Today we start work on draining the fairways on holes 1,2,7,8 and 12. It will be an intense and disruptive period but at the end of it we are sure it will be worth it. Water control on a golf course is critical in producing successful playing surfaces. When it's hot (like we had this summer) getting them irrigated with a good efficient watering system is crucial to keep turf healthy. In 2006 we upgraded our system to allow us to do so. However when the weather turns nasty and wet, then getting water away from site becomes a priority. This is where a good drainage system comes in. Unfortunately our system is old and in urgent need of replacing.

Drainage Project - Phase 2

Last winter we commenced phase 1 of our drainage project. The aim over the coming years is to completely renew our system and make the golf course as good in the winter as the summer. We installed several hundred meters of pipework last year on the river holes 3,4,15 and 17. A couple of weeks ago the river did burst its banks and this is where we saw the benefit of the renewed drainage system. Instead of the course being shut for a number of days, 15 holes were open one day after and all 18 the following day to a good standard.

Loch Lomond 10th Fairway
In preparation for the coming works, a couple of weeks ago the Course Manager, Deputy and Mechanic took a trip up to Loch Lomond in Scotland to see how they drained their golf course. It was an impressive trip and many things were learnt that we will be implementing down here at our site. Loch Lomond Golf Course is a very challenging site and they have treble the amount of rainfall that we have here at Ealing. Like us they did the work in house and over a number of years. It was on a much bigger scale but the interesting thing that we took out of it was that it's never ending. On the day of the visit, and even though the whole golf course had been completely drained, they were aerating and sanding a fairway to improve the drainage there!

We will be doing regular blogs over the coming weeks to let you see how progress is going. To be kept informed, please submit your email address on the icon to the right.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The River Decided To Burst Its Banks!

Unfortunately last Saturday the river decided to burst its banks. As the river Brent flows through the middle of the golf course it comes in to play on 9 holes. It is a huge feature of our golf course, but the downside to this is that in the 1960's the river authorities installed a dam downstream to stop Greenford Town flooding. On average it floods five times a year and because it has been a dry year so far it is the first time it has flooded. The damage that it leaves behind varies from minor to heavy. We would say that this one was on the heavy side so we had to close the course for Saturday's play.

Once the river level dropped below the drainage pipes, the water went back very quickly. This drainage was updated last winter and instead of the course being closed for a number of days, 15 holes were open on the Sunday and the full 18 by the Monday. A great effort was put in by the greenstaff and looking at the course today you would hardly noticed what had happened. The pictures below will give you an idea of the devistation and the clear up operation undertaken by the staff. The greens and tees were absolutely fine. It was getting to them that was the problem!

4th Lefthand Bunker
Looks quite impressive at that height

4th Fairway

12th Hole

Debris on the 10th green
View down the 17th fairway

15th Fairway
10th Bunker

15th Bunker

15th Drain working well
Blower working to clear the debris
1st thing Sunday we are all out there!

Scrapping off the top layer of silt

Bunker back in play

Greens still look great!

Back to normal

We all needed cheering up then:)