Friday, 30 May 2014

Construction to the Chipping Green begins!

Over the last 2 weeks we have been working on our new chipping green project. So far all the trees in the area (apart from the Yew tree) have been cleared, rootballs removed, green has been shaped and drainage,gravel carpet and rootzone added. It has been an intense period and the weather hasn't been to kind, but we are quite happy with progress so far. Constructing any new project takes careful planning and all stages has to go in sequence. As the area is tight manoeuvrability can be hard, so taking our time making sure everything is done right is our number one priority. It pays long term to do so.

Over the bank holiday weekend drainage was installed along with a 'gravel carpet' at a 100mm depth and rootzone at 250mm. It is the backbone behind the greens performance and allows water movement to be controlled. This weekend we will be adding the irrigation system and shaping the surrounds. Once this is completed we hope to apply the poa cores on Monday, with turfing of the surrounds following soon afterwards. We then enter the 'grow in' stage when the count down begins to our opening date of early September. It will be intense but well worth it!

Trees to be removed

Tree Surgeons felling trees

The Church appears!

Spoil added

Green is 'cored out'

Ricky and Olly 'shaper' discussing design

Drainage added

Gravel Carpet at 100mm depth

Rootzone at 250mm depth

Friday, 23 May 2014

TP Tour Comes to Ealing!

Last Monday the TP Tour came to Ealing to play the 2nd London Pairs Tournament. This was held for the first time last year and features up and coming pro's and amateurs, as well as established tour processionals. It was a fourball better ball tournament with 38 pairs playing 18 holes, with the top 6 scores going in to a 4-hole 'shoot out'! Defending Champions James Heath and Adam Gee successfully defended their title. It was good to see as they are both former winners of our Ealing Scratch Open and always good supporters of the golf club.

For the agronomy team it was a good chance for us to show off our golf course. Many long hours went in to this event and the feedback from the players was excellent. The course was well defined and greens were running at 13.25 feet. Our own Course Manager and Director of Golf played as a team. They even complained that the uphill putts seemed fast!

Greens running at 13.25feet

Attention to detail
Even the ducks liked it!
Greenkeeping team hard at it

It was a beautiful day

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Chipping Green Project Commences 19th May

Last week it was confirmed that our new chipping green would proceed with construction set to start week commencing the 19th May. Over the last few years it is a project that has gathered pace and we are keen to implement this straight away now that funding has been agreed. The design has been jointly done by Weller Design and our own Pro, Ricky Willison. The area that has been agreed on is the new clearance on the way to the 9th tee. Space is tight with the whole area only totally just over 600m2, but we feel with careful thought and design we will get a top playing surface that we desire!

The project is being managed by our Course Manager Greg Evans and underwritten by our present Captain and immediate past Captain. Because the area is tight and light will be an issue we have decided to install it to full USGA specifications but with a twist! Instead of the industry norm of turf or seed being used we will be 'coring' a couple of our existing greens and using those cores as the seedbed. It is something that we did a couple of years ago with our turf nursery and worked a treat.

The aim is to construct and build mid-May with the cores going down early June. As we plan to open the area for the autumn meeting in September it will give us 3 months to grow in and open to a top standard.  The specification for the area is as follows:

  • Green size 296m2
  • Surround size 331m2
  • Green to be built to full USGA specifications which consists of a 100mm gravel carpet with 300mm of predominately sand sitting on top
  • Whole area to be fully irrigated and drained
  • 50mm 'sand cap' will be used on the surrounding area, with rye turf
  • Path to be widened from 1 to 2metres
  • 9th gate to be moved from its existing position 5 metres further up the footpath making the walk from the 8th green to 9th tee straighter
At present we are thinking of adding a small bunker but there are some safety issues attached to this. We will decided once rough shaping has taken place.

It is a small but exciting project for us. As usual it has many challenges but is something that we enjoy. Our aim is to produce a chipping green which is of the same standard as the main greens if not better. We will do update blogs throughout the project. All that we hope for is that the weather is kind!

Friday, 2 May 2014

First Major of the Year - Spring Meeting!

As we approach our first major of the year the course has really taken shape over the last month. This is always a funny time of year for the greenstaff as we are finishing winter snagging jobs whilst getting the course ready for the playing season. In April our cutting regimes intensified with greens going from two to three cuts up to daily. Also other areas such as fairways have increased from once a week to three times. Heights of cuts have come down with greens now cut at our summer height of 2mm. We are getting lots of compliments at the moment which is always nice to hear.

For the weekend the main focus will be on the greens. Instead of just cutting they will be rolled as well. It will increase the speed from a daily stimp meter reading of 11 feet up to 12 or beyond. Smoothness will also increase and having just done a smoothness test we are happy that we have hit our first 10 out of 10 for the season. Pin positions will be a bit tougher and it will certainly feel like a major. It's always nice when the spring meeting comes along as for EGC it signals the start of the playing season!