What a wet winter we are having, more than twice the average rainfall. Nearly ten inches (250mm) of rain since the 1st of December. The greens have held up remarkably well. The team have been working very hard on the first tee and the bunker renovations around the course, most of the turfing on the reshaped bunkers has been completed and the team are now finishing the bunkers that have been filled in. The heathers around the first tee are starting to perk up and we have started to lay a covering of wood bark over the area to stop weeds from coming through in the spring. The new adventure golf course is nearing completion, Brad has asked the team to plant up the bedding areas on the site and I am in discussion with Ladybird Nursery’s to obtain plants that are sympathetic to the Thorpeness area. The building team have almost finished so keep an eye out for the grand opening. Areas of bracken and bramble are still being cut back around the course in preparation for the spring. We hope to get all the new course alterations back in play by early April weather permitting.
It was a great honour for me to receive Life Membership from the British International Golf Greenkeepers Association for all the work I have done over the past 22 years for the East Anglian Section.
As our government has decided to remove some of the products we use to control pests, diseases and fungal attacks on our greens, we have had to adopt alternative methods to sort out the problems. The greenkeeping team are now embarking on a large scale installation of nesting boxes around the course. We are trying to encourage different varieties of birds to nest near the greens so they can pick up the insect pests in flight before they land to inject their eggs beneath the soil. Our ecologist Dr Ray Hardinge will ensure that each box will be positioned correctly and at the right height.
I am in discussion with a local beekeeper to introduce a couple of hives during the spring and early summer months to take advantage of the various plants in blossom around the course it would be nice to try some Thorpeness honey,
Christine will be back from South Africa soon, and as we start to move slowly into March it will be time for all the fair-weather golfers to come out of hibernation and dust down the golf clubs that have been banished to the back of the garage for the winter months. It is time to clean out your old golf bag and throw away that old golf ball you have been playing with for the last twenty-five years and invest in a new one. Pop into Christine’s shop and she will sell a new golf ball. It will change your game overnight, for one thing, it will be round and the cover will not be cracked like your old one and it will fly straighter and be a bit whiter which will help you find it and speed up play. Joking apart there are some fantastic offers in the Pro-shop at the moment so go and have a look and while you’re there book in a lesson especially on how to play out of bunkers. Have a great golfing year and may the force be with you. Ian