Friday, July 18, 2014

Back to work after some leave and the cold weather welcomed me with open arms!  Two days of widespread frosts last week end have certainly slowed the grass down and the shaded areas on the north side of fairways, in particular, are really struggling.  This low level of growth normally doesn't happen until August so it is going to be a long winter until the warmth and subsequent growth re appears.

It is interesting watching The Open Championship at Hoylake as that was one of the courses I visited earlier this year.  The calm benign conditions of the first round are a far cry from the arctic type gale force winds and driving rain that were happening when I visited!

Not much will be happening on the courses with the low growth and low staff numbers with several staff taking some annual leave through the cooler months.  The West greens will have at least one sanding applied in the lead up to the Club Championships in late August.  This will help even out the surface and also fill in some of the un repaired pitch marks.  The sand bins around the clubhouse will also be refurbished over the coming weeks.

The Members Information Evening next Thursday will see Course Architect Richard Chamberlain in attendance to discuss the draft Course Improvement Plan that has been developed over the past months.  Such plans are sometimes referred to as Master Plans but the Board felt that Course Improvement was more suitable to our situation.  There are no proposed major structural changes to the layout of the courses but rather some vegetation control where it is now impacting on play and removal of unnecessary bunkers that have no effect on play.  The following is Richards own explanation;

What is a Course Improvement Plan ?
I have produced these types of plans for many golf clubs throughout the country. Each golf club has a different set of goals and desires for their golf course in addition to their own set of problems and short-comings.
A CIP is simply a plan and a written report that outlines a direction for the golf course. This long term plan can be acted on immediately or broken down into phases over time. Some clubs simply perform general improvement works on their course, as a result of the CIP each year and embark on a single green re-model each season. Effectively the CIP is a fifteen or twenty year plan for the future.
What a CIP does reduce is unnecessary work that is decided on a whim and can often result in the work being re-done at a later stage.
The CIP is effectively a set of conceptual ideas for the golf course so that it can be managed and improved effectively.

Richard has prepared similar plans for Redcliffe, Murwillumbah, Cairns and Middle Ridge Golf Clubs.

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