Friday, December 17, 2021

At Thursday's golf management meeting the topic of bunkers was raised as it just about is every meeting.  Some discussion revolved around the way the bunkers are left after maintenance by staff.  We had happened to rake the West bunkers on Thursday afternoon, starting at 1pm,  so on my way back to the shed I got these photos at around 3.30pm of some of the first ones raked.  It wouldn't matter how good a job we did if players won't pick up the rake to start with.

16W greenside.

17W greenside.

17W greenside.

16W greenside.

18W greenside.
18W fairway.

A lot of manpower is devoted to bunkers with some high end courses actually spending more on bunkers than they do on greens which was also the case here at one time.  This morning six staff members were involved in raking the River course bunkers in front of the competition.  All the bunkers were blown out if needed (majority were done thanks to recent winds) and raked.  Very little other maintenance was done to them and the job was finished just as the first competition group got to 18R.  So eighteen manhours today on the River course alone.

A very good friend of mine is at an exclusive member only club in the USA where there are a crew of eight who go out every day raking bunkers (on 18 holes) and needless to say the bunkers are pristine.  He has a sign in the Pro Shop with a photo of a perfect bunker and the caption ''we can only make them perfect once a day - the rest is up to you''.  And by the end of the day the bunkers are still trashed!

We managed to get another two River course fairways aerated this week but unfortunately the rest will need to wait as we are getting very short on numbers.  Another of my qualified greenkeepers finished up this week to take a job as a mowing operator / general hand for a considerable pay hike.  It's an industry wide problem and many advertisements for qualified greenkeepers don't even get a single application with so many leaving the industry.  

The River greens got a sanding on Tuesday this week and haven't been mown for the rest of the week as we got a product out this morning that is best applied with no mowing prior to application for three days.  If all goes to plan the West greens will get a sanding next week which should finish off the leveling of the surface following the renovation.

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