Today was an exciting day, the sight of this huge piece of plant entering the course from the sailing club was something to behold. This is a sand screener that separates stone from sand so it can be used to topdressing fairways over the next few years. With the cost of hire of both this machine and an excavator we need to screen 90 tons of sand in one week to make this a worthwhile operation. Ideally we are hoping for a dry week next week so the sand can be dispersed on the fairways immediately.
Sand will be taken from the newly formed wet land behind the 13th green. A few years ago it was agreed with Natural England that this area would turn in to a wet land to create new forms of habitat both flora and fauna. By digging ledges at different depths we will start to see the land forming in a similar fashion to the area in in front of the 17th white tee.
There is a potential to excavate here for a few years and this will provide us with fairway topdressing which will improve the grass species and playability. The sand will be stock piled at the chequers for short term use and at the side of the wetland for longer term use.
The current practice bunker is only a few years old however it gets a lot of use. so much so that the decision was made to renovate it and increase the size to accommodate more golfers.
When starting to dig we can across an old sewerage pipe around a foot below the surface so the first layer of riveting was determined by this as we could not dig any deeper.
To compensate for this the wall was made a lot steeper and the surrounds were contoured to make the bunker fit in.
The bunker took almost 3 days to build and will be open for play when the surrounds have taken root.
We have been enjoying some fantastic weather this week, temperatures of 15c have been recorded and we are still seeing some growth, Greens, have been triple and hand cut this week, approaches, tees and fairways have been cut in time for the Oxford and Cambridge matches this weekend. The nice weather is to continue in to next week which will allow us to start overseeding and feeding the approaches as well as giving the greens another light topdressing.
A few months ago Lee Strutt at the RAC Club was kind enough to loan us his Rink DS 3800. We were all very impressed by this machine. We shaved 2 hours off our greens topdressing time which means should no longer be interrupted by dressing. This machine is primarily going to be used as a feeder for our small dresser that passes over the greens and tees. we can fit 4 tons of sand inside the hopper and the small dresser can be filled mechanically in a matter of minutes, in the past it would take 2 staff 10 minutes to fill the small dresser per green. The dresser will also be used to top up bunkers with sand. The conveyor shoots sand right into the middle of the bunker preventing any spills or trailer damage.
We can also use this machine to topdress fairways. We are currently excavating sand from the new wet land at the back of the 13th green. This sand will be screened and can be used to improve the quality of the fairways. You can imagine it wont take quite so long with a machine of this size. We feel that this machine is an absolute game changer for us and the membership will see the results from such an investment.
One of the fantastic things about the club is some of the traditions that have been held through out the years. The club colours play a big part, so much so that there has been a run of club jackets and bags made entirely from this striped design.
We are all very proud to wear our club colours and by introducing them to the putting green we feel is a nice little touch.
Please watch the video in an earlier post for the entire story of the 9th bunker renovations. Below are before and after pictures of the project:
Left Hand Side
Right Hand Side
Over the past few weeks we have been changing the revetted bunkers on the 9th hole to rough edged styled bunkers. please watch the video below to see the processes and explanations for each step of the project.