• Greens Updates 2021

Greens Report - 11 July 2021

Greens

In my last update I asked for members to show a little patience in order to get the greens where we would like them.  Thank-you all for doing so.  Fine weather and hard work by our greenkeeping staff have conspired to produce very nice putting surfaces which I believe are improving gradually week on week.  This has also been reflected in scoring (sadly not  mine) over recent weeks.  However, there is still significant improvement required in order to get all the greens 
where we want them to be.  In particular we will be focusing on greens 2, 12 and 16 which are drier and have less growth than the others.  These greens will be given an extra application of fertiliser to encourage more grass coverage followed by overseeding as required. 

Tees

Divot mix boxes are now on all par 3 tees except the 7th.  Please ensure you use this to fill all divot marks as required. 

Fairways
Fairways are looking really nice just now.
Hit squad spent a morning filling divot holes on the big course recently this has been supplemented by pupils from Inverclyde Academy who have been working on the course one day a week under the mentorship of Barry O’Donnell.  A huge thanks to Barry and his helpers from the Greens Team.

Bunkers  

Raking bunkers is another task which Barry’s team have been helping with and allowing our staff to focus on cutting. 
Again there are still a number of members who are not repairing their footprints in bunkers. Please respect the players behind you by raking the bunker and ensuring your playing partners do likewise before leaving it.  Every member should have a rake so it is not difficult!   

2nd Tee

New signs are in place on both medal and box tees.  Please adhere to these when playing the 2nd hole.  It is in all of our interests to be on good terms with our neighbours and local authority who are now also involved in correspondence.

Irrigation System

Irrigation system has proven to be invaluable in recent weeks and has been operating during the night to keep our greens watered.  Scottish Water have also installed a new water meter at the clubhouse which will hopefully improve the time it takes to refill new water tank on the course.

Barrier Hoops

I’m sure most members understand the purpose of barrier hoops around the greens.
Can I please request that any hoops which are removed in order to play a shot are replaced once the shot has been played.   Thanks 

Greens Staff

Our assistant greenkeeper Darren Proudfoot has left the club to take up a new role elsewhere and will be replaced tomorrow by Stewart McLean who joins us from Greenock Cricket Club where he was head groundsman.   
Darren leaves with our thanks and best wishes and I’m sure our members will make
Stewart welcome as he settles in and gets to know the courses. 

More Thanks

Big thanks to Ricky Martin for applying protective oil to the tree carving.  If anyone has an hour or two free and fancies applying a 2nd coat then please let me know.

Thanks also to Ricky, Gordon Parker and Alistair Roy for preparing and planting our flower beds around the clubhouse which are adding a very welcome splash of colour.

Finally

You may have heard that Head Greenkeeper Jim O’Neill and myself are in training to complete the MacMillan Cancer Support Mighty Hike (26 miles) at the end of August.  Most members will be aware of the impact this terrible illness has had on Jim which is our motivation for taking on this challenge.
If you would like to sponsor us to complete this challenge then please visit our JustGiving page below.
https://www.justgiving.com/team/Jim-Brian?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=team&utm_content=Jim-Brian&utm_campaign=pfp-whatsapp&utm_term=78c0717d685044a4845233de7cc62fc7

Thanks 

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor
bfitzpat90@hotmail.com

 

Greens Update 27 April 2021

Quick update on what has been happening on the courses over the past few weeks.

Greens

Temperatures have been very low, particularly overnight which along with low rainfall is preventing any significant growth on the greens.  We are continuing to cut and roll
the greens regularly and once conditions allow it the greens will be fertilised, verticut and top dressed.  This should make a huge difference to the putting surfaces in coming weeks.  However, until then I can only ask for your patience as we will need to take a step back in order to take two or three forward.
We are also gradually extending a few of the greens out to their original size which you may have noticed.  Again, these areas will take a while to look and feel the same as the main greens therefore your patience is appreciated.

Irrigation System

System has now been fully tested and is in good working order.
This is great news and hopefully we will see its benefit as the season progresses.  New water tank also looks great however it is not filling as fast as we would like due to low water pressure from the clubhouse.  Scottish Water have now been engaged.

Tees

Tees have been sanded and seeded but like the greens are needing some heat, moisture and growth. 

Fairways

Looking not too bad just now with exception of a few areas (6th and 8th in particular) where divot marks are a significant issue, please ensure you always replace divots, some of these are very deep and no-one would wish to play a shot from one. 

Bunkers

New Sand now settled in all the bunkers.
Bunker on 6th now back in play and no longer GUR
Areas of RHS at 15th green will be opened up shortly.  Please adhere to roped off areas and white lining. 

Hit Squad

Hit squad did some clearing today on RHS of 1st fairway which not only looks better but should also speed up play a little.
Next midweek task (Tues 4th May at 9am) will be to clear bushes and saplings from RHS of 3rd Medal tee on wee course to open up the panoramic view of the river and mountains which has been missing for a number of years.
Next Sunday task is to sand and seed all 18 holes on big course at 9am on Sunday
9th May.  If we get enough volunteers then we should complete in a couple of hours.

If not already part of these WhatsApp groups and would like to help out then simply drop me a note with your mobile number and I will add you.

Tree Stump on 1st Tee

As a result of the incredible generosity of members, we have raised £1660 to transform this tree stump into something meaningful and iconic.   I have engaged 
A chainsaw artist  (Google …. Jonny Chainsaw) who should be available by the end of May,  others were suggesting September/October so clearly a popular business just now.  Will keep you posted on developments.

Thanks,

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor
bfitzpat90@hotmail.com

Greens Update 24 March 2021

My update this week is a little bit earlier than usual as it contains very important and pointed messages regarding a couple of issues which need to be addressed.   It also provides important information relating changes which will be in place for the opening medal this Saturday.  Finally, as usual I am looking for some help.       

Litter on the Course

We have a major problem on our courses and it is one which we can and must fix.
A team of member volunteers spent Sunday morning removing all litter from both 
courses.  The picture below shows the 26 bags of litter they collected.  This is in addition
to what was in the numerous bins around the courses (there are 10 on the big course alone) 
Unbelievably an empty can appeared on the 9th tee whilst the guys were still lifting litter on the 10th, having just cleared the 9th.  This is literally 20 yds from a bin which these members would be passing! 
A lot of members are spending a significant amount of time and effort to help ensure our courses look as good as possible and are doing a magnificent job.  Whilst we do not expect everyone to help with work on the course, we do expect every member to put their empty cans, bottles, litter in their bags or in the bins!   There are NO EXCUSES for littering our courses.    

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Ground Under Repair (GUR)

Members are asked to refrain from walking and pushing trollies on GUR areas which are 
Marked with white lines.  In particular areas which have been re-turfed.   I have had numerous reports of members walking from 5th green up the newly turfed bank to 6th tee…….have a look at it when you play next, the new turf has now slipped slightly as a result of such traffic.

Buggies

As the courses dried out last week we took the decision to allow buggies back on the course.
That proved to be a big mistake as the damage to the approaches on Friday/Saturday show that one or more buggy users clearly drove on soft ground within 3 feet of some of the greens , also driving on GUR areas and generally displaying a complete disregard for the course in order to avoid walking. 
I understand that this is not the majority who are very responsible when hiring a buggy.  
For those who are not,  please change your driving habits or you will need to walk.  Thanks. 

Greens Staff Working

It is very evident to everyone that the courses are getting busier midweek during “working hours”   Therefore, I am looking for your patience and understanding if playing during the day.  AS the growing season approaches it will be vital that our greens staff are able to cut greens, aprons, approaches, tees, etc without needing to stop every time a game is playing the hole they are working on.   Therefore, my request is that if members are playing a bounce game and reach a hole which staff are working on, please pick up and move to next hole or wait until they have cleared before playing a shot.   Staff will schedule work on the 9 hole course on Wednesdays in order to avoid interrupting play during medal rounds.

Medal Tees   

As this Saturday heralds the long awaited start of the 2021 season, all holes, including par 3s will be played from the full medal tees signified by white tee markers.  From Saturday mats will no longer be permitted to be used in medal competitions.

Preferred Lies 

From this Saturday until notified otherwise by M&H preferred lies will be in place on both courses.  For those not familiar with this term it means:

When a players ball lies on the fairway, greens approach or fringe of green, the player may
mark the ball, lift and clean it then replace it within 6 inches of the marker but not nearer to the hole.  Without penalty.

Winter mats may not be used in club competitions from this Saturday.

Marquee

In preparation for the initial relaxing of Covid hospitality restrictions on 26 April, we are looking to build a new permanent foundation for our marquee in the area behind the caddy car shed.  Jim Fulton has very kindly volunteered to manage this project supported by Jeff Mitchell and will provide his expertise and experience to what will hopefully be a team of volunteers who can provide an hour or two of their time in the next few weeks in order that we are ready to open for business on 26 April.
If you believe that you might be able to help in any way with this project then please let me know and I will pass your name on to Jim and Jeff. Thanks.

And Finally,

Tree Stump Carving  

I have been blown away by the generosity of members who have pledged money to help fund the carving of something relevant to the club on tree stump at the first tee.  To date I have received £895 in pledges against an estimated cost of £1500 for something similar to the picture below.   I will close this book on Monday morning and see what is possible with whatever total we reach at that point.  If you wish to contribute and have not already done so then just let me know before Monday.  Thanks.  

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Thanks 
As Always,

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor
BFITZPAT90@hotmail.com

 

 

Greens Update 19 March 2021

I should have clarified that a 3rd option for relief from red staked penalty areas is to drop the ball straight back in line from the hole through the point it last crossed the penalty area.  It is unlikely that this would be an option in the penalty areas at 14, 15, 17 and 18.  However is commonly used when taking relief from red or yellow staked burns, eg at 4th or 18th.
Hopefully this helps. 

Update on courses for this week.

I think it was a good decision to keep the course open last week despite conditions which improved as the day went on.  Clearly the work that greens staff carried out last autumn and throughout the winter allowed the greens to hold up without puddling. 

Bunkers

Huge thanks to everyone who played last week for keeping bunkers in good order throughout the day.
All bunkers will be raked again for Saturday (thanks again to Stevie and Don) 
As a reminder, if not already done so players must now collect their mini rake along with their loyalty card and membership sticker before playing the big course at the weekend. (cost £2)
It does make a big difference to see rake marks instead of foot marks or golf club waves in the bunkers.  
Good news is that new sand arrives next week so should be in place for next Saturday if it arrives early enough and weather remains fair.     

Greens

All greens have been cut again this week with the toro which has returned from annual overhaul.  They will also be rolled before Saturday.  
Holes have not been moved this week but will be moved for the opening medal next week. 
Please avoid walking on GUR areas around fringes as this will speed up recovery of the area.
Again, thanks to everyone for repairing pitch marks, as it becomes a habit, the greens get better.

Tees
Par 3s will be played from mats on box tees again this week

Fairways
All players are reminded that they must use mats or move and place in the semi rough when landing on the fairway.  Play as it lies if not finishing on the fairway. 

Buggies 

Following a few days of dry weather, buggies will be bookable from tomorrow 

Ground Under Repair (GUR) 

Areas of GUR has been marked where recent major work has taken place. 
Please do not play from, walk on or push trolleys over GUR areas to allow them to recover.   I know it is a pain but please walk an extra 10 yards if it means avoiding walking on these areas…...we will all see the benefit.
Again, please use common sense and fairness when landing in unmarked areas where greens staff have been working and treat as GUR.  
Gordon McFarlane very kindly manufactured and donated the white hoops which are in place to prevent players from pushing trollies onto areas between bunkers and greens.
If these are removed to play a shot please replace in same place it was removed from. It is also source of huge frustration for our greens staff that someone is removing hoops at 5th green on a daily basis in order to walk between bunker and green……..please stop!!!
  
General 

Staff have been busy this week laying astroturf on paths which will hopefully reduce the number of trench foot cases we have seen in recent weeks.
Our Elves have also been busy on the course clearing stairways on 1st and 2nd tees.   
We are very grateful to have received £650 in pledges so far to fund a chainsaw artist to transform the tree stump on 1st tee.  Please let me know if you wish to contribute.  Thanks 

Penalty Area

A few people have asked for clarity on rules regarding the red staked areas on the course.
Here it is in simple terms
Treat it the same as if in a red staked burn.
If your ball comes to rest in one of these areas……..
You have the option to play as it lies or take a 2 club length, one shot penalty drop (not nearer the hole) from the point that your ball first crossed the line of the penalty area.
If you lose your ball in a penalty area the above applies. (ie you may drop a ball as above under penalty of one shot).  It does not count as a lost ball.  Or you can replay the original shot under penalty of one shot.
Hopefully this helps clarify.    

Thanks, as always

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor

bfitzpat90@hotmail.com 

 

 

 

Greens Update 18 March 2021

I think it was a good decision to keep the course open last week despite conditions which improved as the day went on.  Clearly the work that greens staff carried out last autumn and throughout the winter allowed the greens to hold up without puddling. 

Bunkers

Huge thanks to everyone who played last week for keeping bunkers in good order throughout the day.
All bunkers will be raked again for Saturday (thanks again to Stevie and Don) 
As a reminder, if not already done so players must now collect their mini rake along with their loyalty card and membership sticker before playing the big course at the weekend. (cost £2)
It does make a big difference to see rake marks instead of foot marks or golf club waves in the bunkers.  
Good news is that new sand arrives next week so should be in place for next Saturday if it arrives early enough and weather remains fair.     

Greens

All greens have been cut again this week with the toro which has returned from annual overhaul.  They will also be rolled before Saturday.  
Holes have not been moved this week but will be moved for the opening medal next week. 
Please avoid walking on GUR areas around fringes as this will speed up recovery of the area.
Again, thanks to everyone for repairing pitch marks, as it becomes a habit, the greens get better.

Tees
Par 3s will be played from mats on box tees again this week

Fairways
All players are reminded that they must use mats or move and place in the semi rough when landing on the fairway.  Play as it lies if not finishing on the fairway. 

Buggies 

Following a few days of dry weather, buggies will be bookable from tomorrow 

Ground Under Repair (GUR) 
Areas of GUR has been marked where recent major work has taken place. 
Please do not play from, walk on or push trolleys over GUR areas to allow them to recover.   I know it is a pain but please walk an extra 10 yards if it means avoiding walking on these areas…...we will all see the benefit.
Again, please use common sense and fairness when landing in unmarked areas where greens staff have been working and treat as GUR.  
Gordon McFarlane very kindly manufactured and donated the white hoops which are in place to prevent players from pushing trollies onto areas between bunkers and greens.
If these are removed to play a shot please replace in same place it was removed from. It is also source of huge frustration for our greens staff that someone is removing hoops at 5th green on a daily basis in order to walk between bunker and green……..please stop!!!

General 

Staff have been busy this week laying astroturf on paths which will hopefully reduce the number of trench foot cases we have seen in recent weeks.
Our Elves have also been busy on the course clearing stairways on 1st and 2nd tees.   
We are very grateful to have received £650 in pledges so far to fund a chainsaw artist to transform the tree stump on 1st tee.  Please let me know if you wish to contribute.  Thanks 

Penalty Area

A few people have asked for clarity on rules regarding the red staked areas on the course.
Here it is in simple terms
Treat it the same as if in a red staked burn.
If your ball comes to rest in one of these areas……..
You have the option to play as it lies or take a 2 club length, one shot penalty drop (not nearer the hole) from the point that your ball first crossed the line of the penalty area.
If you lose your ball in a penalty area the above applies. (ie you may drop a ball as above under penalty of one shot).  It does not count as a lost ball.  Or you can replay the original shot under penalty of one shot.
Hopefully this helps clarify.    

Thanks, as always

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor
bfitzpat90@hotmail.com  

 

 

Greens Update 12 March 2021

I want to start by saying that the course was pretty much unplayable today and the forecast is for similar heavy showers tonight and tomorrow.  However, I believe it is important for those who wish to do so to get playing their Saturday golf in the current restrictive climate.   Therefore, we will not be closing the course tomorrow and M&H confirmed that they will not be cancelling the competition even if a green is wet and you need to negotiate a puddle.  Tomorrow is primarily about social fourballs with a prize at the end.  Please just remember to repair pitch marks, use mats and be conscious of where you are taking your caddy cars to avoid unnecessary damage in soft conditions.
Most importantly, if playing be very careful as a number of areas of the course are very slippery.

Bunkers
Left hand bunker on 6th has been reshaped and returfed.  It now just needs edged and filled with sand.  
All bunkers have been raked again for Saturday (thanks Stevie and Don) 
As mentioned last week all players must now collect their mini rake along with their loyalty card and membership sticker before playing the big course at the weekend. (cost £2)    

Greens
All greens have been hand cut again this week (except 4th which was too wet).   
Holes have been moved to high spots this week where necessary so you will have some tricky putts. 
Some areas on fringes have been returfed as required
Big thanks to everyone for repairing pitch marks as a habit now, the difference is clearly very visible.
Fertiliser has been applied to 9 hole course greens.  This will result in some discolouration
as moss dies back. 

Tees
Tees have had fertiliser applied this week
Par 3s will be played from mats on box tees again this week

Fairways
All players are reminded that they must use mats or move and place in the semi rough when landing on the fairway.
Play as it lies if not finishing on the fairway.

Ground Under Repair (GUR) 

Areas of GUR has been marked where recent major work has taken place. 
Please do not play from, walk on or push trolleys over GUR areas for now
to allow them to recover. 
Drop Zone in place at the right-hand side of 15th green. 
Again, please use common sense and fairness when landing in unmarked areas where greens staff have been working and treat as GUR.  
  
General 

New water tank has now been installed and is looking like a lovely shiny thing in the trees!

Hit Squad have been busy singing in the rain this week.
Trees cleared on LHS of gully at 1st to allow slicers to hit the fairway from top box tee.
Bank in front of the 3rd box tee has been cleared.
Brambles and gorse at left of 3rd green cleared.
Gorse at RHS of 7th green cut back.
Scrub and small saplings on RHS of 15th removed.
Gorse and trees in front of practice areas on the 2nd on wee course cleared.
Huge Thanks to everyone who got soaked for a great cause!  FANTASTIC JOB!
  
We are very grateful to have received £300 in pledges so far to fund a chainsaw artist to carve something iconic on the tree stump on 1st tee.  Please let me know if you wish to contribute.    

Thanks, as always

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor
bfitzpat90@hotmail.com

 

 

Greens Update 4 March 2021

Our season starts informally on Saturday as we build up to the opening Medal on 27 March.  We have been blessed with a dry week of weather which has allowed our hard working staff to make great progress in completing the winter programme and preparing for the season ahead.

Bunkers
The back bunker on 15th has now been turfed over as well as the right hand bunker on 6th.
In addition, work has started on the left hand bunker on 6th to remove the steep face and reshape it into a shallower, fairer bunker to play from.
All bunkers will be raked for Saturday however following a very wet winter we need to accept that they will not be in great condition for a week or two.   
The good news is that new bunker sand has been ordered and should be in place for the official start of season.   
This brings me to a very important point.
A number of our members were very poor last year at repairing bunkers. Therefore this year we plan to help with this basic requirement of golf.  The club has purchased a significant number of mini rakes (which attach to the grip of your club and can be clipped onto your bag).  These rakes retail at approx £9.  However, our plan is to issue one of these rakes to every member who has a big course category of membership along with their membership sticker and club loyalty card.  
Each member will be charged £2 for the rake.  A separate communication will be issued shortly from the secretary with details of this process.

Greens
All greens have been hand cut and rolled this week following last week’s fertiliser application
Approaches and aprons have also been cut.

Tees
All tees have also been cut.
Par 3s will be played from mats on box tees instead of medal tees for next couple of weeks

Fairways
All players must use mats or move and place in the semi rough when landing on the fairway.
Play as it lies if not finishing on the fairway.

GUR 

Areas of GUR will be marked where recent major work has taken place. 
Please do not play from, walk on or push trolleys over GUR areas for now
to allow them to recover. 
Drop Zones will be in place at the right hand side of 15th green.  Please drop 
in the nearest DZ to where your ball comes to rest in the GUR area.
There are several other areas which will be marked over the coming weeks.  Please use common sense and fairness when landing in such areas.  

General 
Area in front of the 3rd tee has been used to provide the turf for the aforementioned bunker work.  Please be aware that this area will be re-turfed shortly from the area deep in the trees behind the 2nd green where turf for this has already been cut.

New water tank has arrived and will be installed next week

Hit Squad are cleaning up staircases at 3rd, 12th and 17th tees tomorrow, are raking bunkers, have cut tree limbs and litter picked this week.  Thanks to all involved.

Tree Stump on 1st tee has been a topic of speculation and many conversations.  I feel it is important that we do not do something hasty with it that we might regret.  I have been in touch with a chainsaw artist to assess options and costs for work which is likely to come in at around £1200+ which is not budgeted for.  However I believe that we have the opportunity to develop a long lasting, iconic and relevant creation from this beautiful piece of oak.  I am therefore looking at opportunities to fund this work over the coming weeks.  If anyone is interested in providing sponsorship or donating towards these costs then please let me know.  

Thanks, as always

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor
bfitzpat90@hotmail.com

 

 

Greens Update 28 February 2021

I am looking for your attention and help please.

I received an email earlier from a member who was concerned about the number of golfers who are playing our courses without using mats on fairways as is required.
I was on the course this afternoon and was appalled by the number of players I witnessed 
neither using a mat or lifting and playing from the semi rough when on the fairway.

Let me be clear,  these requirements are in place for good reason,  it is not an option to disregard them and just play from fairways without a mat.  As a reminder, all players must check in with starter before going onto either course.  Therefore, I have asked the Starter to ensure that every player who checks in is informed of the need to adhere to these measures which are in place to protect fairways whilst there is no growth.  
I will monitor this over the next week and if no improvement is evident then we may need to look at potential actions against any members found to be knowingly ignoring this requirement.

Your support and vigilance is greatly appreciated 

Thanks

Brian 
Greens Convenor
bfitzpat90@hotmail.com

 

 

Greens Update 25 February 2021

As we move closer to the 2021 season opening I want to update you on a couple of items and ask for your support, patience and understanding when playing both courses.

Ground Under Repair (GUR)
There are several areas on the course where the greens staff have clearly been carrying out
drainage work which is either still ongoing or has recently been completed and turfed. These areas will be white lined prior to opening medal on March 27th.  Until then, members are asked to use common sense when landing in these areas and take/allow relief.  Please also avoid crossing turfed areas with trolleys.

Box Tee on 1st Hole
The yellow (box) tee markers for the 1st on the big course will be moved to the top tee from this Saturday.  As work is taking place on the middle tee members are requested to please leave clubs at the path, join and exit the tee at the back by following the roped area.  Please do not use the stairs and/or walk across the middle tee.

Pitch Marks
Please, Please, Please repair at least one pitch mark on each green you play.  If every player repairs at least one(even an old one) then we are guaranteed to have better putting surfaces than if you don't.  Your support with this would be greatly appreciated by all. 

March Competitions
Whilst the Saturdays in March herald the start of the 2021 fixture list, we are still effectively playing winter golf.  Our greens staff are still working on the winter programme and will continue to do so throughout March.  The first 3 weeks are fun events so we will continue to play off of mats or move to the semi rough.  The course is still very wet so unfortunately this is essential to protect it.  Your patience and understanding is appreciated.

Thanks

Brian Fitzpatrick
Greens Convenor
bfitzpat90@hotmail.com