|BURY GOLF CLUB LIMITED.|
As you will undoubtedly have noticed the rains of May and the sunshine of June have resulted in a growth spurt to all areas of the course and this is most noticeable in places that in time will become our more defined rough areas. To quote Gordon Irvine on his visit earlier this month “The Course at present is in a state of repair and has to be allowed time to recover before it can move forward”.
We have always said the Course Development Programme is a long-term project and it will take some considerable time to achieve the outcomes we are looking for. We acknowledge that the rough areas are thick but as we said in the January Newsletter,
“The rough will be harvested each year and will over time provide the “wispy look” seen on true moorland courses”.
What this means in practice is that in the Autumn we shall be deep scarifying and aerating the rough that will improve the playability next year.
We have received many compliments about the definition that is becoming evident on the course, and in particular how nice it is to see the return of the fescue grasses that are improving the aesthetics of the course. All of this, can only be achieved, by initially allowing areas of rough to grow and then cultivate and define these areas further.
To truly achieve the look we are striving for may take a few years, however in the interim period we still want members to enjoy their golf and the feedback received over the past few days would indicate that in some instances the pace of play has slowed due to an increasing number of members having to look for balls.
We are fortunate that our Head Greenkeeper is also an active and proficient golfer who cannot only see things from a greenkeeping perspective, but also as players might see it too. In view of this whilst he is strictly adhering to Gordon’s programme, he will also be able to identify readily where we can improve the playing experience for members. An example of this was seen on Saturday after the Captain’s qualifier when Dave finished playing his round but then started work to cut some of the problem areas he had identified, actually finishing this work at 10pm ! Thank you, Dave for your hard work and commitment.
As previously stated this project is taking a long-term view and as with any ongoing project we can assure members that we will endeavour to keep the playing performance of the course under review and tweak accordingly. In saying this however, we cannot undertake to cut down areas of rough that are significantly off-line, and so members should in turn learn to adapt to play a bouncing running course to avoid penal areas, or as the saying goes “You might have to take your medicine”.
Ultimately what we are trying to re-establish is a course as Alister MacKenzie originally designed not as some members have implied “to create a difficult course”, or a “championship course”. The aim is to create a course that can be played and enjoyed by all golfers irrespective of their playing ability and you, as the player will have to consider the different options of how you play each hole but that is very much what MacKenzie wanted with all his courses, as he once said,
“There should always be a variety of ways to play each hole”.
The feedback from members is that the greens are starting to improve, the quality and the appearance of the approaches are improving, the aprons around the greens are good and the run-offs are presenting their own challenges. All this is being achieved by the hard work and commitment of the greens staff in conjunction with the advice and support of Gordon and so the benefits are already there for all to see, whilst accepting other areas (for example the rough) are very much work in progress and we would again respectfully ask for our members patience as we work towards this end goal!
Gordon is eager to hold a Presentation Evening as soon restrictions permit and we believe that you will find this extremely informative and will also provide you with a better understanding of what is being done and just as importantly why.
In the meantime, we should remind everyone that Dave has only been with us for two weeks, yet already he has enhanced the team spirit within his team and it is noticeable that they are working well together largely because he is, without doubt, leading by example. The Course Development Programme is in its infancy, we will not get everything right first time but with Dave, Gordon and the Greens Team we know that in time Bury will be a course that you will all be proud to say is your course.
The Greens Team