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Course Update: March 2021

We hope you are looking forward to golf's return and before you arrive we wanted to inform you how we have taken the prolonged course closure as an opportunity to carry out extensive renovation works.

Firstly, we have installed approximately 2000 meters of drainage channels on the 1st, 2nd and 10th fairways as these were areas of particular concern in terms of soft, unplayable ground. Understandably this early in the season we await full germination of the renovated areas so it will mean taking a free drop from these areas until further notice. Realistically this ruling may well remain in place until the end of May when we can enjoy warmer soil temperatures and more consistent and abundant growth.
The drainage channels on the 10th hole flow into a feature down the left hand side where we have created a series of ponds linked by ditches to encourage the flow of water away from the fairway and allow wildlife to thrive. At present this area looks unsightly until such time as we can overseed and generate some growth.
All tees have been solid tyned, heavily top dressed, overseeded and rolled and we look forward to these being in their best condition ever later in the Spring.

All the fairways have been deep tyned, harrowed, overseeded and rolled too. Again it’s too early in the growing season to reap the rewards of this work but it will come.

We have installed top quality winter mats within each main tee area to provide an improved, more stable playing surface during the inclement Winter months.

All the bunkers have been refurbished and new drainage installed in the 8th and 16th hole bunkers. The large bunkers on the 11th and 13th which we mounded as features in November have been seeded and are beginning to show signs of growth. These have been sewn with a wild Fescue seed to give them an unkempt look during the Summer months and present them as a hazard you will definitely wish to avoid.
The greens had an aggressive hollow tyning treatment as we could afford to disrupt them without upsetting the playing conditions. We double sanded the tyne holes and used a new mechanical brush to force the sand down into them. We had an outbreak of Fusarium disease on the greens during the Winter period which of course is not unusual. This has been treated and is now well under control and for this time of the year the greens are in great condition.

All walk off areas have also been solid tyned and over sanded to make them harder wearing and free draining.

Many trees throughout the course also had a ‘haircut’ to encourage proper ongoing growth.
You will be aware that last year we suffered, like many local golf courses from an attack of Leather Jackets (crane fly larvae) in both the fairways and greens which caused us severe damage in many areas. We are pleased to report that whilst we do not claim to have eradicated these, we have got them well under control this year due to the preventative measures we have taken.

Worms are the latest bane of our lives, yes worms! Four years ago the ‘chemical’ we used to control the worms was banned for use and the population is now getting out of hand due to prolonged breeding. (BTW, there are no chemicals permitted for use on golf courses nowadays. None!) Worms secrete fine mud particles when they caste and it makes the ground far softer, additionally stodgy and it prevents these areas from draining efficiently. However, the good news is that we have discovered an Organic Phosphate which does help to control the population. We have already applied this to the entire golf course, however it’s a long term solution which will require consistent application before we can really see the results taking effect.

The greenkeeping team, together with a few volunteers have worked tirelessly to get the course prepared for the return of golfers and once we get further into the Season we will really see the benefits of all this hard work. Thanks guys.
Kind regards

Matthew Turner
Golf Operations Manager
And just in case you have forgotten to practice during lockdown, your first shot is over water.
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The Weald of Kent
Maidstone Road
Headcorn, Kent
TN27 9PT
01622 891 671 opt.2