The 15th hole has been causing problems for the last few years with the water that has been gathering in the landing zone bowl to the left of the fairway. In the winter it fills up, kills the grass then come summer time it’s horrible to play off. This is not a simple fix as the problem is how high the fairway is above the bowl. We have had to dig a new trench from the centre of the bowl, all the way across the fairway which happened to be very deep. The trench connects to the ravine on the 16th hole, travels across the 17th fairway and out into the 18th lake. We then installed a large 6 inch perforated pipe to cope with the volume of water.
There has also been another issue in the copse to the left of the green, a mystery drain appeared to have bust causing the area to become extremely waterlogged making it very difficult to walk on never mind attempt to hit from. This drain was difficult to locate, water was gushing out of the ground at the corner near the houses, but as we dug down, we found more than one pipe. Furthermore, it wasn’t a pipe it was coming from, it was an old brick culvert that had collapsed. Now we have found the problem, it was how do we get rid of the water? because there was that much of it. The best way out was to trench through the copse of trees and tap it into the large 6 inch pipe we installed in the bowl. I still can’t believe the volume of water this culvert was moving.
While we were carrying out a fair bit of work to the 15th, it made sense to re-build the bunkers and do it all in one. After many discussions with the greens committee and Jason we got the go ahead to re-design the bunker on the right and make it one big bunker. We pushed it closer to the green, as much as we could get away with. All the spoil that came out of this area was used to fill in parts of the old bunkers and also tipped into the bowl where we put the drain in. I wanted to raise the height of this bowl a little bit and re-grade the area to make it more suitable for golf and our machinery. When I build new bunkers, I make sure to set them into the ground and design it around its surroundings, how a traditional golf bunker should be built.
The bunker on the left side has been reduced in size a little. The greens committee made a suggestion to bring it further forward and to reduce the size so in the future we could possibly look at extending the green around the back of the bunker……possibly. Again we sunk the bunker further into the ground along with a funky new design to give the players a better experience when landing in it. Again both bunkers have drains installed which connect to the large drain in the bowl.
We have spent quite a bit of money turfing the areas we have worked on this year, with the intention of them being ready for play come the start of the season.
Working on the 15th hole has been especially difficult as transporting materials has been an absolute nightmare. We caused a lot of disruption trying to get up the hill off the path at 10. We had to resort to putting scraps of astro-turf down to help our tractors grip and pull up the trailers. A lot of members became a little disgruntled and most probably didn’t understand how much material we actually had to transport. To break it down a little; 10 pallets of turf containing 50m per pallet, 14 tonnes of sand for the bunkers, 10 tonnes of drainage stone and 150m of drainage pipe. Now I’ve written that down I don’t think we did to badly with the damaged we caused. At least major works on the 15th is done and dusted for a long time.
There is a lot to take in and read for this week, I will publish the final part next week where I will discuss the remaining drainage works and our old favorite, tree felling.