I have decided that as all the reports for the past year have been included in the minutes of the monthly Club Council meetings, I will not be giving a month by month report. I will just summarise the work done in 2019.
Firstly, I would like to give Bill Shepherd and his team, Innes Reynolds, Phil Pelham and Andrew Yule, a huge congratulations for keeping the course in such a great condition for almost all the year. It continues to amaze me that our very small team of dedicated greenkeepers that we have here, can consistently keep the course looking and playing so well. There were a few more course closure days in 2019 than there were in 2018. This was due to the fact we had considerably more bad weather days towards the end of the past year.
The greens were kept in very good condition throughout the playing season with almost daily cutting and maintenance. Members and guests complimented the greenkeeping staff throughout the season on the consistency of the greens right round the course.
Tees, Fairways, Rough and Bunkers
The course itself was kept very well and kept looking very good with the fairways being shaped and cut at various angles. Over 40 tonnes of sand was added to the bunkers at the start of the season. There were some rumblings about the rough being too high at the start of the season, but Bill Shepherd and his team soon cut it down to an acceptable height. A bunker review was commenced late in 2018 and a lot of bunker work took place over the winter of 2018/2019 and this has continued throughout 2019/2020.
Machinery and Equipment
All the machinery has gone through routine maintenance during the winter season and because of the continuing good stewardship of the club’s finances by Council, we have been able to purchase two new vehicles for the greenkeeping staff.
A Toro RM 3100-D Utility Mower c/w Sidewinder attachment and a Kubota ST 371 Tractor c/w a 60” cutting deck and an LA454ST front loader with bucket have been acquired. Several quotes were sought for both vehicles to ensure best value. The vehicles also match Bill Shepherd priorities for vehicle replacements. The existing similar specification tractor was utilised as a trade in to reduce the cost of its replacement and in the case of the mower, the existing John Deer utility mower is being sold to Ellon Cricket Club.
Author: John R. Wilson, Greens Convener
Information: Bill Shepherd, Head Greenskeeper
Date: 30th January 2020
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