Monday, 15 December 2014

Bunker on 12

This week we are trying to finish on the 12 hole and get all tidied up before Christmas. The bunker has been dug and drainage is being installed and connected to the drainage system. On the back of the bunker we created a lip and contoured the soil to take run off water into an open drain. This has been turfed using turf from where the bunker has been dug. 
The bunker will be turfed in the new year and sand put in before the start of the season.
The good news is after some heavy rain we got last week the green drained fairly quickly after initially puddling. Work is to be continued throughout the year on this green to ensure water can drain freely into the drains.
We are also ensuring ditches are cleared so water can run freely once drained from the playing areas.
Water running from the new drainage.
We had some strong winds last week which caused slight damage, a willow tree on the path from 7 to 8 seeing the worst damage.
Debris clearance has continued in to this week, then the greens have been cut and  a slow release granular iron has been applied.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Finishing drainage on the 12th

As the weather turns colder, windy and wetter we are nearing completion of the drainage work on the 12th. All drains have now been dug and the majority filled back in. 
A total of 270m of drainage has been installed and should ensure the area around the 12th green is drier and the turf on the green is healthier. The drains will be top dressed regularly to blend them in with the surrounding turf. The last job on the 12th this winter is to dig out the green side bunker.
The turf has been stripped and reused to create the mound behind the bunker and the lip around the back edge. The bunker won't be too deep as the green is raised up already. When dug drainage will be added.
This week we had Eric Bell, a member of the club in to help us refelt the 2nd shelter shed and tidy out all of the other ones on the course. He also has been tidying up around the clubhouse and cleaning out some of the drains.
A great job, we appriciate his time to help do the smaller tasks.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Tidy up

This week the drainage continues on the 12th. Trenches being dug around the green and across the front to connect all the greens pipe work.
Trenches dug with the excavator are 225mm wide with 100mm pipe work. Back filled to 200mm of the surface with gravel before topping with root zone. 
The front section has had to be filled using wheel barrows as it is very wet. 
The weather gave us oppertunity to do some tidying around the course. The bunkers have been blown out and raked
The fairways, surrounds and greens have been cut and leaves rounded and collected. The course is looking in great shape for December. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

12th green drainage days 3-6

Thursday and Friday last week was miserable. Wet, damp and muddy, however the team battled through it to continue with the 12th drainage. A great effort by all.
All trenches dug and back filled, turf replaced and the surface of the green tidied. 
This week we are connecting all greens drains to the outlet via wet areas around the green. 
These are being dug by excavator as we want larger trenches. All trenches are laser levelled and once complete turf will be returned. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Drainage of the 12th green and surrounding area

The 12th green has been a problem ever since I have been at the club. It suffers badly from water logging after only light rain. The main reason for this is the construction material and shape. The green is built up so theretically it should drain well. Unfortunately the subsoil used was pure clay, with a 300mm capping of what I would describe as poor topsoil. The surface of the green is then bowled which holds rather than sheds water. Before I became Head Greenkeeper the green has been drained previously, however the 'poor' topsoil was placed back on top of the gravel. Firstly the topsoil has contaminated the gravel layer and around 400mm of soil made water perculation to the drains very slow. 
So the plan, ripping up the entire green was not an option, so we plan to install new drains, fresh gravel and an approved root zone. The drains will be connected to the ditch which runs at the back of the green. From the green we are also picking up wet areas in front, to the sides and also a new bunker which we digging to the front right of the green. Following the work in future years we will have to intensively aerate and improve the top 300 mm of soil structure and drainage ability. 
First task was to mark out the 5 drainage trenches, spaced at 10 ft centres across the green so they fall in the lowest areas on the green. Once finalised turf was cut and trenching began. 
Trenches are being cut with a Toro pedestrian trencher, 100mm wide and around 500mm deep. An 80mm pipe is then installed and back filled to with 300mm of the surface with pea gravel, then upto surface with root zone. 
At the outlet of the drain work also started breaking through a stone wall to install the pipe. 
Day 2

After the first day we managed to dig and fill one trench. Frosty start to day 2 however now we got into the rhythm we were more productive and the team were giving it their all. A trench and a half completed on day 2 and good progress on the outlet pipe. 
Day 3 
A wet start today which made it a little messy but work continued. Today we again managed around 1 and a half trenches. Today showed exactly the nature of the soil used, a lot of large stones and very heavy clay removed from one of the trenches. 
Work nearly complete on the outlet wall too. 

Monday, 17 November 2014


The past 3 days have brought over 40mm of rain. The course on Friday afternoon was covered in water after a relentless day of heavy rain. Unfortunately  the only work that could be done on the course was moving holes and blowing leaves off greens. 
The weekend was drier but after the winds that came with the rain leaves covered most areas, the bunkers were very wet and full of leaves and the staff worked hard to just get the course playable. The greens were soft after the rain so we had to limit machinery traveling on them. Today we had more rain but steadier, this meant the course coped but was very sticky. The drainage working well has helped dry out areas quicker than before. 
The new ditch taking water well. This week we are continuing to turf the banks.
Leaf blowing continues

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Today has been a day crammed full of turfing jobs. A delivery of 160m2 was used to turf the 10th bunker face
This is now fully turfed, just drains and sand to install. 
We also turfed the 16th white tee
This is also complete, and will be in play in the spring. 
Finally we completed clear up and restoration of the area around 20th tee. 
A great effort by the team. 
We also continued cutting hedges and collecting leaves. 

About Me

Im the Head Greenkeeper at Malton and Norton Golf Club. I began my greenkeeping career at Malton and Norton Golf Club straight from school as an Assistant Greenkeeper. Wanting to climb the greenkeeping ladder I gained my NVQ level 2 and 3 at Askham Bryan College. I continued with my education gaining a HNC in golf course management and took the position of Deputy Head Greenkeeper at Malton and Norton Golf Club in 2005.In 2008 I was promoted to the position of Head Greenkeeper, leading a team of 6 hard working and dedicated Greenkeepers. Our aim is to continue to improve the condition of the course year on year maintaining our high reputation within the area.