Greens Committee Minutes

Date - Wednesday 21st June 2017
Attendees Andy Booth - Dave Crampton - Gary Pritchard - John Whiteley – Mick Gaughan

1. Apologies

2. Previous minutes discussed and Actions Schedule updated. 

  • On course signage for the 4th and 13th has as yet not arrived.  Enquiries identified the delay arose from an old unpaid invoice.  This has now been settled and delivery is expected within the next couple of weeks.
  • Liaison with Wakefield Council confirmed the ownership and responsibility for trees on the course perimeter remains with NGC.  Request to finance committee submitted and preferred contractor identified.
  • Trees to the left of the pond on 11th still to be cut back.  To be actioned ASAP when staffing / work levels permit. Action Dave C
  • Wood bark now installed to side of 10th tee inhibiting weeds and aiding moisture retention for heather growth.
  • Refresh of information provided to Buggy users to be implemented next week Action Gary P.
  • Golfing Etiquette… Pitch Marks...  Picture from 10th Green placing balls on old pitch marks to be re taken plus re load of old “how to repair pitch marks video” Action Dave C & Gary P
  • Feedback has been obtained through Pro Shop and following Greens Directors update in support of changes to the first fairway bunker on 6th. To be included within winter work schedule 2017/18  Action Andy B
  • Tree root removed from corner bunker on 9th.
  • Physical barrier installed to prevent buggy & trolley access to 4th tee via green surround on 3rd thereby reducing footfall and helping to maintain an improved chipping surface.
  • Wood piles in 16th copse removed.
  • Signage re danger to pedestrian when entering the practice area delayed due to unpaid invoice now resolved.  To be pursued ASAP. Action Dave C
  • Many of the drainage channels dug this winter have been over seeded.  Dry weather has however hampered initial growth.  To be continued. Action Dave C
  • A discussion took place re alternatives to manage the deterioration of the pond on 13th.  Long-term solutions include a full renovation and either wire basket filled stones as edges or steel sheets.  Both of which are seen as too costly at this time and a lesser priority than many other on course demands. Hazard line to be re defined further from waters edge where required.  Action Dave C.
  • A quantity of wire has been obtained which will be cut into half moons, sprayed white and piloted on some heavy footfall areas e.g. left of green on 17th.

3. Green keepers update

  • The major storm on Saturday 27th May washed out all 65 bunkers requiring considerable staff hours to repair. This was a Bank Holiday weekend with minimal staff cover prior to the Open Day event requiring bunkers be out of play that day. Work commenced in earnest on the Tuesday and progressively all were back in play before the following weekend.
  • Currently work is focused on maintaining and managing the high level of grass growth.  Greens are cut daily with an additional verti cut 2 – 3 times a week to maintain speed and condition. Tees are being cut Monday / Wednesday and Fridays most weeks with fairways cut twice and any available hours remaining focused on fringes, semi rough and rough.
  • Greens and fringes have again been fertilised which aids appearance and improves growth but also slows down their speed of play. Speed of greens discussed and benefits of advising members of stimp reading. Action Dave C to measure speed each Friday and Gary P to publicise via hallway screen
  • The irrigation system is now in use every day covering greens as a priority then tees.  There have been no major bursts requiring loss of service.

4. Professional update

  • There were no questions raised via club membership of visitors and no reported complaints via the Pro Shop.
  • Feedback from the BMW Day, Andy Sellars Day and EGGS Open Day were all positive.

5. John W Update

  • The ongoing issue of pedestrians walking through the practice ground was discussed and the need to introduce warning notices re golfers and danger

6. Greens Director Update 
Several issues were brought forward from the recent AGM

  • Holes are crowned – This is caused by footfall adjacent to holes when golfers remove or attend the flag or retrieve balls from the cup. To minimize this concern NGC uses the largest cutting board available when making new holes, which ensures a flat edge to the target. Holes are moved a minimum of twice a week and sometimes as often as four times dependent upon competitions. Additionally greens are cut and rolled daily in summer to help maintain a true putting surface. To further reduce crowning golfers are asked as part of normal etiquette to stand away from holes and take care when retrieving balls.
  • Green Staff are not visible at weekends – Green staff schedule of work is purposely designed to minimize intrusion on golfers at weekends when the course is at its busiest. Midweek days are focused on preparing the course for weekends allowing staff to start work often before 6am on Saturdays / Sundays when the focus of work is to repair any damage since Friday and fine tune the course for play largely in terms of greens, tee locations and bunkers. At weekends, the program of work initially starts with the front nine holes working away from the clubhouse.  This enables play to commence unobstructed and it is seen as a success that golfers are unaware of green staff rather than required to play amongst staff.
  • Can we better identify GUR. Areas of the course deemed GUR are always shifting and efforts are made to maintain white line identification wherever possible.  Lines however, are soon worn away by footfall and weather. To help address this concern green staff to be asked to be more vigilant in marking such areas. Action Dave C to remind green staff.
  • Woodchip Paths – The use of woodchip paths supported by wooden sides was raised with Woodhall Spa GC being identified as one such user.  This option for paths was considered but discounted.  Although cheaper initially than firm based paths the disadvantages of bark rotting down, being easily washed away in heavy rain, particularly on slopes, and the demands of buggies for firm paths were seen as making the option unfavourable.
  • Would it make economic sense to buy rather than rent a stump grinder? – Small stump grinders are relatively low cost however for the type and volume of work involved a more industrial style would be required which are considerably more expensive.  The cutting down of trees and disposal take the bulk of time whilst stump grinding can be completed within a week. Making it more economical to hire rather than buy.

7. Verbal requests from members.

  • Can we have Divot Boxes on all Par 3’s – This issue was discussed and although there may be a risk of vandalism two additional boxes are to be purchased for the 4th and 12th tee. Action Dave C to purchase.

8. Emails from members

  • None received.

9. Budget

  • A discussion took place in respect greens expenditure to date this year. No significant variances identified.
  • A request with three alternative quotes has been submitted to the Finance Committee in respect of tree work around the exterior of the course.  Anticipated approval next week.
  • A discussion took place in respect of the planned replacement of the 25 yr. old fairway mower. Action Andy B to raise option to meet Torro rep together with finance director to agree purchase / rent.
  • Green Keepers hut extension – A discussion took place in respect of the difficulties encountered in obtaining three independent quotes for the work.  Alternatives were identified.  Action Andy B to again chase up contractors.

10. AOB

  • The length of the fairway cut was discussed.  Currently 15mm with a proposal to reduce to 12mm providing tighter summer lies. Action Dave C to implement
  • Membership and benefits of Bigga was discussed.  It was agreed that the Head Greenkeeper should be a member of the association providing insight and reference across a range of green keeping issues.  Action Dave C to apply for membership.
  • A discussion took place in respect of longer term course development demands.  It was agreed that this issue should be discussed at a further meeting with each attendee bringing to the meeting their own observation of requirements., Action All to consider larger project demands for the course.

11. Date and time of next meeting.

  • To be agreed when meeting will focus on concluding membership survey and identification of future course development wish list.

 

 

Actions

Owner

Update

Ordinance survey type map of course to be provided to Greens Members for consideration re tree coverage

All

Long term hold

Wood bark to the area to side of 10th tee / half way house.

Dave C

Complete

Tree root visible in 9th corner bunker

Dave C

Complete

Obstruct man made path to left of 3rd green leading to right of 4th tee.

Dave C

Complete

Wood piles in copse to left of 16th require removal

Dave C

Complete

Review the first fairway bunker on the 6th

Gary via enquiries with shop visitors. Andy via newsletter

Gary P

Andy B

Complete

Tree safety around course awaiting response from Wakefield Council re financial assistance

Andy B

Complete

Course signage from 4th and 13th green

Dave C

Items on order

Trees to left of 11th before pond to be trimmed back

Dave C

Ongoing

A refresh of the information provided to Buggy users is ongoing including a request to keep 10meters from greens.

Gary P

Ongoing

Videos to help enhance golfers awareness of basic etiquette to be used on club web site

Gary P

Ongoing

Signage for practice ground advising pedestrians re danger

Dave C

Ongoing

Drainage channels to be seeded over

Dave C

Ongoing

Re define hazard line to pond on 13th

Dace C

Ongoing

Investigate wire hoop options around greens to direct traffic

Dave C

Ongoing

Review remaining areas of Members survey for quick win solutions

All

Ongoing

Include removal of first fairway bunker on 6th in winter work schedule 2017/18

Andy B

Ongoing

Green speed to be measured prior to each weekend and communicated to members via the hallway screen

Dave C

Gary P

Ongoing

Marking of GUR.  Green staff to be reminded to refresh markings where they appear worn.

Dave C

Ongoing

Two additional divot boxes to be purchased for 4th and 12 tee’s

Dave C

Ongoing

Length of fairway cut to be reduced to 12mm

Dave C

Ongoing

Meeting to be arranged with Finance Director and Torro

Andy B

Ongoing

Membership of Bigga to be obtained

Dave C

Ongoing

Consider “wish list” options for course development

All

Ongoing

Green keepers hut extension quotes to be pursued

Andy B

Ongoing