We are very pleased to confirm details of the major works that will be undertaken on the golf course during this winter season.
1. Greens. The greens are recovering well following the recent hollow tining but throughout the winter we shall be continuing with a programme of regular pencil tining in order to bring the surfaces up to standard for the Spring and to improve their long term health. There will be some minor disruption to the playing surfaces when this work is undertaken but we expect this to be minimal.
Disappointingly, the exceptionally hot Summer exposed shortcomings in the irrigation system surrounding the greens. Water was not being deposited evenly and some of the approaches were not receiving water at all. Starting in early November and taking approximately 5/6 weeks, a contractor will be re-siting and installing sprinkler heads as well as laying new pipe work around every green. The latter will be carried out using a ‘mole’ so there will be minimal disruption to the surrounds. It is worth noting that the irrigation project carried out some years ago involved installing new pipe work around the course but only up to the greenside control boxes. The work did not continue around the greens themselves.
2. Bunkers. The construction of the 2 bunkers on 4th and 9th Red seems to have been well received, so starting this week on Red 9 and continuing through the winter we will now continue to rebuild all of the bunkers on the Red loop using this same technique and design. Some bunkers will be reduced in size and some may be moved slightly as part of the rebuild. You will have noticed that the fairway bunker on Red 2 has already gone. It is unlikely that any further bunkers will be removed on this loop, although we are looking at the right hand fairway bunker on Red 7 and considering whether to move it or take it out. No new bunkers will be put in. A plan of the intended changes will be sent to Members during the course of next week.
3. General course work. The main work on the rest of the course during the winter will involve clearing ditches, pruning trees, repairing and improving course furniture and signage. The member of greens staff recruited to look after the gardens and ‘non playing’ areas has left us and we are now in the process of reviewing staffing requirements going forward. Presenting a tidy golf course at all times is of paramount importance and we will not lose sight of this.
4. 5th Yellow. Questions were asked at the AGM regarding the long term plans for the 5th Yellow. No changes will be made during the course of this winter in order to give the upper tee more time to establish itself although to further reduce the traffic on this tee, the blue markers will be taken out of use for general play. In the Spring of 2019 we will look again at the possibility of moving the yellow plate to the back tee and making the hole a par 5 once again.
5. Front pond. The front pond was cleared some months ago but a particular type of weed has established itself and the surrounding trees and bushes also continue to deposit debris into the water. Starting in January, weather permitting, the weed will be cleared and as far as we are able the trees and bushes will be cut back. Our own staff will then maintain the pond on an ongoing basis as they will all of the ponds
and ditches around the course. In order to help prevent the future growth of weeds we need to introduce some movement into the water and will do this by installing a fountain which will also improve the aesthetic appearance of the whole area.
A Member who wishes to remain anonymous has offered to pay for the fountain and it’s installation on the proviso that it is dedicated to Roy Clee. This is a most generous and appropriate gesture for which the Club is very grateful.
At what is a very difficult time for Golf Clubs and for the Golf industry in general, the Clubs that will survive are those that present consistently great courses for their Members. As the works outlined above clearly demonstrate, Kings Norton Golf Club is investing for the future and is without doubt the Club of choice both for existing Members and for golfers seeking a high quality golfing experience.
Kind regards and good golfing.
Shaun Thornhill, Course Director
Neill Smith, Course Manager