Dear members & visitors,
I hope your all looking forward to the new summer golf season at Todmorden Golf Club. Over the past few months we can reveal some further completed changes to the layout at Rive Rocks.
The 4th winter tee has now been removed with planned new winter tee being at the front of the usual 4th tee. We have now cleared some of the heather to the front of the 4th tee and revealed large boulders underneath the tee we are aiming to keep exposed as a feature.
The feedback received has been very positive on this and may I give a special thanks to Leighton Gengler for his hard work and efforts to complete the project with Nigel & Steve. Leighton is a proud sponsor of the club and a tee sign soon to be put in place on one of our tees. For any groundwork or care needed Leighton is highly recommended as he has been associated with our club for a number of years for servicing all our grounds machinery.
The 4th tee we feel now allows all ages and abilities to play the hole at its measured length ensuring enjoyment and a fair test for all.
Projects on the old 9th winter tee/ practice tee have also been completed seeing the relaying of turf from the 4th winter tee. We have utilised further the turf lifted here to lay the new 16th competition tee. We hope to have these in play by June/ July hoping with some fair weather they will bed in quickly and be to the standard needed to put them into competitive play. These projects have only been achievable through kind members donations of cash and time to allow further competitive layout options for our golf course, I would like to personally thank them again as it wouldn’t be possible without them, they know who they are.
Replacement of a couple of steps to the 6th competition tee have also been arrived out due to regular wear and tear that made them tired and in need of replacement.
Our greens have had the ‘dreaded’ hollow tining process carried out on April 1st of which I would like to clarify a number of points on this issue as I have had many comments regarding this process.
Hollow tining/ aeration is an essential process to be carried out at Todmorden Golf club. We have superb surfaces from May until the end of October every year as a result of the way we maintain our greens which is guided by our budget, equipment owned and also demographics. The aeration carried out in November is to ensure that the greens are playable all winter hence we don’t dress the greens which is down to budget and also ensuring members can play the full course through winter. I can recall only less than a handful of times we haven’t played full course greens this winter which was due to snow/ hard frost.
Since I became greens chairman we have tried all ways to help provide the best greens year round including, not hollow tining for winter, not hollow tining for summer and hollowing for both.
Two years ago we changed to a none hollow tined surface for winter & summer which resulted in a disease of the greens called ‘all patch’. Many of you will remember this as the greens were way below our usual standards until around July which we agree was too late.
This change wasn’t a decision made by Nigel or myself but one voted on by council to try & provide greens playable all year round, also mainly to save money. The frustration of this is it wasn’t a change that we thought would work nor one that we’d considered due to the risk factors of it. That winter and spring was one of the wettest we had and therefore the greens were unplayable for the majority of the winter and due to the weather bred disease in the greens as a result of not hollow tining.
Following this decision the cost of treating the greens made us worse off in terms of playing surfaces for our members but also inevitably cost us more than the process we know works every single time. Due to the attempt to try a ‘different process’ we have reverted back to what works for Todmorden golf club given our demographics, budget and provide us with the best greens arguably within our district.
The contractors that we use need to be booked at least a few months in advance hence we have the hollow tining booked in as late as possible to avoid clashing with the winter league which has always finished in late March usually and to give us a month to ensure they are ready for May and run through until the next treatment in early November.
We have looked at all options to maintain the greens over the past 5 years I have been greens chairman and Angus Woodhead who I took the role over from did the same. Sadly given our demographics, budget, machinery available the best way to provide us with the surfaces we have is to carry out this process every early April.
I apologise if some members feel that they believe another way works better but the evidence we have gathered proves what we do works best for the club & our resources. STRI 2 years ago assessed our greens following the none hollow tined approach which underlined the best way to maintain our greens and that’s the way we now carry out our maintenance.
To clarify on micro- tining our greens like other clubs, we do not own this equipment and to have any relative effect on the surfaces throughout summer we would need to carry this process out 3/4 times over the season which we do not have the funds for to have external machinery hired in and dress the greens each time to allow for another way to maintain the greens as some might feel this would work well. Not forgetting when this gets performed it does effect the surfaces for up to a week once carried out, currently we have no issues with this as from May-the end of October we do not need to carry out any major works on the greens.
We are set for some warmer weather in the next week or two and we are praying for some rain to come with it as this will enable further growth on the course which so far has been very slow. To clarify we have been using the sprinkler systems since they were recommissioned in late March as and when we can. Due to windy conditions & cold temperatures we have used them when we have been able to get water on the greens. Lows of freezing overnight sadly haven’t enabled us to use the sprinklers overnight nor pushed any promoted growth on the course. April showers and warm weather is actually what we are hoping for though so far we have had dry, windy and cold conditions.
Please have support in what we are doing at the club in regards to the course as with the changes made through new projects and given a bit of warm weather (hopefully a bit of rain) our course will be in superb condition as always come May ready for a long summer of golf ahead. Nigel and Steve give their all to the club and take great pride in our superb golf course as it’s one thing we can all be proud of as it matters just as much to them if not more than us as members.
Thank you for your time & good luck in the start to our summer season at Todmorden Golf club.