What is your club doing to combat the weather in the future?

Neilds

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There is a long thread on here about courses being closed throughout the winter and I was wondering what your clubs are doing to try and prevent this in the future.
We are investing in more drainage, getting a professional company in to advise and also starting a program to clear and widen the existing ditches to try and help. We are also starting a 3 year project to put a path around all the holes to allow buggies and trollies to be used at all times and we are getting proper winter tees with astroturf in front of all the par 3s.. The plan is to (hopefully) make the course playable 365 days a year for everyone. They are also looking at improving the general look of the course with flower beds, better signage, clock, improved halfway hut, etc
We have also just refurbished the clubhouse, half the bunkers have been upgraded with the rest following and the range has been extended and Top Tracer added so things are really looking up. A lot of this is funded by the money we got from selling some land to a developer for a retirement village and the members have realised that we can spend this instead of saving for a rainy day (pun intended :ROFLMAO: ) but if we can survive a lockdown without going bust, then we should be able to spend a bit of the investment.
 

Whereditgo

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Similar to you. We have installed more drainage on 5 of the worst affected fairways/areas, 1 green and the practice putting green. Also cleared out the ditches including removal of a number of trees where roots are blocking ditches.

The club has also had around 15 bunkers professionally remodeled with more to be done this year.
 

jim8flog

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On our 9 hole course we have few options.
The environment agency has the right to use it as a flood plain.
Something we knew before buying the land.

On our 18 we have put in a lot of rope drainage on the greens with drainage channels diverting the water.
 

PJ87

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I'll be interested to see how our clubs uses the 3rd (and final) 9 once it's completed

There have been rumours that during the winter months 1 of the 9 hole loops could be closed per week for maintenance/ rest to keep the course open as much as possible / great condition
 

hairball_89

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I'll be interested to see how our clubs uses the 3rd (and final) 9 once it's completed

There have been rumours that during the winter months 1 of the 9 hole loops could be closed per week for maintenance/ rest to keep the course open as much as possible / great condition
Can't see a golf club making a somewhat sensible decision, like that!
 

Imurg

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Nothing
The course naturally drains fantastically well and we've only had trolley bans because we've had so much rain. Carrying has been an option
The course has been open and playable every day except 1 when we had to close to clear up storm damage - the buggy shed roof and several trees.
The benefits of being on a massive chalk hill.
 

woofers

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Interesting that a couple of responses include clearing and widening existing ditches. As in a lot of things these days, maintenance is seen as a chore, unsexy, a dirty word and building new is regarded as ‘proper investment’. Reality is that the infrastructure may well be there but not looked after. Many floods are caused by blocked drains and flow offs, proper maintenance would alleviate some of these.

In some cases, usually clay based parkland courses, spending substantial sums trying to “improve drainage” is a waste. Simply accept the fact that the terrain does not drain and there will be excessively wet winters when the course is unplayable, and drier winters every 4/5 years when it’s OK.

Some clubs are recognising this and offering membership categories of 8 or 9 months unlimited golf and then pay per round (members discount rate) in the remaining 3 or 4 months. A refreshing approach when budgets are tight and value for money is under scrutiny, nobody likes paying for something they can’t use.
 

Slab

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Lucky to play on a new course (2017) so it was built to drain well.
All bunkers have concrete base with drain channels built in, several ponds and bodies of water round the course for fairways to drain to, concrete path round the entire course so no damage from player traffic or GK’s plus some other stuff underground I don’t know about means it drains really well (I think a chunk is collected and used for the sprinklers, there’s a small reservoir/pumphouse off the playing area) Even when I’ve seen standing water on greens due to sheer volume of rain its gone within an hour of rain stopping

I don’t think there’s much else they could do & players usually decide if its too wet to continue play but the club may stop players starting if its pounding down
 

BiMGuy

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Some clubs are recognising this and offering membership categories of 8 or 9 months unlimited golf and then pay per round (members discount rate) in the remaining 3 or 4 months. A refreshing approach when budgets are tight and value for money is under scrutiny, nobody likes paying for something they can’t use.

I know a couple of clubs that have done this and it’s hammering them financially.

If you pay £1k now for 12 months, you will still pay £1k for 9 months as the cost of running the club doesn’t change, and the course still needs maintenance.

People might need to accept 9 holes at a time is open for play, or the clubhouse is shut most of the time during winter when it’s only used by a couple of people a day who want a pot of hot water as they have their own teabags.
 

PJ87

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I know a couple of clubs that have done this and it’s hammering them financially.

If you pay £1k now for 12 months, you will still pay £1k for 9 months as the cost of running the club doesn’t change, and the course still needs maintenance.

People might need to accept 9 holes at a time is open for play, or the clubhouse is shut most of the time during winter when it’s only used by a couple of people a day who want a pot of hot water as they have their own teabags.

I really wouldn't mind having just 9 holes available per week during the winter to let a course heal

I find during the winter I'm happy to get 9 holes in just to keep my arm in!

Ideal world can get 18 but if it was a bad week you could close one for 3 days then the other for 4 and such or even just midweek and leave the weekend open
 

Lord Tyrion

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This is the first winter that I can remember that has caused such issues. One winter, no need to make significant decisions at this stage. Saying that, better drainage, clear water collection sites, water storage for dry summers, is all logical stuff, An extremely wet winter probably focuses the minds of a committee who were dithering as to whether a particular project was worthy or not. It should reduce the objections to those who would normally at money being spent there.
 

Billysboots

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Very little as far as I’m aware. Despite suffering more than I can ever remember these past few months, our place has remained largely open and now shows very few signs of the wet winter. We’re very lucky in that the land drains well, and the course has recovered breathtakingly quickly.
 

PJ87

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This is the first winter that I can remember that has caused such issues. One winter, no need to make significant decisions at this stage. Saying that, better drainage, clear water collection sites, water storage for dry summers, is all logical stuff, An extremely wet winter probably focuses the minds of a committee who were dithering as to whether a particular project was worthy or not. It should reduce the objections to those who would normally at money being spent there.

We have 2 lakes that we use to store water for use on the course during the summer

I dread to think how full the one on 2 would be now if the fire brigade hadn't come and taken the water to put out a fire in 2022 .. it's now full to the Brim again (it was so low you could have walked across the bed)
 

HeftyHacker

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We had an email a few weeks back from the greens committee with a detailing list of work they would be undertaking to address the drainage issues that we've had this winter.

They've basically looked at all the wettest spots and investigated what drains were already in place and what state they were in - where blocked they would be cleared and where broken/collapsed they would be replaced. They're also looking at the problem areas and putting new drains in where required as well as liaising with the other local landowners to ensure that downstream of the dykes and ditches are sufficiently clear to allow the water to escape.

Paths are also being built between greens and tees to avoid the course bring chewed up too much in problem areas.

It seems like they're putting the hours in but with a very small team and limited resources their progress could be stunted somewhat once the weather dries up and the focus needs to be back on maintaining the course itself.
 

Bdill93

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On a serious note -

We have never implemented a trolley ban. The course has been destroyed. Owners will never turn away a pay and play green fee, the course is open pretty much 365 days a year.

Our owner has emailed the members that they are exploring a path solution for the course going forward, at present our course is just grass and mowed paths but as you can imagine, these paths have been destroyed and string fencing has been used to guide players around badly effected areas etc but this has only added more surface area thats also wrecked - although probably had to be done for safety reasons.

The idea is a cart path from holes 1-18 so during the wet months players are kept to paths only and the club can continue to rent out buggies all year round. Thus improving the course condition. Obviously the issues of mowing wet grass will always remain but paths will also enable the greenkeepers to get to the greens to hand mow if needed without ruining fairways.
 

Robster59

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Our course has been doing quite a few things over the years. Since 2017 when it never seemed to stop raining, we have been doing annual winter improvements including:
  • Putting new drainage into the worst affected greens.
  • Putting porous cement into the bunkers that flooded to allow them to drain more easily.
  • Adding drainage into the fairways to reduce flooding.
So the course is a lot better than it was in 2017 in terms of flooding, but when the weather is as bad as it has been for the last month, there is only so much you can do to combat nature.
 
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