Winter course conditions

LEOHALL

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Anyone playing in the UK this winter will know how wet and boggy the courses get but I was really shocked by the state of our greens today. Covered in worm casts, leaf litter, twigs and of course pitch marks roughly repaired if at all. Is this something I should simply accept or is there a way green keeping staff can make the greens more playable in these weather conditions?
 

Billysboots

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Much of this depends on what type of course you play. If it’s parkland, with tree lined fairways and greens, then if it’s breezy you are very likely to find your greens have tree debris on them, especially later in the day.

Worm casts are pretty much inevitable, more so when you consider that at this time of year your greens won’t be cut daily, and unless your greenkeeping staff have a daily routine of clearing the greens first thing on the morning, and many clubs don’t have that luxury, then worm casts are to be expected.

As for pitchmarks, I’m afraid they really aren’t the responsibility of your greenkeeping staff to repair. If they did that, not only would they would have little time for anything else, but it sends the wrong message to those too lazy to repair them in the first place - that being, why should I repair my pitchmarks when we have a team of greenkeepers to do it.
 

IanM

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Newport's greens are very good at the moment. Have been most of the winter, although there were periods when they couldn't get put to work on them😉 But we've had occasional closures due to monsoons!

Saunton's greens have been nice all winter..

We're on a small island in the North Atlantic... we get weather, not climate!!
 

HankMarvin

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Played on The Queens today and couldn't believe how good the greens were, absolutely brilliant and most course would be more than happy ro have greens like that in the summer.
 

Viewer

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Anyone playing in the UK this winter will know how wet and boggy the courses get but I was really shocked by the state of our greens today. Covered in worm casts, leaf litter, twigs and of course pitch marks roughly repaired if at all. Is this something I should simply accept or is there a way green keeping staff can make the greens more playable in these weather conditions?
Where do you play?
 

HomerJSimpson

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We're parkland and it is a clay base so it does get wet on certain holes and it is so demanding to play well around the greens. No run on the ball means a short hitter likes me gets no reward for a really good drive but it it what it is and you have to adapt where possible.
 

jim8flog

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Anyone playing in the UK this winter will know how wet and boggy the courses get but I was really shocked by the state of our greens today. Covered in worm casts, leaf litter, twigs and of course pitch marks roughly repaired if at all. Is this something I should simply accept or is there a way green keeping staff can make the greens more playable in these weather conditions?
I see you posted this on a Sunday.

Do any of your green staff work on a Sunday?
 

Captain_Black.

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This winter has been a shocker for pretty much everyone.
Very little golf played since the end of Oct.
My course (when open) has been pretty much unplayable all winter & although nothing would have stopped the extreme boggy conditions, the the terrible condition of the course has been exacerbated by the green staff's failure to cut the rough at the end of last summer.
Which has resulted in an unplayable bog.
Balls deeply plugged or lost in ankle / knee high rough.

If they had prepared the course better in late summer, quite possibly it would have dried out a lot quicker than it has.
As it is, it's still too wet / boggy to get any machinery on the course.
I tried to play it again on Sat & it was awful.
 

Mandofred

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I hadn't played in 10 days or so....went out first at Ripon just so I could whip around....lost 2 tee shots in the first 4 holes because it was still too dim for me to see well (started at 7:30). A couple of old farts (I'm 66.....they were fartier than me) that started behind me jumped in front of me after the 5th....I think to avoid a couple of hillier holes....thought they would wave me through...nope. I had to skip 2 holes and go straight to 10. Not that big of a deal...I was just working on a couple of things....but jeez they were slow.

Fairly amazed at how well Ripon is holding up to the wet. It was a lot drier than I expected....the other course I play I'd have to take a life preserver with me in case I sunk in the mud.
 

Bdill93

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I accept it.

I don't expect to strike the ball quite as well as in summer and roll out just hibernates for winter at my place, everything plugs on our front 9 because the land is so bad.

However, its still golf, still a laugh and it keeps me ticking over.
 
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I play twice a week where possible even in winter and my biggest gripe by far is people not replacing divots. It leads some clubs to insist on winter mats which I can't play off (I tend to rest my irons quite firmly behind the ball). So I spend time replacing other golfer's divots. There are courses that are superb in summer but unplayable in winter. It's a case of shopping around to find those that suit.
 

Mandofred

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I play twice a week where possible even in winter and my biggest gripe by far is people not replacing divots. It leads some clubs to insist on winter mats which I can't play off (I tend to rest my irons quite firmly behind the ball). So I spend time replacing other golfer's divots. There are courses that are superb in summer but unplayable in winter. It's a case of shopping around to find those that suit.
There is no good reason you can't hit off a winter mat. It's simple.......and divot free. You get a good lie without tearing the heck out of the ground until the grass starts growing decently again.
 

Bobthesock

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There is no good reason you can't hit off a winter mat. It's simple.......and divot free. You get a good lie without tearing the heck out of the ground until the grass starts growing decently again.
I don't like them but they are easy to hit from. Most higher handicappers love them at my club.
I find it easy to hit driver off and to do high flop shots. Not sure I'd be trying either off a muddy lie
 

HomerJSimpson

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I accept it.

I don't expect to strike the ball quite as well as in summer and roll out just hibernates for winter at my place, everything plugs on our front 9 because the land is so bad.

However, its still golf, still a laugh and it keeps me ticking over.
We have a similar problem. I hit a worldy (for me) on several holes on Saturday that would have been a medium iron in but plugged and left a 5 wood and hybrid respectively. Not doing much for my Arcoss strokes gained either. At least we are playing and I am using the weekend roll ups to try and get my swing change working before the season. It had been going well until the unmentionables on every hole on the back 9 on Sunday. Went to the range (if only for my own mental well being) and as we all guessed hit well again. Stupid game
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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If we are lucky enough to be able to play almost continuously on our greens (as we have this year) I count my blessings.

Pitch marks?…members; worm casts?…greens team more limited in what they do since the use of the chemicals that used to do for the worms has been strictly limited - if not banned.

I just enjoy my winter golf with gratitude, and am happy that the greens team get on with their winter works programme as this is aimed at longer term improvements to the course and my overall experience. So this winter they have built new teeing grounds on one of our par 3s; are spending a lot of time on clearing ‘weed’ trees, scrub and undergrowth and have started work on the project to sort out our paths and tracks.
 
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