Winter course conditions

clubchamp98

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Everything around Harrogate is clay based soil..... the course closest to me has a real issue with water and sucky mud during the winter. I don't think adding more drainage would do a whole lot....water just doesn't move through clay. The only way I can think of to fix it would be to spend zillions of Pounds on adding sand over a period of years until at least the top 6 inches of soil gets enough sand in it to allow for water movement. No idea how much that would cost.....
Won’t work.
The main problem most courses are having is where the water goes when it actually leaves the course.
Water courses in this country are not looked after properly so the water sits on the golf course because it can’t get into the normal channels as they are full.

It’s a big problem but nothing is being done as most of it comes under the local council.
They just don’t prioritise this.
With all the floods we’re seeing that might change ,but I won’t hold my breath.
 

2blue

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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.
Just coming off our course yesterday, with just 3rd & 4th holes closed, when I met a couple of young guys just going out who were over from Oakdale GC looking for somewhere to play as they said all the Harrogate courses were closed. As they had a Spurk to share they should have had a very acceptable experience as every tee has an excellent all-weather surface & full greens in play. The course is certainly well booked this coming week.
 

2blue

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Everything around Harrogate is clay based soil..... the course closest to me has a real issue with water and sucky mud during the winter. I don't think adding more drainage would do a whole lot....water just doesn't move through clay. The only way I can think of to fix it would be to spend zillions of Pounds on adding sand over a period of years until at least the top 6 inches of soil gets enough sand in it to allow for water movement. No idea how much that would cost.....
Won’t work.
The main problem most courses are having is where the water goes when it actually leaves the course.
Water courses in this country are not looked after properly so the water sits on the golf course because it can’t get into the normal channels as they are full.

It’s a big problem but nothing is being done as most of it comes under the local council

They just don’t prioritise this.
With all the floods we’re seeing that might change ,but I won’t hold my breath.
It's the same in N Leeds other than the narrow strip of land where Alwoodley, Moor Town & Sand Moor sit. All the rest are working like mad to try & drain/aerate the soil but sadly clay can't really be drained. Sand-capping costs millions & you'll need another course to play on in the meanwhile as Loch Lomond GC did when they had Dundonald built whilst LL was capped.
All around here are hoping for a dry March as the next week or so is not looking too good
 

clubchamp98

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I teed off yesterday at 1.30pm
Course was ok ,quite dry we commented on it.
But at 3pm we had a very heavy shower and the course was very wet.
The water table is so high that any rainfall just sits there until the wind dries it out a bit.
 

2blue

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Just coming off our course yesterday, with just 3rd & 4th holes closed, when I met a couple of young guys just going out who were over from Oakdale GC looking for somewhere to play as they said all the Harrogate courses were closed. As they had a Spurk to share they should have had a very acceptable experience as every tee has an excellent all-weather surface & full greens in play. The course is certainly well booked this coming week.
Just had a look at our tee bookings today & all were full from 7.22am to 14.07...... gonna be a lot of pitch marks to negotiate when i play tomorrow. :mad:⛳🏌️‍♂️
 

Oddsocks

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We’re still on full greens, full tees and have to say generally pretty dry under foot. A few bunkers have been marked GUR but in general it’s business as normal. While we are clay based, it’s high on the Surrey downs so very exposed to wind which helps up dry quickly and the main drainage installed filters water deep into the rough away from general play.

We’ve been shut 4 days throughout the winter but based on 12 solid hours of overnight rain yesterday and a heavy downpour this morning, there was one small pool on one green and that was on the wettest of the three 9’s, with very few spots of casual water at best. The only real signs of wear is between green and tee routes on a few holes, based on the 18 we played today I’d say approx 10 but they have been roped off well away from the greens so will recover quickly.

Having played a few other courses locally recently it’s made me realise that our course really is all year round golf and one of the best drying in the area.
 

Mandofred

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It's the same in N Leeds other than the narrow strip of land where Alwoodley, Moor Town & Sand Moor sit. All the rest are working like mad to try & drain/aerate the soil but sadly clay can't really be drained. Sand-capping costs millions & you'll need another course to play on in the meanwhile as Loch Lomond GC did when they had Dundonald built whilst LL was capped.
All around here are hoping for a dry March as the next week or so is not looking too good
I disagree (well, kind of from the several posts about sand).....if you spent £££££ over the course of a few years in adding sand to the top of the course....the drainage issue would improve somewhat. Doing that would also somewhat alleviate the easy squishy mud conditions somewhat.....sand would stiffen up the clay when it gets wet and the type of mud Oakdale now gets (as in don't fall down, you might not be seen again) wouldn't develop as bad. Now.....do you (or anybody) want to spend the money (as has been mentioned) and several years to slowly change things over?.....not something most clubs will do. Now.....there are studies that say that when you add "some" sand to a clay soil that it will actually stiffen it up like concrete....but I think they are talking more Georgia type soil where it gets hot/dry at times during the summer months. But those same studies show that if you can add a reasonable amount (that is also argued about) of sand to the clay structure that it will start to drain much better. As someone I was playing with this morning (Ripon open again yesterday and today unlike Oakdale).....Oakdale should have just sold the land for a gazzilion Pounds and bought Flaxby which drains better than anything in the area since it was built on rubble.

I'll be at Ripon only this next year....open a LOT more during the winter, and not blocked anywhere near as much during the warmer half of the year with Opens, visiting groups, comps, etc etc. Half of Ripon is on gypsum.....another issue altogether.....but seems to have a better soil draining structure on the half that isn't on gypsum (but still clay and gets yucky as clay always does).

It is what it is.......
 

Oddsocks

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Adding sand into the top layer (sand banking) also deters the worms thus preventing worm casts. Since the banning or chemicals, Wrotham heath have done this with great results. Long term it should end up cheaper than the chemicals as well.
 

HomerJSimpson

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We were shut yesterday. Justifiably so as our 15th and 16th are always problem areas as the lowest point on the course and have been habitually flooded every wet winter. There is some work planned along the side of the left hand side of 16 to improve drainage but as we're on crown land and the work falls outside the boundary of the course we are reliant on them saying yes to the plan in full and when it will happen. We have tried some work on 15 but the table is so full and the water that is drained off has nowhere to go to. We have had several really wet winters and so it has to be expected
 
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