A View from the Shed

There are two main subjects to mention this week. One is obviously the weather, with only 1mm of rain fallen here at Westridge in June, making it the driest June on our records. I have been asked, whether it is creating a problem for us, no! We have irrigation to the Greens, Tee’s & Surrounds, although the wind does play havoc with the distribution. We are currently following up with hand watering the dry spots. Other than that, I am not unduly concerned, as it will be the more undesirable grass species, that will be under stress first, therefore, natural selection takes place. This reminds me of an Open Championship I worked at St Andrews. The year the R & A decided to leave the course ‘natural’, it was wall to wall brown. The edge of the Greens/Fairways could not be determined and the Fairways were running at 12 on the stimpmeter.

Secondly is the subject of our strategically placed rough. As mentioned in previous blogs, Westridge GC was an airfield back in the 1920/30’s, therefore we must be mindful not to go back to that landscape!  When Westridge was developed, a small par three course was constructed. From that point, my predecessor and for the last 14 years, myself have focused on developing and enhancing the golf course and give it character. I have built/rebuilt 9 Tee’s and 8 bunkers, extending the length of the course thus increasing the challenge for the golfer. Together with some mounding, fairway shaping and more recently, introducing some penal rough. this not only increases the challenge, adding to the biodiversity of the site, making the golfer employ course management, but also very aesthetically pleasing and adding to the character of the course. However, not universally liked, therefore these areas have now been modified, to reduce the challenge slightly. We always strive to improve the golfing experience here at Westridge.