As we welcome in the first week in February, with a wet week forecast, i think we have seen the entire four seasons already this year. We had a dry start to the year, with only 23mm of rainfall in January. This allowed us to cut and present the course well for the time of year.
With the course/greens having had dry, sun, frost, snow and rain already this year, i am currently happy with the condition of the greens. They are holding up well, especially as i have taken the decision, to hold off on introducing temporary/winter holes. However, i am awaiting soil sample results, just to confirm my gut feeling.
We are also on schedule with our machinery maintenance, with all cutting units sharpened and machines serviced.
A View from the Shed
Today, the 24th of January, we have had the first real ground frost. Personally, it is very welcome. It brings many benefits, including disease and pest represent. The other benefit is, a hard ground frost relieves surface compaction. Wet or damp soil expands when frozen and when thawed, the Fischer’s & air spaces remain, allowing the grass plant roots to breath and flourish.
With only 12mm of rain so far this month, compared to the monthly average for January of 96mm, i am hoping for a short winter. Although, nature does have a way of catching up with its self.
With less than two weeks until Christmas, all leaves are now off the trees and are being removed from the ditches.
I remain pleased with the condition of the greens at this late stage in the season. We have taken soil samples from the greens this week and have sent them away for analysis. It is important to know and understand what is going on below the surface, as well as above. Any nutrient deficiency can then be addressed by adjusting my feed programme. Interestingly, the max/min temperature yesterday, was exactly the same as this time last year, only the ground temperature is 2c warmer this year.
Finally, could I please again request that all golfers, refrain from taking trolley’s across greens, tee’s, surrounds and aprons.
In my blog this week I will be going through with you two ways in that you can tackle windy conditions this winter and stay in control of your ball flight.
Many times I have seen golfers play great when the wind is helping or of the left/right, however, as soon as they have a headwind they struggle as the ball rises higher than usual and then drops out of the sky. If you want to know two simple ways that you can tackle the wind and keep control of your ball flight, then keep reading.
The first simple way is to move the golf ball back in your stance. However, when you’re doing this, you must remember to aim a little to the left. This is because you are hitting the golf ball slightly earlier in your golf swing and the clubface is aiming slightly more to the right, so you have to aim left to allow for the change in set-up.
The second way is slightly harder and requires you to be able to a bit flexible and rotate your body more. My second choice option would be to keep your ball position and stance and swing the same, just shift your body weight to your left hand side, so that 75% of your weight is on your left leg (for a right handed golfer). Then as you swing back, maintain that bodyweight on your left hand side, swing and rotate through the golf ball.
If this has helped you in any way then great, if, however, you are still struggling to understand this or would like to know more then please feel free to contact me on 01983 613131 where we can discuss this further and get you booked in for a golf lesson.
Have a great week golfing
Assistant PGA Professional
While it isn’t everyone’s idea of a great day out on the golf course, playing in cold, wet and windy conditions is sometimes unavoidable. So if your itching to get out on the golf course during the winter months, here are some tips to playing good golf when it’s damp, drizzling, or just absolutely chucking it down!
- Expect The Unexpected: When the temperature is dropping, the clouds are closing in, the wind is picking up, the last thing you want to be doing is scrambling around frantically trying to find your wet weather gear. Or worse not finding any in your bag at all! If there is any sort of chance the heavens may open, make sure you are well equipped and ready to spring into action if they do. Put all of your waterproofs in the biggest pocket of your golf bag, don’t forget your umbrella, and install the rain cover on your golf bag before you start your round.
- Invest In Quality Wet Weather Apparel: When you are dry and warm in your waterproof pants and jacket as a weather front hits, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for making that purchase of the essentials for winter golf. The latest golf specific designs feature water repellent synthetic material which is lightweight and comfortable so you can swing without feeling constriction which is common when wearing non golf specific wet weather gear. Some jackets also feature ventilation gaps that increase breathability and maintain a consistent temperature, so you don’t get too hot and steamy when it’s tipping it down!
- Accept The Weather For What It Is: The one thing you can’t do is control the weather, but you can control how you respond to the conditions. This will have a huge bearing on your enjoyment and subsequent performance when playing. Learn to accept the conditions for what they are, and don’t waste time moaning about them, which will make you more relaxed by accepting the fact that its cold, wet, and windy. Stay positive, lower your expectations, and bear in mind that everyone else playing is in the same boat as you. In Scotland, the birthplace of golf, it rains on average 265days of the year which is evidence that you’re going to play golf at some stage in the rain!
- Lots Of Towels And Gloves: Slick grips and straight shots….they just don’t go together, unfortunately. So it goes without saying that a strong bond between golfer and club is of utmost importance when its soggy. This is why the golf towel and wet weather gloves come into their own when you’re getting soaked on the course. Put a couple of towels inside your golf bag(Don’t leave them attached to the outside of your bag for obvious reasons) to wipe the clubs grip dry before playing your shot. To ensure more control wear some golf specific rain gloves which actually increase your grip the wetter they get. They will genuinely come in as a pair to keep both hands dry, and keep your grip as watertight as Man City’s hold on the premier league title!
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog. If you would like to book a lesson with me, please call 01983 613131. Thank you
Westridge Golf Centre
The main focus for me this Autumn are the greens, more so than usual. Last year, as with many of my colleagues, I got caught out with a severe attack of Fusarium. This year I am focussing on early prevention, with a lot more mixed aeration, little and often balanced feeds and tonics, plus a preventative fungicide program. Obviously this comes at an extra cost, both in man hours and materials. However, the greens are where the majority of the resources should be targeted
The high winds of today (35km/h) is nature’s way of pruning and tidying up the last of the leaves. Together with drying the course, following last week’s rainfall. Overall, the low rainfall of this Autumn has allowed us to continue presenting the course to a high standard. We are now starting to see some recovery to the fairways, following the long dry period.