Recent Time Away From The Club/Annual Leave
I have been away from the Club all this week, taking some holiday leave to represent the IGCMA (Irish Golf & Club Managers Association) in the annual golf fixture against our Scottish counterparts.
This year's match took place on Sunday and Monday over the fabulous Championship links at Royal Dornoch GC. After the first day the scores were tied at 3-3, but unfortunately the second day did not go our way, and we ended up losing the fixture by 6.5-5.5 points, when a tie would mean we would have retained the trophy. To make matters worse, this was the first time the Irish managers have lost to the Scots since 2003!
I had previously met the General Manager, Neil Hampton, a couple of years ago at a Club Leadership Summit here in Belfast, but it was good to meet him again and both he and the Club were excellent hosts over the few days that we were there.
On Tuesday, we were able to play a round of golf at Brora GC and their Secretary/Manager, Tony Gill, took time out of his day to welcome us all both before and after our round of golf on the James Braid designed links. The course was a good test of golf and thankfully the weather was again kind.
After flying back to Dublin from Inverness airport with the rest of the 12 man team on Wednesday morning, we discovered that six of our golf bags had been taken off the flight, including mine, but thankfully they were safely delivered today.
Ongoing Tree Maintenance
Work has been going on for the last few weeks to tackle many of our mature trees around the Ballydrain estate, but in particular along the Upper Malone Road, along the left hand side of the 16th and 17th holes, and also a dead tree on the main driveway.
All of this work is being done for health and safety reasons, as opposed to aesthetic ones, or otherwise - we apologise for any inconvenience this essential work has or may cause whilst it is carried out.
Greens Aeration Work
Although the greens on the Edenderry course have already received fairly intensive work as part of their regular pattern of autumn maintenance, we have decided to defer the aeration work on the main course (greens on the Drumbridge nine will be done first) until w/c Monday 30th September.
Hopefully the weather and/or ground temperatures will remain decent over the next few weeks to ensure good recovery of the playing surfaces in as short a timeframe as possible.
Again, we apologise in advance for any inconvenience this work may cause, but it is vitally important that it is carried out to ensure the ongoing health of our greens and playability throughout all 12 months of the year.
Progress Of New Short Game Area, Warm Up Range & New Edenderry 8th Green
Although I am not formally due back in work until tomorrow, I was at the Club earlier today and took the opportunity to see how things are progressing in respect of the various development works taking place at present.
I was delighted to see how things are continuing to move on at pace, even in just the few days that I have been away.
The short game area has now been seeded out, and cores spread on the main green surface, with bunker liners to be installed in the next couple of weeks.
Similarly, the new 8th green on the Edenderry nine is now largely finished, with various trees having been removed to create the dog leg, and bunker liners will be installed at the same time as those at the short game area.
This 'new' par 4 hole will be a very challenging one in my opinion and I'm sure everyone will look forward to trying it out as the grass begins to grow and the finished product starts to take shape.
The warm up range has largely been shaped now, and the topsoil that has been scraped away and stored will shortly be moved back before the entire area can either be seeded and/or turfed.
More updates on these projects will follow over the coming weeks.
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