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Golf course: winter projects

Chris Fitt, Foxhills Director of Golf talks about course maintenance in the Golf team's upcoming winter projects.

"It has been a fairly mild summer with an especially wet August, meaning the courses have stayed lush and the grass unstrained. We did not undertake any maintenance on the Longcross in preparation for the PGA Cup in September; we committed additional resource to the Longcross in July and August so the challenge for us was to ensure that the quality of the Bernard Hunt course remained high. I feel we did this quite well and the feedback we’ve had from members would support this.

Now the summer is over, it’s time for us to look ahead and prepare the courses for the winter months. As with every winter, we will be carrying out aeration works little and often to maintain firmness and trueness of greens and fairways. This is especially vital for us at Foxhills as the quality of soil underneath our greens and fairways is quite poor, making them particularly susceptible to thatch and disease. These works will include hollow coring fairways, small solid tines on fairways and greens, and sand filling tees. We have improved our drainage over the past few years but we still have improvements to make so we will be gravel banding certain areas across both courses. We will continue to reshape and lift some of the bunkers to improve the aesthetic look of the holes across both courses.

Trees will continue to be a big winter project focus for us across both courses. On the Longcross, trees around the 10th and 11th will be thinned or removed to increase light exposure and air flow. Similarly we will do some work around 9th green and 12th tee on the Bernard Hunt, as well as raise the canopies throughout the course for the same reason. The area between the two 18ths will be tidied up and some of the Rhododendrons on the 8th will be removed to improve the look and feel, possibly replacing with heather. The scrub area to the left of Longcross 7th green will be tidied and with small saplings now starting to bed in, we can make this a nice feature which will add to the look and feel.

We will be building a new red tee on the Longcross 11th, as well as continuing with the rebuild of the 12th blue and white tees on the Bernard Hunt. A new red tee will also be built on the 17th to improve the playability of the hole by avoiding those pesky trees! Path improvements will be made across both courses, with a brand new path built on 11th of Longcross to allow buggies safely up the hill without wrecking the whole when it gets wet.

We hope you continue to enjoy your golf this winter and if you happen to see a green keeper on your travels, please do stop to say hello."

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