Bush Hill Park

Course Manager's Report , 19th February 2024








Considering the promising condition of the course at the end of January, when a dry spell allowed us to bring conditions up to a desirable standard for the time of year, the need for recent course closures has been disappointing.

This has been a wet winter once again for us, even though we are normally in one of the comparatively drier parts of the country. The last two winters however have seen higher than average rainfall.

We had 40mm of rain in three days from February 7th and though the rain we have had over the last few days hasn’t been excessive, it has topped up the totals and prevented us from drying out.

On the upside, as the club and course continues to strive for continuous improvement, playing in substandard conditions for the sake of it does not marry up with the clubs’ aspirations for continuous improvement.

We are protecting the course at its lowest ebb, thus recovery and the time it takes to reach our improving course standards, will be much shorter than if we had decided to open in these circumstances.

Despite the run of wet weather we are having, the days are getting longer, and the temperature is rising. Added to the fact that we dry up surprisingly quickly for a clay-based course means only a short spell of dry weather will help turn things around. Course closures, though possibly not the most popular of decisions, is most certainly the correct one.














The hit of Fusarium we had over the Christmas period has been controlled well in preventing further outbreaks. The wet and milder conditions we are having currently will allow the old scars to heal soon, especially as we have our greens maintenance week scheduled next month, which will further speed up recovery and continue to improve the health of the greens.

Up until the last nine days, we had managed to get the greens playing very well for the time of year. We took advantage of the dry spell and aerated them for the first time in four months, following up with the turf iron to smooth them out. We even managed to get the greens mower out for a Saturday cut one weekend. The conditions can change quickly and as soon as they do, we are ready to take action.

As it stands, we are cutting the greens by hand when the conditions allow. We are unable to mow them when they are holding water and when they are soft as this would scalp them, making them prone to disease, and create worn and bare conditions. They are currently longer than I would like them to be especially with last week’s temperature reaching 16 degrees, however the conditions don’t give us the chance to cut them. We will mow them at the first opportunity.

Tees and Approaches

All tees and approaches were mown and presented beautifully at the start of the month. The tees continue to be in very good condition considering they are in play all year round. The divoting we do, backed-up by members using the divot boxes, is having positive impact on them.


All fairways were cut at the start of the month, they came up very well and when conditions allow, we will get back on them for another cut.

Rough / Semi rough

All greens surrounds and tee banks were either cut or strimmed earlier this month. This was again the first time we had the opportunity to get the mower out and as with fairways we will do this either during the next dry spell or cold snap we get. The rough mower was also out though some areas were still soft to get to.


The new paths on 7 and 17 have been well received by members and have helped us get golfers and machines through some of the problem areas. I would very much like to continue this next year as it helps with getting members on the course who have had to miss much of this winter with the ground conditions being so poor.

The ditch work on 6 has made a massive difference to the 6th approach compared to last year.

Stewart and Asa have allowed me to crack on with a few drainage projects:

  • We are installing two drains on the 6th approach that will run to the ditch on the right of the green.
  • We are also going to install a 50m main drain on the right of the 17th rough where we have uncovered a large old clay drain that works extremely well, this will allow us the opportunity to add further drains into this area in the future.
  • We are also going to install a drain down the middle of the 17th fairway into the lake to help us to lower the water table in that area.

Leigh and Bernie have done a fantastic job on the 16th tee with the new steps and upgrade of the teeing off area.

The boys have also been cracking on with the bunker renovations with the 4th left greenside, 7th right greenside, the 8th greenside and the 14th right greenside - all having the faces rebuilt. We hope to get the turf ordered and have them finished this week. The plan will be to have the bunkers back in play but the turfed areas will be GUR with a drop zone added so no one plays off them until they are established.

Damien Bowe
Course Manager

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