As the completed embankment begins to turn green, with early signs of grass growth, we have entered an exciting period at Skipton Golf Club. We have capitalised on the Environment Agency’s work to replace our four bridges by starting work on our drainage and Tee Improvement Plan.
A considerable amount of work has taken place on the course recently in a relatively short space of time. The bridge to the 15th green is being replaced by the EA, so we decided to close the 15th and 16th holes due to lack of satisfactorily safe access. This provided an opportunity for us to undertake major works to the 15th green, the embankment to the right of the 16th which partially obstructed the view of the green and related major drainage work. The material removed from the embankment has been used effectively to raise and extend the ‘white’ 8th tee.
The new bridge from the 14th tee to fairway is now in use along with the greenkeeper’s access bridge. The temporary safety rails will be replaced by wooden palisades and handrails to all new bridges in due course.
Two new linked ponds on the 14th fairway have been dug, and will be landscaped and completed once the weather is more favourable. These will have a dual purpose of aiding drainage from the fairway as well as being an interesting and challenging new feature on the course.
When the Environment Agency work in the vicinity of the 14th tee is completed the area will be restored to grass and the 14th/18th tee areas re-landscaped. A new path will be installed down to the new bridge and the 14th fairway.
Finally, the preliminary shaping work has been completed on the EA embankment, with the location of the centre of the new 17th green, marked by a single yellow/blue post. The distance to here from the back of the current 17th white tee is 425 yards.
The location of the new 18th white tee has been marked by 4 yellow/blue posts and measures some 350 yards to the middle of the 18th green.
Whilst this work has left some areas of the course temporarily untidy, the long term benefits will be significant and it has been considered preferable to do as much of this work as possible during the winter months to avoid disturbing members and visitors in the peak of the summer playing season.
Although we temporarily closed two holes at the start of November, we anticipate returning to our full 18 holes in early January 2017.
I’m sure all our members and visitors will appreciate all the hard work being undertaken at the moment by Head Greenkeeper, Ian Brown and his team, in conjunction with our contractor, Sugden Amenities.