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D S Wright Tree Surgery

The season of 2018 brought drought to many clubs across the country which in turn gave many greenskeepers problems, it was much the same for us at Morpeth Golf Club. Not only did the grass dry out but so did the woodland, at one point it was so dry we had to introduce a smoking ban to the course.

Over the years Morpeth have been running on four staff with a limited budget, these were big factors in the lack of woodland management carried out over the last ten years. Until 2018 when John Scurfield and Stu Speirs completed their chainsaw qualifications Morpeth had never really had any staff who were able to make a big impact with tree clearance. Now we have a woodland management plan in place and a tree felling licence, also John Scurfield arranges an annual tree felling course for local greenskeepers to attend. This helps the course out with free labour for tree clearance, also this is an opportunity for the club to give a little back to the green keeping industry in the way of education. This is all very positive for the golf club and staff as everything is cost free.

The team put their new skills to good use and stock piled logs ready for the new clubhouse log burner. Any members wanting logs are welcome to ask the staff who will arrange a bag full for collection from the sheds.

Following the drought of 2018, the strong winter winds came and exposed weaknesses in our workforce again. The licence John and Stu hold is for basic cross cutting and tree felling, this covers them for most basic felling required during our tree clearance programme. Unfortunately the skills required to deal with the large hanging branches of late is of a highly professional nature.

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The green staff had multiple issues with large hanging limbs following the strong winds of late 2018, this left parts of the course extremely dangerous for play.

This is where Darren Wright of D S Tree Surgery came in to help, Darren is a local professional tree surgeon who offered us his services and came in to help us out.

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Darren and his team have been back on a number of occasions now as the dry summer of 2018 has left the high parts of our Poplar trees brittle and in many cases these have snapped out in winds as low at 25mph.

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Darren has agreed terms with the club and both parties are very happy, going forward Darren and his team will be doing all the heavy highly skilled tree maintenance that cannot be completed in-house by the green staff.

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The picture above is the large Poplar tree to the rear of the 2nd green, the limbs broke free on the Friday evening, Darren came straight out and addressed the hanging limb quickly as it was hanging dangerously above a right of way on the path between the 2nd and 3rd holes.

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Anyone wanting tree maintenance carried out commercially or domestically we highly recommend Darren and his team, he’s a great guy and carries out a brilliant service.

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D S Wright Tree Surgery

Darren Wright – 07840201481

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FUTURE TURF MANAGERS INITIATIVE

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Jacobsen recognise the importance of preparing the younger generation of greenkeepers to take on the role of Head Greenkeeper or Course Manager.  John Scurfield of Morpeth Golf Club was fortunate to be selected as part of the 2019 FTMI team. The FTMI has been designed to provide practical tools and guidance to help the candidates to pursue their career aspirations through this professional development conference.

Working with professional trainers, mentors, Jacobsen and BIGGA staff, and their fellow candidates, they will leave the FTMI with a clear understanding of what the future holds and a realistic overview of the expectations that come with the role of Manager.

Event Location:

The event took take place at:

The Ransomes Jacobsen factory in Ipswich, Suffolk.

My FTMI journey started with a 6 hour drive down to Ipswich from Newcastle on the Monday before, I’m pleased I took advantage of the chance of an early night as the days that followed were immensley intense.

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The BIGGA Team:

Sami Strutt – Head of member development (BIGGA)

Jim Croxton – CEO (BIGGA)

Karl Hansel – Communications Executive (BIGGA)

The Mentors for the Future Turf Managers Initiative were:

James Bledge

Course Manager, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Euan Grant

Course Manager, JCB

Andrew Laing

Course Manager, Gaudet Luce Golf Club

Steve Lloyd

Course Manager, The Worcestershire Golf Club

I was pretty excited as these guys are among the best in the country, I knew being selected for FTMI was a chance to get all my questions about being a course manager answered. My mentor was Euan Grant, he is a great guy who gave me some very honest advice on my future direction.

The Jacobsen Team:

Karen Proctor -Director International Marketing

Andre Simoes Andrade – Director of International Sales

Will Carr – Sales Manager – Europe

Steve Alabaster – Territory Sales Manager

David Timms – Territory Sales Manager

Who attended FTMI?

When I first found out I had been selected for FTMI felt a little nervous as I was among some of the best Deputy Course Managers in the country from some real quality venues.

Greenkeepers from:

St. Andrews Links Trust (Old Course)
Reigate Hill Golf Club
East Berkshire Golf Club
Sandford Springs Golf Club
Stratford Oaks Golf Club
Royal Troon Golf Club
Murrayfield Golf Club
Gaudet Luce Golf Club
Scotscraig Golf Club
Cricket St Thomas Golf Club
The Richmond Golf Club
St Annes Old Links Golf Club
Royal Bled Golf Club
Royal Worlington & Newmarket Golf Club
Morpeth Golf Club
Walmley Golf Club
Queenwood Golf Club
Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
Whitecraigs Golf Club
Macclesfield Golf Club

Tuesday:

On arrival feeling a little nervous I quickly felt at ease as most of the other guys felt the same.

  • The team were then introduced to the Jacobsen team and were presented with their corporate introduction, at this point i’d say everyone soon realised a few days of serious education were ahead of us all.

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  • All 20 students were then taken on a tour of the Jacobson/Ramsomes factory, what an amazing place. Any green keeper who may be so lucky to have the opportunity to tour a dealer factory will certainly appreciate their machine more on their return to work. It was a real eye opener to see how they fully manufacture, nearly all parts of all machinery produced there from scratch using a variety of different machinery. It was cool to see some finished products ready to be sent out for delivery to customers.

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Michael Astrop held the first classroom session of the week, “must say being a guy who struggles a little in classroom environments, Michael kept me fully engaged for two days and events over the last few days since returning home have triggered many learning memories from the first class learning he presented to us”.

  • Presentation skills

The first session was a real good ice breaker as we all had to engage with each other and share one interesting fact about ourselves. Mine wasn’t so funny, in fact the guys probably just thought I was smart arse.

“I normally manage to post at least one sub 70 score each season despite not playing much golf”

One strong message I took from this session was planning and contingency is extremely important to being successful.

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  • Candidate Introduction

Just before our evening meal everyone had to stand up and do a small talk about themselves, their expectations of FTMI and their future ambitions within green keeping.

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Wednesday:

  • Crucial Conversations

I learnt a lot about myself after listening to Micheal’s presentation on crucial conversations, this session highlighted some weaknesses I have personally. He explained to us how during high pressure situations we act differently also ways to teach ourselves how to control the inner monkey.

Everyone had to complete a DISC behavioural profile, I was a DI, Michael explained to us how a DIC was the best profile for a manager. If your interested in DISC maybe google it as it was fascinating how all the outcomes were correct for each student and how different people weren’t compatible with each other.

“Hopefully one day I can become a proper DIC”

  • Communicating a Professional Image in Interviews

During this session the team learnt some valuable knowledge on basic things such as a simple hand shake and the different types. It was interesting to hear how to make eye contact correctly, the importance of positive thinking and always seek feedback on our interview performance.

  • The Job Interview Role Play

We were all interviewed individually with our mentor taking lead and the other five students in the group asking questions as a panel to the person being interviewed. It was good to get a feel for both sides an interview, this session was also fun as the whole team exercised their sense of humour.

  • Successful CV’s

Each student sat down with their mentors and discussed each others CVs individually and in groups, it was good to compare CVs so we can see how different layouts for example can improve your CV massively. We also discussed the weaknesses of a poorly written CV, and how this can result in a CV getting thrown into a bin after 10 seconds.

  • Expectations of a Greenkeepers CV’s

The team sat down in their groups with their mentors and discussed CV content, it was interesting to hear from Euan and Lee that they would prefer not to see anything about school education or job history from years gone by, as recent events are more relevant and of interest. Ive updated my CV now and it is all recent activity with relevance to my job all on one side of A4.

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Practice Makes Perfect – Creating Successful Habits

This session was held after our evening meal and was presented by,

Phil Helmn MG, GM Sports Turf & Grounds, Goodwood Estate

Phil is a well respected green keeper who we all look up to and aspire to be like, during Phil’s presentation he talked honestly about his career and his approach to his job and his staff. The experiences he shared were extremely relevant to us all, he spoke about possible positive and negative encounters we may bring on to ourselves by our own actions in the future. Phil explained how his approach to work in recent years had changed slightly and feels he now has a great team who work efficiently for themselves and each other and love the job they have.

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Thursday:

Building a Budget presented by Lee Strutt MG, CGCS, MS

The budgeting session was brilliant, Lee Strutt kept us all fully engaged and everyone absorbed all the information presented to us. Everything Lee educated the team on was extremely relevant to all our future ambitions. Being a modern day Course manager means you have to manage and control your own budget as part of your job, this is one part of the job many Deputies will be unfamiliar with. During the session it was great to listen to some of Lee’s own personal experiences and how he goes about his daily routine.

In the future I would like to go and work with Lee at his club The RAC Club, it would be great to do some shadowing with Lee and hopefully bring some positive improvements back to Morpeth.

Coaching and Motivating Teams presented by Eddie Bullock

Eddie Bullock shared some great information on how a Course Manager should coach and motivate their team, this is invaluable tuition, which again highlighted to me some areas of my workplace that could be improved for us as a team. One thing that was clear to me was that the team leader can make or break his team, I have taken this fully on board and will do my very best with this part of my job. The team building exercises were very short and a real laugh, it was amazing how much the team engaged with each other. During the session Eddie even touched on areas like physical health and how this can improve the performance of a team.

“On Monday I will be asking the club if all the guys can have a gym membership included in our salaries”.

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Pre-graduation presentations

Each student had to stand up in front of the class and make a presentation about their FTMI experience.

Present Certificates & photos

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Closing remarks

“On arrival being so nervous compared to now is crazy,  I feel so relaxed. This week i have again like at every other green keeping event I have attended met another 19 top guys, its has been great meeting you all and sharing our different experiences, hopefully we will all keep in touch throughout our career journeys. The education has been first class throughout all week and I highly recommend FTMI as this kind of education is one of a kind to green keeping, being a new head greenkeeper the education has been so relevant and has highlighted to myself many areas in need of improvement for me personally”.

Like Michael Astrop says “control that inner monkey”.

Thanks to Sami Strutt and Karen Proctor for their efforts in organising the event for us all and giving me to opportunity to be part of such a special display of education.

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Great little invention form Sami below, in the star there is at least one word from each student from their closing graduation speech.

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Updates from around the course

Updates from around the course

The 18thtee tree removal has had a great start, we have removed trees to the right and rear of the tee box, we have also cleared the trees and strimmed right back to the hedge line to the left and up past the 17thgreen. The 18thburn and the sleeper flower bed have been exposed again after many years, when standing on the tee golfers can now see the play coming down the 16th fairway, also they have a view of the 16th green.

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Since the tee box has been exposed it has been accepting much more air and sunlight, we expect to see significant improvements to this tee box in 2019.

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I have spoken to the volunteers representative and discussed the possibility of the volunteers section taking  on this area on as a full time project, I think this area may be suitable for a remembrance garden with remembrance plaques or small remembrance trees being planted a possibility for members to remember their loved ones.

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Greens Management over the winter period:

Iron applications to all areas:

I have blanket sprayed all tees/surrounds/fairways/greens monthly since November, this has certainly helped with disease prevention as we have very little disease anywhere on the course at present.  This has also been beneficial in moss prevention, I have not applied any iron to the 9thfairway just to show how effective these applications have been, there is also scars of Fusarium in the shaded moist rig bottoms, this indicates that there has been active disease recently.

I have also applied a small amount of Ammonium Sulphate at 0.2/0.3g/m2 of nitrogen to help promote growth and health especially in the areas that suffered during the summer drought.

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Calcium/magnesium/Potassium Phosphite applications to greens:

During the kind winter period I have been trickle feeding the greens with magnesium/calcium nitrate and phosphite, the nitrate is taken up immediately or within a day or so, I have applied this when the soil temps have achieved 7-10 degrees, this is key to the growth and good health we have achieved on the greens during this winter. Currently we have a very small amount of disease which is fantastic, we are currently applying 0.2g/m2 of nitrogen to the greens when temperatures allow.

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Wetting agent:

We have applied a penetrate wetting agent each month through the winter which has worked nicely, we currently have high even moisture coverage due to our thatch problem but no black layer within the greens.

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Look below at the recorded temperatures between this year and last year for the month of January, the rainfall has been completely different too. If you can’t see, the red sections of the pie charts indicate no growth and green indicates ideal growth.

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2019 Open greens meeting:

The Greens Staff are excited about the plan to carry out another open greens meeting to the membership, we feel this is a good chance for us to show how we have worked through selected items from the course development plan. I think this will show the membership the desire the club have to make great improvements alongside the amazing clubhouse upgrade.

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Helping the environment

With pollution being a popular subject in the news at present the greens staff have decided to do their bit and do a litter collection day once per month. Guy Anderson did the first sweep of the hedge lines along the 6th and 5th and managed to collect all this rubbish.

Great effort Guy.

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Vandalism

The annual sledging took place following recent snowfall and hopefully our last until Christmas, the course held up fine on the whole. We had a couple of issues with mindless damage which was very disappointing, other than a little litter all else was fine. We have a couple of people who have volunteered to sweep the course in evenings to keep an eye out for people trespassing.

Club House Facility Upgrade

The club house facility upgrade has been an amazing success, this project really shows how special our club is, what an amazing membership we have. I think this project really shows the ambition of our club, well done to everyone who gave up their own time to help out.

Etiquette around the course

We have winter restrictions in place for a maximum of 3 more weeks, can members please keep trying hard with pitchmarks/fairway protection mats and take it easy with buggys as is may be slippery in places still.

Thanks, Greens Staff.

Club sponsorship signs:

The sponsorship signs for the season have been put out on the course and they look great, thanks to everyone who has sponsored a tee box.

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Niblick bar & restaurant:

Members or social visitors can follow the Niblick on Facebook and keep up to date with organised events and the latest offers.

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3rd hole tee box tree removal

3rd yellow tee box tree removal

The Conifer trees to the left of the mens yellow tee had to be removed in order to improve the health of the tee box, is has poor grass coverage currently but after the trees are removed the tee will receive sunlight for nearly the entire day and we expect to see huge improvements in turf quality.

Another concern was the public right of way that runs across the front of the mens yellow and medal tee boxes, there has been a couple of incidents of joggers crossing this from of these tees during competition times on a Saturday. From the medal tee the joggers could not have been seen until the very last minuet by golfers from the medal tee making this a serious issue.

The greens staff weighed up the cost of thinking or topping off the trees but the cost of these jobs did not fit into our budget, this leaving the only other option of total tree removal. This is also a job the greens team highlighted in their 2017 Golf Course Appraisal, it was also highlighted I the 2018 winter works programme.

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During the tree removal we burnt the tree debris from this area, unfortunately the smoke caused some disruption to local residents. We took advice about burning from the fire service and the Environmental health, we also inform the fire service every morning we plan to set a fire so they know of any burning in the area. We were disappointed to hear we caused disruption to locals so from now on wind direction, wind strength and the amounts of repetitive burning days will be closely assessed before burning during our winter works to avoid any more disruption.

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Tree debris from around the course

Most of the heavy tree debris being removed from around the course is being stored in log piles across the course, this will take approximately one-two years to dry out sufficiently for the club house log burner. So if we fell a tree at 10:00am it won’t be season dry and ready for burning by 12:00 midday on the same day. We have a huge log store at the 3rd tee currently and has been indoors for one year now dry stored and this is helping supply the new log burner in the club house. Hopefully this will help reduce fuel costs to the club in the coming years.

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6th hole improvements

Sleeper ditch

The sleeper ditch at the 6th hole is now complete and is open for play, installing the new ditch has helped the stroke index of the hole and has allowed us to remove the old unsightly revetted bunker to the right of the fairway. The new hazard is in the perfect place to catch out golfers of all abilities and makes the 6th hole now a hole needing a little more thought.

The greens staff would like to say a massive thanks to Steve Redpath, Richard Johnstone and their ECG team for the installation.

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The ECG team carried out the works and have done an amazing job, Mick and Adam were the operators and spent a week making sure everything was perfect, Im sure the Morpeth Golf Club membership will be very happy with their new feature.

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Stu Speirs finished the landscaping around the ditch on 15th February and it is now open for play.

 

The Gubeon Oak

To the rear of the 6th hole members may have notices the exposure of an Oak tree, this tree bas previously hidden from the course by a row of problem Pine trees. Stu Speirs has a real passion for trees and wildlife, he noticed the beauty of this 60 year old Oak while selecting Pine trees for removal in order to improve the health of the 6th green.

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Stu had a vision to expose the Oak and run a path through the trees to the ladies soakaway, he has also added a self made seat for older members to take a rest on and appreciate the tree. Looking from 200 yards back the rear of the 6th hole looks great. There are other key benefits to the 6th green as there is more chance for air circulation, more light hits the green and during windy periods we are seeing a lot less tree debris falling onto the green. The greens staff are seeing positive improvements to the rear of the green already.

Stu Speirs decided is would be fitting to name the tree The Gubeon Oak after the 6th hole.

Stu hopes to introduce wild life to the area of the Gubeon Oak, any members which could make bird boxes, feeding facilities etc would be much appreciated by the greens staff and we will get the fitted straight away. If not we will be making bird boxes out of used pallets next winter to go out all across the course.

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Good work Stu!

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Bunker alterations

The 6th fairway bunker has been removed and currently being prepared for turf and back in play for the start of the season.

 

Tree clearance at 12th hole

Hole 12

The 12th green has been highlighted as one of our greens that has been underperforming in recent years by the greens staff. The kind 2018/2019 winter has given us an opportunity to make an effort to address the problem.

The greens staff planned all winter works based on low cost projects, the work at 12 was no exception. The team have removed many self setting trees, limbed up all the remaining trees to a height of 8ft. These alterations have left the area more open to allow increased airflow, less tree debris will fall on the 12th green area during the season, it is also more pleasing on the eye.

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To the rear of the 12th green the path between the 3rd and 12th holes is now strictly one way, you can only pass from the 3rd to the rear of the 12th

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December Members update

Course Conditions 01/12/2018

Thanks to the membership:

Thanks to all of the membership for their excellent efforts with golf etiquette in recent months, the efforts made with replacing divots, repairing pitch marks and even carrying clubs by choice has made a big difference. Through members making great extra efforts this allows the Greens Team to keep the main greens in play as much as possible.

I have played in the Saturday Gents competition four weeks in a row now and apart from the first green being on a temp I feel the greens are performing quite nicely. I have played with different members every week and must thank them for their company, I’ve really enjoyed meeting members and have seen some great golf along the way, I look forward the coming weeks.

As of 01/12/2018 fairway protection mats will be in play, the alternative to playing from a mat is to lift to the side of the fairway into the first cut of rough then drop and place in order to play from the grass.

Current winter rules in place 02/12/2018:

  • Course Open
  • 1st winter green in play
  • Fairway protection
  • Multiple temporary tees
  • Trolleys permitted
  • Club buggies NOT permitted
  • All bunkers in play
  • Preferred lies through the green

There are restrictions around the course, the roped off areas are no go zones as there is hanging limbs suspended high up in the trees in these areas. If your ball goes into these areas please don’t retrieve your ball as you may put yourself in danger.

Possible further winter rules which may be added if conditions become worse:

  • Hogg wheels may be needed on trolleys
  • Carry bags only
  • The amount of roped off areas may increase to spread the wear
  • Unusual pin positions to again spread the wear or avoid wet spots
  • Bunkers may become permanent GUR
  • Winter greens during periods of frost/frozen ground
  • Members may need to be more aware of slippery conditions as temperatures drop
  • There may be more signs pop up around the course to help traffic the golf
  • The old 14th hole may be used more to rest holes like the 1st as they suffer with winter wear

Morpeth Golf Club Facebook Page

Members who have access to the Morpeth Golf Club Facebook page can check the page each day for current course conditions, the Facebook page will be updated before 07:30 each day indicating the current course conditions and winter rules in play.

The usual phone message will continue for course conditions, 01670 504942 option 1.

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Annual General Meeting

The Morpeth Golf Club Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 6th December 2018.

Volunteers Section Update

The Volunteer section will have a designated leader chosen by the club for 2019, this will help ease the work load on the Greens Staff who have limited time being only a team of four men. The duties will be chosen by the Greens Staff and communicated to General Manager Steven Johnson who will then work with the section team leader. For the rest of 2018 there will be no plans to do any volunteer section work as the year comes to an end.

There will be a winter works programme completed and submitted for the first week in January, this will involve a handful of projects working with the Greens Staff.

Thanks again to all of the volunteer section members for the great work they have carried out in 2018, their efforts have been essential to the success out on the course. We all look forward to having another great year in 2019 working together, have a great Christmas and New Year guys.

Bunker Improvement Progress

The bunkers on the first hole will be fully constructed and turfed before Christmas, the work in recent weeks has been halted by the poor weather. We hope to have the bunkers in play for spring 2019.

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Tree work update

We currently have a number of hanging limbs in the high points of some of our Poplar trees, we have a tree surgeon coming in the next 14 days to address these areas of concern. Please can members be aware of the roped off areas currently out on the course, when the trees are addressed the ropes will be removed immediately.

The Greens Staff have started to dismantle the large trees to the rear of the 7th green, this has been a slow process as they are extremely large and the machinery the staff use in house is struggling to dismantle the large bases. The tree surgeon will also be dismantling the larger parts of the trees in the coming weeks during his visit.

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Niblicks

The Greens Staff would like to wish Niblicks good luck in their new venture at Morpeth Golf Club with the bar and catering, since their arrival the atmosphere and feel around the club house has been very good. We hope 2019 and the up and coming years are successful for all.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Morpeth Golf Club members form the Greens Staff, John, Stu, Gerry and Guy.

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Great achievements for the Greens Staff

TORO Student Greenkeeper Of The Year

John Scurfield came runner up in the Toro student greenkeeper of the year award, the finals took place at Aldwalk Manor. This is a great achievement for John as this is a national award for greenskeepers from across the UK.

 

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BNE Golf Day

Stu Speirs came runner up for the second time this year in the latest BIGGA North East  section golf day at Ravensworth Golf Club, well done Stu hopefully we can see you in some club competitions in 2019.

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FTMI 2019

John Scurfield has been selected as one of the 20 greenskeepers chosen to participate in the 2019 Future Turf Managers award.

Each year Jacobsen, invites 20 ambitious greenkeepers to its headquarters in Ipswich to undertake high quality education designed to help them take the next step into golf course management. Each of the greenkeepers is a member of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association, which has worked alongside Jacobsen to provide the education programme for 20 members every year since 2013. FTMI was born in the UK but has rapidly expanded in the years since and has been introduced in Spain, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand.

The FTMI delegates in the Jacobsen factory 2018

Across two days of intense education, high quality speakers and experienced mentors, themselves course managers and head greenkeepers, will provide candidates with a wide range of knowledge and skills that will prove invaluable as their careers progress.

This is a great opportunity for John, we hope John takes this opportunity to learn as much as he can and enjoy the experience.

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First hole bunker improvements

The team spent three days of last week re building the two bunkers on the first hole, the original 100 year old bunkers were oversize and unsightly and not the best introduction to Morpeth Golf Club. The greens team hope the design of the new bunkers will help bring the 1st hole into the 21st century for the membership to enjoy, once they are turfed and filled with new sand we hope they will compliment the rest of our special 1st hole.

The bunkers will remain GUR until the 2019 season.

When they are finished I will post some finished photos for membership to see, thank you all for your patients.

John Scurfield

Head Greenkeeper.

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Summary of 2017-2018 season

Head greenkeepers summary of the 2017-2018 season

The Course:

The 2018 season started in the worst possible fashion, weeks of sub-zero temperatures, long periods of snow followed by weeks of rainfall which left the land saturated.

The Winter took its toll on the course and the course was just too wet to carry out planned work on the greens in Spring. Many events had been cancelled in the early part of the year but that was long forgotten when summer arrived.

Conditions thankfully turned around and the team were quickly able to present the course to a nice standard and allowed us to carry out consistent light aeration work, despite periods of extreme drought. We had a period of 10 weeks in which we only recorded 10mm of rainfall, this saw us among the driest parts of the country.

During the 2018 season we pushed the boundary’s like never before, the week of the Senior’s County Championship was our main focus. We set out two weeks of preparation prior to this event and followed it through and showed that Morpeth Golf Club can compete with the best in our area. The team thought the greens were exceptional for the week of the Seniors County Championship, these levels of presentation will be planned out more frequently in the future.

I feel the course was better again compared to the 2017 season which was also looked on as a success. The preparation we are now carrying out is like never before and will certainly see the course perform better again and more consistently for the membership. A great deal of planning and hard work has resulted in a much-improved golf course, both from a playability and aesthetical viewpoint.

The Volunteers Section:

2018 could not have been such of a success out on the course without the help of our very own volunteers’ section. The guys gave up their own time constantly to come and assist us and carried out some great work throughout the season. The volunteer’s section are a first class bunch of guys and are an asset to Morpeth Golf Club.

The greens team and I would like to thank all of the volunteers’ section and would love to see everyone continuing to help out in 2019.

I’d like to thank Cowells Garden Centre for their generous supply plants and the hanging baskets they kindly gave us.

The Greens Staff:

The Morpeth Golf Club green staff are an exceptional team with near 100 years combined experience, the passion and pride shown on a daily basis is second to none. Its fair to say working at Morpeth Golf Club is more than a job to the four staff members.

The planning and thought that goes into the course is a seven-day job, the team have planned their expectations and achieved them with the four staff successfully this year. The main focus of 2018 was to use the staff’s strengths in order to produce the best playing parts of the course as possible with the man hours available, tees/first cut rough/fairways/surrounds/greens have all been in my opinion 7/10 condition constantly through the high season.

The greens team have participated in multiple educational activities this year, this has seen some members of staff pick up highly recognised industry awards and also be selected for prestigious future educational events which will be massively beneficial to the club, I feel this is encouraging for the future success of the course and club on a whole.

For the green team, this year has been challenging, particularly when our Head Greenkeeper, Gerry suffered a heart attack during the summer months. The team are delighted to have him back and he is getting stronger every day, which is great to see. Gerry decided to step down as Head Greenkeeper and asked me to step up into his role, which I accepted. I wish to thank Gerry for all his support and I am delighted he will still be part of our team in the future.

The support from General Manager Steven Johnson, Marie and Margaret, the board members and the Pro shop team who have all been key to our success out on the course, everyone working together will push this club forward in the right direction.

The 2019 Season Ahead:

We delivered the golf course development plan which we were delighted received Board and membership approval. It is our aim to deliver as much of this over the next 5 years as we can, pending budgetary capabilities and we have started this already.

Every part of the course has been considered, from tee to green. It is our aim to produce the best course we can with the financial constraints and limited man power we have. Our green staff levels are amongst the lowest in the area and we have had to commit many additional hours at unsociable times to produce an excellent course this year. However, our passion for the job and desire to build something special is why we do it and we are determined to have Morpeth golf club held in its highest regard.

Looking to the 2019 season the team and I look to produce 9/10 turf surfaces constantly within the playing areas of the course. We look to again achieve more consistent quality playing standards like never seen before at Morpeth and make these standard going into the future.

“For me, I am very proud and excited about my new role as Head Greenkeeper at Morpeth Golf Club ………….”

Many Thanks

John Scurfield.

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