COULD THERE HAVE been a bigger contrast in the venues for the first two major tournaments of the golfing year? Pristine, manicured, highly treated and lavishly watered Augusta National where the mere sight of a daisy brings club members out in a cold sweat and the wild, wonderful, ragged Donald Ross masterpiece at Pinehurst 2 in North Carolina.
COURSE MANAGER, Chris Mitchell, comes across some unusual and sometimes downright scary sights on his travels round the two courses at Ashdown. These include four naked Dutch ladies of mature years cavorting in the reservoir but most recently he has encountered something that is even more daunting. Continue reading
MEMBERS MAY HAVE seen that the greens have apparently been darned recently with thin green thread, in much the same way as my mother used to mend my childhood socks. However, this isn’t sewing but sowing: over-sowing, to be precise, with a brand new piece of kit known as a disc seeder (see photograph above with deputy course manager, Ray Crisp). It comes from Holland, weighs more than a ton and over the next few years will transform the preparation, repair and consistency of the Ashdown greens. Continue reading
I HATE THE overworked word, unique. However, there is little doubt that there is no other golf course in the world like Ashdown. Its complete naturalness is something in which we should take an endless delight and which your green committee does all it can to foster. Continue reading
FIRST UP is an exotic visitor to the Ashdown reservoir: Aix galericulata to be precise, more commonly known as the mandarin duck. The male, who flew in, is a particularly handsome fellow with distinctive long orange feathers on the side of the face and pale orange flanks. Course manager, Chris Mitchell, took the photograph of him, shown above. Continue reading
WILL SOMEONE please change the record? The last two weeks of December were the wettest ever, followed hard by the wettest January and most recently the worst February. Weather records are there to be broken but surely not annually? Continue reading
OF THE TOP 50 British traits talking about the weather invariably comes out at number one, pushing a general excellence at queuing, sarcasm and a love of bargains into minor positions in the league table.
So the last two months have given many of us a great deal to talk about. The average rainfall for East Sussex in December is 90mm or 3.5” although by the end of the month we had had double the usual amount with a full 7” falling. Continue reading
ONE OF THE MORE infuriating things that a golfer can say during a round is ‘Apparently trees are 90% air.’ This is only ever said to an opponent whose ball has just smashed into one and bounced deep into the jungle. Apart from that, trees bring beauty to a course and joy to golfers when not stuck behind them or ricocheting off them. But for greenkeepers at this time of year trees simply mean an awful lot of hard work. Continue reading
AS WINTER fast approaches there is a race against time for the Ashdown green-keeping team, with this month seeing a flurry of activity to get essential maintenance completed before the heavy frosts and rainfall make conditions treacherous. And the recent storm did not make their workload any easier. Continue reading
Do these fellows do it just to spite us? We wait all Winter for the greens at our club to start showing signs of improvement, especially those poor souls unfortunate enough to be forced onto the dreaded temporaries. Then we get a bad Spring and we are still waiting until, at last, Summer arrives and our putts start rolling true again, and we begin to hole a few and get more confident and then it happens. Continue reading