GARESFIELD GOLF CLUB COURSE POLICY DOCUMENT
Roles and Responsibilities
Policy making for the Golf Course:
General Committee in consultation with Green staff and other relevant Professional Advisors (e.g. Agronomist)
Management of the Golf Course and Green staff:
The Chairman of Greens and/or Secretary
Liaison between Green Staff and General Committee:
Chairman of Greens and/or Secretary
- Numbers 4
1 no Head Green keeper
3no. Green staff
All staff will be encouraged to pursue relevant training with appropriate financial support from the Club
The Club will recognise staff rights to belong to an appropriate trade union or other relevant body i.e.BIGGA
The Greens Committee and the Honarary Treasurer will agree an annual budget for purchase of materials and services necessary for the successful implementation of Course Policy, and
Agreed levels of expenditure on machinery maintenance and renewal
Timing of Major Work on the Course
Timing of essential maintenance operations such as the aeration programme will take account of but ultimately take priority over the fixtures programme and will be communicated well in advance to the members through course bulletins and notices. The Greens Chairman and/or Secretary will determine timings as far in advance as possible so competitions and visiting parties can be fitted in around the maintenance programme.
Main season tining operations will be carried out with the objective of causing minimal disruption to putting surfaces e.g. by the use of micro tines
THE GOLF COURSE
Objective: To provide in the main golfing season, true, firm, fast surfaces that will hold a well-struck shot played from a closely mown area. Smoothness of the putting surface is critical, allowing a ball to run straight and true and remain in contact with the surface at all times.
Pace of the green should be optimum related to the prevailing conditions but smoothness should never be sacrificed for speed. Consistency of pace between greens is more important than the pace of any one surface
To be achieved by:
- Aeration programme: hollow tining, deep verti-draining and scarifying.
- Fertilisers and top dressings
- Cutting heights for the main playing season will be set at between 3mm -5mm. Any variation to this to take account of weather conditions will be determined by the Greens Chairman and reported to Greens Committee.
- Verti-cutting will be programmed at regular intervals throughout the playing season
- Over seeding programme to improve sward composition will be considered when necessary
- Removal or pruning of trees that inhibit light and air circulation
- Use of temporary greens when conditions dictate
- A frost policy will be agreed by the Greens Committee prior to the winter season
- Mow to designated dimensions. Putting surfaces can be prone to ‘green creep’ if not regularly monitored. As a rule of thumb the edge of the putting surface should lie 300-450mm inside the irrigation heads.
- Mow with agreed machinery set to produce the desired quality of finish. If the type of machinery changes, i.e. from triplex to pedestrian mowers or vice versa, then care must be taken to ensure that bench setting compensates for the actual finished cut; this ensures consistency of finish whichever type of machine is employed on any particular day
- Changing of hole position as per weekly work programme
- Many factors affect the selection of good hole positions, but the primary objective is to reward a good shot and the following points should be considered:
- Take into account, where appropriate, the design of the hole as it was intended to be played and the effect of predicted weather
- If rain is likely, holes should not be cut where water would accumulate
- The hole should be positioned within the green to accommodate the required approach shot, i.e. deeper in the green and farther from its sides for a long iron than for a short pitch shot
- Generally, the hole should be positioned at least two paces from the edge of the green. If a bunker is close to the edge, or if the ground slopes away from the edge, the distance should be greater, especially if the shot is more than a pitch
- Allow fair opportunity for the reasonably good shot that just misses the green, though the penalty for failure is something the player must take into account in deciding whether or not to attack a particular hole position
- The ground 60-90 cm around the hole should be as level as possible. In no case should the holes be positioned within three paces of a very severe slope or ridge. If the design of the green dictates that the hole be positioned on a slope, the hole should be cut vertically, not with slope
- Consider the condition of nearby turf, especially taking care to avoid old hole plugs which have not completely healed
- There should be a balanced selection of hole positions for the entire course with respect to left, right, central, front and back positions
- The number of green staff who cut the holes must make sure that the Rules of Golf are observed, i.e. the hole must be 108mm in diameter (its outer diameter must not exceed this measurement) and at least 101.6mm deep. If a lining is used, it must be sunk at least 25.4mm below the putting green surface unless the nature of the soil makes it impracticable to do so
- The practice putting green should perform in a similar fashion to those on the course
- The skill level of those playing should always be considered when preparing the greens in relation to pace and firmness
- The condition of the putting greens at the end of the tournament should be as similar as possible to how they were during the practice rounds
- Try to keep a balance of using the left and the right of the green and vary as much as possible the number of paces from the front edge of the green
Objective: To provide a firm, level surface during the main golfing season
To be achieved by:
- Maintenance programme as set out in the weekly work programme (i.e. divot repair, aeration, fertiliser)
- Cutting height during main season will be set at 10mm
- Rotation of tee markers and divot repair will be carried out as per weekly work programme
- The Greens Committee will determine a policy on tees to be used for general play / visitors
- A policy on winter play i.e. use of mats, positioning etc will be determined by the Greens Committee prior to the Winter Season
The following should be undertaken as often as the tee markers are moved.
- Position tee markers so play is correctly aligned to the centre of the landing area on the fairway. It is vital that the tee markers are set properly to the designated landing area as the alignment of the tee and its mowing may not necessarily achieve this
- On par 3 holes the position of the tee markers should complement the day’s hole position
- Tee markers should be placed to a width, which minimises the chances of players teeing up in front of the markers. Generally, the narrower the width used on any day increases the options for spreading wear. A plan for managing play should be considered, bearing in mind the recuperative capacity of the turf
- Tee markers should be placed so as not to risk hitting markers on forward teeing grounds
- The tee markers should be placed in accordance with the Rules of Golf
- Consider any obstruction to the preferred line of flight off the tee, e.g. tree branches, and accommodate the right- and left-handed golfer
- The cutting height will be set to between 12mm – 15mm depending upon weather conditions
- An aeration programme will be agreed by the Greens Committee
- Any drainage work will be agreed by the Greens Committee
- Shaping and approx. width will be determined by the Greens Chairman Fairway width can vary from 25 to 40 metres and the difficulty of each hole should be taken into account when deciding on width delineation
- Divot repairs policy will be determined by the Greens Committee
- Check for any areas of ground under repair that may need marking
Surrounds and Approaches
- Cutting heights for surrounds and aprons 10 mm
- Mow to agreed height
- Mow to an agreed width, which should be maintained around the entire outline of the green. This is a principle that should be adopted for green surround mowing as a whole, though the apron may vary in depth depending on the length of the approach shot into the green. A deeper apron may be cut for longer approach shots, e.g. perhaps cut to as much as 5m, with a narrower apron (to collar width) for short approach shots
- Mow to agreed grading. The mowing pattern of the collar / extended green surround will depend on the design of the green complex and machinery / resources available. The mowing pattern round greenside bunkers should be determined
Rough and Semi-Rough
- Cutting heights for semi and main rough & definition 50 – 75 mm
- Cutting regimes will vary in line with prevailing weather conditions
- Mow to agreed widths. The width of the first cut should, preferably, be standard but variance to this may relate to hole design, standard of play and degree of difficulty of the hole
- Semi-rough width can vary from as little as 3 metres to as much as the extent of ground between holes running parallel to one another if there is deemed insufficient room to leave longer rough
- Semi-rough may be graded to different cutting heights if this suits the layout of the course, or individual holes. The ability to produce such graded rough will depend on available resources
- Mow to agreed patterns. This may relate to equipment available and the band of semi-rough cut should follow the shape of the fairway edge
- Present a tidy surface for play as resources allow, and this aspect will contribute to the decision on graded rough.
- There may be a requirement to cut semi-rough in the same direction, i.e. tee to green or vice versa.
- Bunkers should be raked daily
- The depth of the sand should be around 100mm to the bunker floor, evenly firmed to avoid plugging with only the surface loosened by raking
- Sand in bunker faces should be shallow enough to prevent plugging yet sufficient enough to ensure the ball remains in the bunker
- Keep grass on the bunker perimeter tidy to enable clear definition of the hazard boundary
- Check levels of sand in bunkers to prevent an excess of or heavily compressed sand
- Any new sand required in bunkers should be added when necessary
- Bunker rakes should be available at all bunkers and should be positioned outside bunkers in a position least likely to interfere with play
Note: Page 46 R&A Decisions on the Rules of Golf – Rakes should be left outside bunkers in a place least likely to interfere with play
- The grass on the banks and round the edges of bunkers should be mown in accordance with design and course layout.
Objective: To use as little water as possible whilst recognising that during periods of drought it will be necessary to irrigate in order to sustain grass growth.
- Timing of system start up and drain down to be determined by the Greens Chairman
- Delivery rates for tee and greens sprinklers to be determined by the Greens Chairman/Secretary in conjunction with Greens Staff
Ditches and Drainage
The Greens Committee will determine a policy for clearing and maintenance of ditches, cutting regimes for the margins and inspections and maintenance of covered ditches on fairways
Public Rights of Way
Instructional notices will be erected and maintained which identify to both golfers and users of public footpaths / bridleways areas of potential danger, e.g. 8th Tee
GENERAL POLICY AREAS
Communication with Members / Visitors
Course bulletins will be placed on notice boards which outline forthcoming work on the course (especially Greens) and why.
All course staff to avoid discussing issues relating to the condition of the course with members or visitors.
Health and Safety
The General Committee will be responsible for ensuring that management of the course will be carried out with due regard to the Club’s Health and Safety Policy at all times.
The Club’s Health and Safety policy if implemented effectively should ensure:
- The workplace is safe and without risks;
- Safe methods of working are set and followed;
- Machinery and equipment is properly maintained and safe o use
- Equipment and harmful substances are used properly and stored safely;
- The welfare of employees is not affected by noise, dust or fumes;
- Employees are provided with protective clothing, training, information and supervision needed for them to work safely;
- Employees have healthy working conditions, including adequate lighting, heating, and ventilation and toilet facilities.
Regulations that apply to the above areas are:
- The management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (MHSW) (key activities being Risk Assessments and Staff Training)
- The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
- The Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR)
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH) New 2002
It is very important that all staff when working on the course or in the green keeping compound are aware of their responsibilities for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues. In practice this means that rules and regulations emanating from Risk Assessments are strictly adhered to.
If work has to be carried out on the course during play (and this should be kept to a minimum) then the appropriate protective equipment should be worn according to the situation and corresponding risk assessment.
Use of Trollies, Electric Trollies, Motorised Buggies
The Greens Committee will prepare a clear statement saying under what conditions any of the above will be prohibited from use. The Greens Chairman and/or Secretary will be responsible for implementation of the policy following advice of course conditions from the green staff. The club must also ensure that it does not contravene the provisions of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act in respect of a policy for the use of motorised buggies.
Trolley / buggy bans should be reviewed regularly.
A timed rolling plan for replacement and addition of machinery in line with the club policy on asset depreciation will be considered by the Greens Committee and Honorary Treasurer.
Up to date training records will be maintained for all staff
Annual costed maintenance schedules will be prepared.
Consideration needs to be given to closure of the course for Agronomic reasons or reasons of Health and Safety:
The decision to close the course due to adverse weather conditions, which put the condition of the course and safety of golfers at risk, can only be made by the following personnel:
- 1st Assistant Greenkeeper
- Greens Chairman / Secretary / Club Chairman as advised by the Green staff
For this to be effective staff rotas must ensure that at least one of these people will be available or contactable whatever day of the week it is.
Note: Suspension of play in competitions or the abandonment of a competition may be taken by the person responsible for the event as such a decision is concerned with the conditions for playing golf and not potential damage to the course.
The Greens Chairman will make recommendations to Committee regarding the use of consultants where appropriate.
The Greens Committee will determine appropriate visits from an agronomist who is a member of the RIPTA – the Register of Independent Turf grass Agronomists.
Course Alteration / Remodelling
Any major plans to alter course to be ultimately approved by the Members.
Wherever possible the club will work in partnership with local conservation groups for the benefit of the environment. Examples of such groups include The Friends of Chopwell Woods