Ollie's greenkeepers team work through lockdown

Tuesday 9th June 2020 5:00 am
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Richard Powerâ??s photo of the picturesque 5th fairway at Ramsey

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Golf club members who give winning speeches always comment on how they love the course and always give credit to the greens staff.

Therefore, Ramsey Golf Club correspondent Richard Power caught up with Ollie Webster, the head greenkeeper at the northern club, to find out how he and his team looked after the course during the lockdown.

Ollie explained: ’Lockdown for the team has been a very strange experience. Although still working as a team, we had to work on our own and in shifts to get the essential course maintenance completed. The winter had been extremely wet and a lot of course maintenance was hampered by rain but the lockdown provided an opportunity for the greens staff to encourage the course to recover.

’There is always a planned winter maintenance program and having no golfers on the course gave the winter-worn areas a rest and a chance to grow back in. Luckily, we hollow-cored and over seeded the tees before lockdown, so they had time to recover while we were closed.’

So what improvements have been made recently? ’There was also the opportunity to make some land drainage improvements, especially on the approach to the 16th green.

’The irrigation pump was recently retired and we fitted a new pump which meant the greens are now getting regular watering and with good pressure. With the new pump up and running, we pencil-tined the greens and top dressed them, knowing we could keep the greens watered.

’We worked tirelessly throughout and everyone is reaping the rewards now.’

During the lockdown the course was open to members to walk the course to see how winter changed into spring.

’In the lead up to the re-introduction of golf, there was quite a rush to get the course ready to comply with the requirements to allow players to return safely and I must thank the board of directors and club manager for putting in a team effort to get the course into the position where golfers could play.

’Although we had the chance to get a lot of work done without the golfers being around, it was good to see them back at the start of May and they could enjoy all our hard work during the five and a half weeks the course was closed.’ So Ollie and his team can certainly be proud of the work done as the course really is in great condition.

Since the return to four balls being allowed, it certainly has been busy with some players looking in fine form.

There has also been the welcome return of some friendly winter rivalries eager to complete their weekly winter jousting in preparation hopefully for the return to competitive golf in the summer.RICHARD POWER

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