The Causway stones will start to go back out on Dunluce again tomorrow after re-engraving with new hole information. These all had to be changed due to new holes, new tees and change of indices.
Work can now start making adjustment to the Valley stones which will be quicker to complete.
This week, aside from Open week on the Valley Links, another busy week on Dunluce and preparations for Lady Captains day on the Valley, we have been putting the finishing touches to the 2 new holes for Dunluce in advance of opening next weekend.
Representatives from the R&A and STRI have been walking Dunluce for the last 2 days assessing course setup for the 2019 Open Championship.
The aim of the visit was to view progress and establishment of the Course changes and also to view all playing surfaces and cutting detail from a Championship perspective. The visit was very positive, with very little to change from a maintenance perspective and credit was given to all of the greens staff for their hard work through the construction and grow in period.
PRH, who recently constructed the new greenkeeping facilities have been working hard on renovating the 9th hut (halfway house). With a very tight deadline of next weekend they are making good progress and have had 5 men on site for the last 2 days to ensure completion.
The new bunker to the right of the 7th had its final prep before opening next week. Slightly smaller than “Nellie”…Wee Nellie maybe?
Once open, players will notice an area left of the new 8th approach which is surrounded by post and chain. This is an environmentally sensitive area which is one of the rarest in the U.K. and Ireland. lichen, orchids and other wild flowers dominate the impoverished soil and it is important that trollies and carts do not pass enter.
The new 8th hole pictured in the distance is now ready for opening on the 24th June. The rough surrounding the new holes has a fringing rough but care should be taken to keep the ball straight (sounds easy) until rough has been trampled down and thinned. Playing a provisional would be advised for wayward shots.
The new pathway linking holes 6,7,8 & 9 is now complete with all fencing now removed and the path edges turfed or seeded where suitable.
There have been some upgrades to the practice range with a new sign and colour coded flags to match. Some additional signage is still to arrive for the bays and also for the opposite side of the grass tee.
There have been some road markings added to make clear, directions to new facilities and also some clear speed limits.
The new maintenance facility has also been marked for car parting and machinery parking inside, allowing us to arrange machinery in orderly fashion.
Mowing all areas is always priority on the worksheet after a bank holiday weekend.
Trimming sprinkler heads also commenced today, which is a labour intensive job considering there are over 2,000 sprinkler heads to be cleaned and trimmed. Not everyone’s favourite task but an important one all the same.
Dunluce 12th green
Dunluce 3rd green, laid and opened last year, this greeen is now in line with the other Dunluce greens. Although the green putted well it was still a little weaker than other greens.
An area where sand was gained for some Course development has been turned into an environmentally beneficial area by allowing broken turfs to retain sand but creating sand areas for sand mining bees, wild flowers and sheer edges for sand martins to nest.
Now that the tunnel has been closed, the members path can be completed allowing players to return to the original hole numbering before new 7th & 8th open on the 24th June.
50% of the new pathway is now complete leaving the remainder to be poured this week. The path was cleaned after laying and once the colour dulls slightly all should blend well with the marram grass surroundings. Additional marram may be sprigged into bankings this winter.