The weather over January and February has been some of the harshest we’ve seen in several years –  We’ve gone through 20 tonnes of salt to keep the road clear and have even seen people skiing on the Cawder course during the winter spell! Regardless, Neil and his team have been working tirelessly to complete works on the winter program. The works carried out will improve the playability of both courses and help us get them into the summer shape we all know and love sooner, and for longer over the playing season.

Some of the works carried out have been essential, and others have been to improve the course aesthetically;

600 metres of drains have been installed on the Keir course. These will be turfed over during Feb/March. The 17th Tee on the Keir has had new drainage installed and the tee is in the process of being levelled, before re-turfing works can begin. The same can be said for the new drainage installed on the 12th tee on the Cawder course.

We have carried out a level of tree thinning in key areas on the Cawder course due to encroaching growth near the teeing areas. Playability will be improved on holes 9, 10 & 18 as a result.

Tree removal has been carried out in the woodland areas between the 9th, 10th & 11th fairways. This has been done on the recommendation of Historic Scotland, to help protect sections of the Antonine wall.

We have had the green light to commence works on three of the greens on the Junior academy course. Due to the other 3 greens being within the boundary of the Antonine wall, we have had guidance from Historic Scotland on the construction of these. They don’t see an issue with our plans, but written permission has been sought, and works will be supervised.

The weather has put paid to the plans to sand Graden the greens on the Keir course. It’s not looking likely that this will be carried out prior to the playing season commencing. This should be carried out in September/October if the weather allows.

The old stone markers on the tees will be replaced with new information posts. The stones have become tired and many are in disrepair. The design of the new posts will be bolder, easier to read and easier to maintain.

From recent feedback in forums and surveys, we’ve decided to introduce a 4th tee box on the Cawder course. These tees will be defined by blue markers, and make the Cawder Course more playable and enjoyable for the wider membership.

We are looking at other ways to enhance Aesthetics and the playability of both courses this year. As such, we are looking to form a greens Sub-committee. We would like input from all levels of golfers, so please get in touch with myself or Ian if you would like to be involved.

I trust that we’ve seen the last of the wintery weather, and that we can now focus on getting our games sharp for the playing season ahead!

Graeme Cross

Greens Convenor