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bunker faces simply erode away. A newly revetted bunker usually lasts about six years. So, Gavin has an ongoing bunker- refurbishing programme that usually sees the rebuilding of six bunkers every year. Gavin and his team still build bunkers by this method today, but only as a last resort after turf walls have shown to be ineffective. The sleepers also make ideal steps to tees and in bunkers, and blend in well because of all the others already in use on the course. The rebuilding of a bunker takes about two weeks. The whole bunker is demolished and reconstructed from scratch. A new base is laid, levelled and covered with a geotextile membrane. Turf is laid in layers using turf cut from the practice ground.


They cut their own turf for three main


reasons: it is a lot cheaper than buying it in, it is already accustomed to the salty conditions and they can cut the turf as thick as they need it - usually about 50mm for bunkers. Although surrounded by, and built on, sand Gavin has to buy in for the bunkers. This is because the area is a dedicated site of special scientific interest, and there are stringent controls over what the club can do on the course. The sand comes from Baileys of Norfolk and is the same as used in their topdressing. It is is a skilled operation and the team has become very proficient at it over the years.


Although there are a relatively small number of bunkers - sixty four in total - their maintenance is time consuming due to the vagaries of the Wash weather. They are raked daily and topped up with imported sand. The irrigation system requires a lot of maintenance work, mainly because the course is on such an exposed site, and sand is continually being blown over the sprinkler heads. All the sprinklers on the course were originally impact type, but these have been changed on the tees to gear driven sprinklers.


They have performed so well that the team are currently changing the greens irrigation over to gear driven sprinklers. These appear to work better because the sand finds it harder to get into the sprinkler bodies and workings which, in turn, means they require less maintenance and are more efficient. The irrigation is used sparingly just to


keep the grass alive during hot, dry periods, and not to keep the course green. In 2007, forty solenoid valves were replaced because of leaks, meaning water was being wasted and the irrigation pumps were working almost constantly to keep the pressure up. In these days of water shortages and cost of water it was felt that changing the valves was the only option.


Other winter work involves relevelling


and extending tees. General maintenance regimes are


What’s in the shed?


Machinery used is mainly John Deere and the club have just completed their first package deal of five years with Norwich dealers, Ben Burgess, with whom they enjoy a good relationship and back up. They are about to take delivery of new machinery as part of a second package as follows: 1 John Deere 2500EB - Greens 1 John Deere 2500EB - Surrounds 1 John Deere 2653B - Approaches 4 John Deere 220C - Tees & Greens 1 John Deere 8700 - Fairways 2 John Deere 4520 Compact Tractors 3 Greentek Utility Trailers - for hand mowers


2 John Deere TE Gators - on course 1 John Deere HPX Gator - course plus ball collection on range 1 John Deere Turbo Wide Area Mower 1 Toro Sidewinder Rotary 1 SISIS Javelin Aeraid 1500 1 SISIS Rotorake 2 3.5 Tonne Trailers 1 Hardi Manx 5m Sprayer - Greens 1 Hardi Manx 10m Sprayer - Fairways 1 JCB 2CX Used 1 Jupiter ATI Grinder 1 1.5m Rotovator 5 Allen Hover Mowers


3 Tanaka Brushcutters


Other Machinery: 1 John Deere 5415 Tractor 3 John Deere JX75 21” Rotary Mowers 1 Vibrating Rollers for 2500 1 SISIS 4' Deep Slitter 1 SISIS 8' Deep Slitter 1 SISIS Mole Plough 1 Charterhouse 7416 Vertidrain 1 SISIS Veemo Fairway Verticutter 1 SISIS Sweeper 1 PS48 Pro Seed


1 SISIS Tilth ‘n’ Seed Seeder


fairly typical and have changed little over the years, with the exception of using new products and more efficient machinery. The greens are cut to 4mm in the summer and 5mm in winter. They are topdressed in March and April and receive a monthly dose of Farmura Porthcawl and Revolution wetting agent throughout the summer. Lawnsand is also applied in early spring and again in midsummer. Fifteen litres of Seaturf Iron Extra is applied in November and December.


Aeration is carried out in the winter months. Tees are hand mown during the


growing period to 10mm and are fed during June and July. Fairways are mown weekly to 13mm, with fertiliser applied occasionally to help maintain grass cover. During October to December deep slitting is carried out weekly, the greens are then vertidrained in December with the fairways being vertidrained in January and February. Semi rough areas are kept at between 40-75mm. The main rough areas are never cut or sprayed and are left totally natural.


The course is also stronghold for the, now rare, English Partridge as well as declining numbers of skylarks and hares.


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