Dear members of Simon’s,
The work on the final holes has now been completed and we are able to play all 27 holes once more – Thank you for your understanding and patience. Despite the outbreak of Covid-19 at the beginning of the project and the challenges this brought, we have achieved our goal and all the planned work:
• Update of sprinklers at the tees on the A + B loop so we now have the latest sprinklers on the market which can be controlled more precisely to reduce water consumption.
• Addition of approach sprinklers on A + B so that there is full coverage of the playing surfaces on the holes.
• New grass paths between several greens and tees. Here we have established drains, irrigation and an improved growth layer to ensure that we can maintain the paths in all kinds of weather.
• Drainage of wet areas to ensure we can keep the course open during wet periods.
• New tees in a larger size so that the wear can be spread better and some elevated to provide better visibility.
• A new turf nursery so Reamonn has the opportunity to make repairs on the field with his own grass.
• Leveling existing tees to make them smoother.
• Renovation and updating of all bunkers. New sinks in all bunkers and a new construction with Capilliary Concrete at the bottom and with edges of Durabunker. This will make the piles resistant to heavy rainfall and ensure that they retain the same shape in the future.
• Establishment of run-offs around several greens to create variety and challenge in the game.
• Establishment of a brand new fairway on the A5 which creates an alternative route towards the green and which removes the annoyance of looking for balls below the old fairway.
A few figures from the construction:
36,000 m2 of rolling grass
470 m3 Capilliary Concrete
3,900 meters Dura bunker
3,800 meters of drainage pipes
3,000 tons of growth layer
600 tons of boy gravel
The contractor, David Nelson, has done a fantastic job and was able to put a large team together to ensure that we reached the finish line pretty much to the schedule that we announced at the members’ meeting in February. We were actually able to add a few extra grass pathways with the extra time available.
Reamonn and his team have been extremely busy keeping all the new grass alive once it was laid. The heatwave with the hot, dry days presented some challenges for the greensstaff. Unfortunately having to spend the additional time to ensure that the new turf stayed alive Reamonn was unable to scarify and topdress the tees and foregreens on A and B as he had done on C-Loop, hopefully there will be time at the end of the season to complete this task.
Despite the somewhat late start to the project I am incredibly happy that we were soon at the finish line and that all three loops are back in play. I am very much looking forward to seeing and hearing how the “new” holes work for all of you members who have been understanding and patient throughout the project. I know that there is still some way to go before everything will be working perfectly, but unfortunately some things take time – the grass must be well established well before it can be cut down to the right height and the sand in the bunkers also needs a little time to settle down.
Last week we had an unplanned test of the bunkers when we received 45mm of rain in just 35 minutes – This is a colossal amount of water equivalent to a 3-fold cloudburst. The bunkers managed it fantastically and the course was open for play under an hour after the rain. In the past this amount of rain would have meant a significant amount of time and work for the staff to make the bunkers playable again. Fantastic.
I would like to thank Reamonn and his team for their support and flexibility throughout the project. They have been and will be an essential part of getting the course in the condition we all want.
It has been fun and exciting to be involved in developing the course in such a far-sighted project. There are not many projects of this size and very few are completed within one season. A great gift to Simon for having the foresight that will benefit the players for many years to come.
I’m really looking forward to seeing players all over the course again.