The new season

Preferred lies will remain on fairways only, until the end of April.

Work will continue on refurbishing Ashludie bunkers, since this was held up by bad weather, and it is hoped to refurbish some during April; where necessary these bunkers and their surrounds will be marked by ‘lift and drop’ signs.

The temporary rule giving a free ‘lift and drop’ away from flooded bunkers was removed from 30 March, the normal rules of golf will apply where relief from flooding in a bunker is only given via a free ‘lift and drop’ within the bunker. Unless there is a ‘lift and drop’ sign within the bunker, golfers should assume the bunker is in play.

The greens have been dressed with sand to improve the quality of the putting surfaces with a view to having faster, smoother putting surfaces earlier in the year; however, warmer weather to encourage growth of grass would be welcome to assist with the greenkeepers’ efforts.

Flooding

The flooding on Ashludie course has, fortunately, subsided due to extensive pumping efforts, and more recently due to drier weather. Some areas will require to be re-turfed due to flooding damage, and this will be done as soon as possible.

A major cause of the flooding was the overflowing of the Ashludie burn due to the inadequate culvert at the greenkeepers’ sheds which allows the Ashludie burn to cross the road just north of the 12th green. Approaches have been made to Angus Council about this culvert, but, after investigation, Angus Council have decided to take no action at present. An expert is being brought in to advise on drainage measures which can be taken to reduce flooding on affected areas of the golf course.

Making the course playable

Since last season was very wet, it was difficult to control the rough; this year the greenkeepers have started early, and the Amazon rough cutter has already been out to cut rough on a number of holes, in order to give a better base for ensuring the rough is manageable throughout the season.

The length of carries off the tee will be carefully monitored to make the course as playable as possible for golfers of all abilities. The removal of gorse bushes and cutting of rough at the right of the 6th hole on the Medal course is one example of where the intention is to make the course more playable for the shorter hitter.