Greens News February | Shirley Golf Club
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Shirley Golf Club
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Ditches - Overview

To golfers, ditches are just areas on the course that attract golf balls and add another stroke onto score cards. Some are hazards that are designed to come into play, but most are there to perform one vital function…to get water off the playing surfaces. 

While play has unfortunately been off limits, it has provided the greens team with the opportunity to concentrate on ditch work without interfering with play. 

Many of the ditches on our course are positioned to collect from intersect drains to handle flash storms and ultimately feed directly through the course drainage system into the River Blythe. 

Over time, ditches become full with leaves, debris, twigs, branches etc. that are naturally washed into them. Not only do ditches look unsightly when they are full of matter, but the water flow becomes restricted and they just don’t function at their best… like our guttering at home. 

Trees and bushes flourish adjacent to ditches which adds to the overall aesthetics of the course and form natural barriers between fairways, attracting a lot of wildlife too. Tree roots inevitably encroach into the ditches, acting as small dams and restricting water flow. 

Leaves start to become an issue from mid- September, starting with birch, through to around Christmas time followed by oak and beech which are the last to drop, so it’s quite a prolonged period. We have a lot of trees at Shirley so we get more than our fair share of fall. 

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