Now where do I start on this report? It’s been a long dry winter; the ball is running longer than ever before… what has changed? Your lessons with Mark are paying off, your new clubs for Christmas are a great investment, or has it got something to do with the following facts? Average rainfall for this course not the whole area, specifically this course according to my records over the last 12 years for January until March is 293mm this year we have had only 47mm in the same period. Is it the lessons or the clubs or something else?

The year started with a lot of uncertainty about the future of our great club, but things have changed and we can now look forward to our future which appears very positive and exciting.

A note here on behalf of my staff, I would like to thank our captain Jon Hale for his proposed members buyout which he put a lot of effort and hard work into. During the long winter days and uncertain times, this kept the positivity up among my staff and help them get through this difficult period in our club ́s history. So thanks Jon you really did help a lot of people get through a difficult time.

Now to the positive side, everything seems to have jumped into life very quickly and changes and plans are being made daily, we welcome the arrival of our new owner and some of the Management team which have arrived as well, Dimitry who is the President of Golf Estates and Stephen Dundas the new Project Operations Manager, who I believe a lot of members have met already. He is a very busy man getting us all back up to speed and organizing the smooth transition between the old and the new company’s.

On the Old Course the plan is to renovate the whole course starting with the front 9 holes this autumn; the intention is to bring San Roque Old Course back to its former glory and put us back at the top table of golf resorts in the whole of Europe. When we have all of the ideas and plans put together we will of course inform you all of what is happening.

To do this though we are having meetings with international and local company’s alike to plan our way forward people such as John Clarkin from Turfgrass who was involved in the renovation and upgrade of Adare Manor to put it in the possible running to host the 2026 Ryder cup, also we are meeting with Javier Gutierrez from acttua integrated engineering services who has worked on some of our local clubs renovations like La Zagaleta, Valderrama, Finca Cortesin to name but a few. We are also in discussion with these local clubs to get their opinions on how their renovations went and any problems they incurred so watch this space for further updates.

Back to the present and the ongoing work on the Old Course.

We are presently working hard to edge all the bunkers and give them a defined edge see photos below.

Before

After

Also we have removed any unnecessary course furniture which has become past its sell by date, by doing this we will speed up the cutting times of the turfed areas and the general appearance of the course will be enhanced (sometimes less is more) all of the furniture will be upgraded, renewed and installed as the new renovation work starts to take place.

On the bunkers again we have decided on a preferred way we would like to place all of the bunker rakes on the golf course see photo below.

This will;

· Stop people getting their hands sandy when collecting the rake.
· Stop buggies from running over the handles and breaking the rake
· Cut down on machinery damage to the rakes
· Stop people from having to walk into the bunkers to retrieve the rakes before they play
there shot.

So if you do happen to get into a bunker it would be very kind, if you could replace it in a similar position to the way you found it Thank You.

On the ongoing maintenance side, we have finished fertilizing all the tees, fairways, approaches and rough on the Old Course and we will see the effects of this in the next few weeks when the temperatures start to rise a little.

The pre-emergent herbicide has had its 1st application this is to prevent the crab grass and summer weeds from emerging we still have to do 3-4 more treatments to make it last until the autumn.

The processionary caterpillars which have been a major problem on the 17th hole for the past few years seem to be under control thanks to our yearly injection of the trees.

All paths and hard surface areas have been treated to remove weeds etc.

We have also removed the stakes on the water ways on the 6th, 11th, 12 and 18th holes and replaced them with a paint dot on the stone wall or the sleeper to mark the hazard, this has made such a difference to the look of all of these hole and the general tidiness of the course.

Plans for the coming month is to put the second application of pre-emergent herbicide down, fertilize all surrounds of greens to encourage more definition in that area, treat the course for any weeds which were not control by the last treatment. Also we are going to look at reshaping the cut of the tee boxes to give us better definition and a more uniform teeing area.

The definition in all areas will start to return soon as the grass wakes up again and we can now look forward to a very bright and exciting future for our club.

That’s it for this report I will be sending reports on a monthly basis from now on as I believe lots of things will be happening and I will try and keep you all up to date.

Robert Bell
Head Greenkeeper