The cold spell continued from December into the middle of the month, resulting in the longest course closures for many years(1 month).
The courses were opened with a limited number of holes on the 16th of the month following a slow thaw during the preceding week. Frost was experienced on 15 occasions and had penetrated approximately 7" into the ground on the greens. A north to north east airflow dominated in the first half of the month while westerlies were more common in the second half. Average noon temperatures were 3.25 degrees centigrade, the lowest recorded in any months for many years, whilst rainfall was 54mm.
The prevailing ground conditions curtailed turfing works during the first half of the month when work focused on gorse and broom management, where a great deal was achieved.
Greens and surrounds were slit-tined later in the month following the thaw.
Greens and approaches were rolled later in the month as was the recently laid 3rd tee.
A fungicide spray using ipridione was applied to the greens and surrounds to control fusarium disease which became evident on a number of greens following ice melt.
The 9th,10th,12th and the 14th fairways were lightly top-dressed near the end of the month.
During the snow/ice cover period early in the month, a number of old bunker faces were dug away on the 2nd,4th,5th,6th and 16th holes.
Bunkers revetted in the remainder of the month included:
- All bunkers on the 5th hole 6
- 2nd green and approach 3
- 4th green left hand side 2
- 6th fairway 2
- 16th green left and right side 3
Grow-covers were installed on re-built faces on the 8th,11th,13th,15th,16th and 18th green sides.
The mound alongside the ditch in front of the 5th tee was partially removed to improve sight lines and give fuller use of the teeing area. The lowered was prepared in the usual manner and blended into the remaining section. Both normal turf and heather turf was used to cover the area. Turf replacement alongside the boundary fence at the 18th green was completed as was turfing to the left of the 15th green and left of the 7th hole following gorse removal. Heather dominated turf was again used to the left of the 6th hole for gorse replacement and the area in front of the 14th "Hogan" tee was turfed including two small patches of heather.
Much gorse management work was carried out particularly in the first half of the month due to the prevailing wintry conditions:
- right hand side of 1st hole
- next to the 5th tee
- left hand side of the 5th green
- right hand side of the 6th hole
- rear right of the 11th green
- left hand side of the 12th walkway
- behind the 13th green
- right and left of the 14th fairway
- left hand side of the 15th hole
- left hand side of the 16th hole
Apart from a wide range of gorse management work several other duties were carried out during the snow/ice cover period which included: screening sand, painting course furniture, spreading road salt, installing drainage under service roads, tidying implement sheds and equipment and staff training.