Lawns and Lawn booking
RESERVING A LAWN.  Lawns may be reserved for either Club Competition or friendly games by entering the fixture on the Booking Sheets held in the Clubhouse.  

Members should be prepared to accept double-banking even when playing Club Competition games.  If a Member arrives to play on a lawn which is still occupied by an earlier booking, they should either:

i) double-bank on that same lawn;

ii) seek an alternative free lawn or other double-banking opportunity,

or iii) wait until their booked lawn becomes free.  

However, those playing on a lawn which they have not booked for themselves prior to the start of that playing session must vacate it at the given time, if required.


 Are our Lawns Open?
 Phone  01242 512650
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Click to see David Magee's memo on Lawn Speed

LAWN SPEED

I understand that some of you are disappointed that the lawns are slower than they were last year and I want to explain why this has occurred. Last year’s hot summer and the inability to use our irrigation system resulted in damage to the grass and, as an accidental by-product, faster, difficult, lawn conditions. This year we have been blessed (from a Lawn Manager’s viewpoint) with a warm, wet summer which has enabled the grass to recover and grow strongly, if not yet covering the whole of the playing surface.

So how does this impact on lawn speed? Firstly, more grass cover means more friction between the ball and the grass and so the ball does not run on so far. Secondly, the softer ground means that the surface absorbs more of the energy imparted into the striker’s ball in a croquet stroke and thus the striker’s ball does not travel as far as you might expect.

This is not a new phenomenon and the lawns play little differently now than to how they have performed over recent years. We are making progress though. Fifteen years ago, the early season was marked by a great difficulty to hit a single ball across the lawn which meant that hitting your tice often resulted in a nerve-racking six or seven yarder at your opponent’s balls on the other boundary. Mid-season then found you skittering about the court trying vainly to get your ball to stop in front of the hoop. And then, in the autumn, we returned to slow, heavy conditions.

We now spend a lot more money caring for the grass and its root zone and repeated applications of wetting agent (expensive washing up liquid) reduces the likelihood of us trying to cope with large, hydrophobic areas devoid of grass. I told the Committee that my first priority was to establish grass cover over the whole playing surface throughout the year and I would hope that we can achieve that next year. I want, then, to address the problem of speed which means firming up the playing surface (by rolling) whist keeping the root zone open to air and water (by gentle spiking). Rolling is a skill apparently easier to say than do which may be why the Club has never possessed a roller but it is the route to follow. My third objective is to address the levels of the playing surface but this is highly money dependant so I cannot predict a timescale.

And what about height of cut? The mower’s blades are set at 5mm – the minimum recommended by the producer of our particular grasses. Whilst it is true that the height has been lowered for brief intervals of time in the past (for a specific tournament), to do so routinely would place the grass under severe stress and leave it highly vulnerable to disease. The problem this year has been that conditions have encouraged the grass to grow with such vigour that cutting three times a week has not kept pace with that growth. So why not mow every day? To be blunt, we cannot afford it and unless a keen volunteer comes forward to spend some 4 hrs on the machine a couple of times a week, we have to live with what we have got.

I hope I have been able to give you some explanation for the current situation and, in the next newsletter, it will be time again to talk about when NOT to play on the lawns in Winter.
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