Cancelled societies and corporate days – the incessant downpours this autumn have affected Trentham Park as much as any other club, as our series looking at how the weather has hit golf continues
The irony is that Trentham Park is considered by some to be one of the drier courses in the Staffordshire area – but no one has escaped the deluge.
“It’s been horrendous,” said manager Jon Farmer without a hint of exaggeration.
In the space of four months up until the end of October, the club have seen the same amount of rain as the entirety of 2018.
“Your golfers aren’t on the golf course. They’re not in the bar. They’re not in the restaurant. So it’s having an effect on our revenue on a daily basis.”
He added: “We have had corporate days cancelled, we’ve had large society days cancelled. This year, through the summer period only, it’s possibly the best part of five figures in total revenue.
“That’s just on that particular corporate societies and organised bookings – let alone the days that we have been closed for general play for members. So what’s that worth?”
The hard work at Trentham Park has been going in to improving drainage but, Farmer says, for the last two years they’ve had to cancel a significant renovation programme on the course because, once you get through the top layer, it’s too firm underneath.
He said: “This is the bizarre part about it. Once we get a couple of inches below that surface, it’s bone hard.
“We just can’t seem to get down to that surface because we don’t want to do the drainage in the middle of summer. The middle of summer last year was bone hard.
“We’ve left it until the autumn this year and it’s still bone hard underneath. We’re having to put it further and further back.
“We’ve planned this to happen in December, the problem we have with that is the later in the year we leave it the more damage on the golf course we are going to create because we do need to break the compaction up under the surface.”
“Year on year, we just have to try and improve our playability,” Farmer continued when asked what could be done. “Last year we installed some grassed winter tees. As this rain has continued this year, we’ve had to go in and take some of those grass tees up and put winter mats in.
“We have to be adaptable. How much can we do? We’ve got to keep trying to work on drainage and try and get that better. Once we get this top layer sorted out we will be in a pretty good place.”
How has your club been affected by the rain? Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me.