• Spring & Summer Report 2020

1. Conditions

It has been one of the driest spring and summers in the 125 years of records seemingly. We had a total of only 27mm of rainfall from late March to the middle of June. This was a real test for our new Balcomie course irrigation system which performed brilliantly even in breezy conditions. During the 11 week period the irrigation system was on every night between the hours of 10pm and 5am and sometimes through the day while the courses were closed.

Reasons we mostly water through the night is;

  1. Lower temperatures so less water evaporation
  2. Less windy conditions so less water lose and full coverage from the sprinklers
  3. No play or maintenance being carried out


2. Covid-19

From the 24th of March we went on lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant all facilities were closed and all of the Green staff were put on the Government Furlough scheme apart from 2 staff (Colin and myself) to look after the basic cutting of the courses.

We continued till the end of April which worked out well due to very little growth at this time of year; and allowed us to complete the rebuilding of the 2 greenside bunkers on the Craighead course.

We then took the decision to carry out as much aeration work to all greens & PG’s over both courses with them being closed. Completing this work has been a bonus as it means we are now ahead with our aeration plans this year and results in us not to have any course closures for aeration work later in the year. From the start of May we brought back 3 staff to help carry out this work. We are now starting to get growth on all the playing areas.

From the start of June when we were allowed to open both our courses with restrictions. We brought back another 2 members of the greens keeping team to help maintain the courses. Most of our cutting is still at 50% less except for the daily cutting of the greens. Due to low staffing levels we do struggle to carry out any rolling of the greens. All bunkers are still classed as G.U.R so very little maintenance and raking has been carried out on them.

Courses Work:

  1. Lightly scarifying in 2 different directions to a depth of 7mm to remove as much thatch from the profile
  2. Verti-cutting to help clean the surfaces up and take out lateral growth
  3. Surfaces all blown, rolled then cut
  4. Solid tined to a depth of 150mm to relieve compaction, allow better air & water movement through the profile

We still have 2 outstanding winter projects to complete which will be done this autumn/winter which is completing the work at the 7th tee path on the Balcomie course and re-instating the areas round our new irrigation pump-house and tank on our driving range.

Robert Meikle, Golf Course Manager


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