Following our annual visit from Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) our Head Greenkeeper Douglas Mackenzie has requested that he would like to undertake additional hollow coring of our greens in July.

This is in addition to the hollow coring already done in the spring and autumn.

I appreciate that this will not be popular with many of our members and guests which is why I am notifying you as early as possible of these plans.

The STRI are making this recommendation based on the increase in organic material immediately below the surface of our putting surfaces.

This work is planned to be undertaken during week beginning the 10th July as this is historically a quiet period in the fixture calendar as well as footfall on the course due to the holiday period. The expectation is that due to the warm weather and favourable growing conditions the greens will quickly recover and for the work to be completed with a 3-4 day window.

Why are we undertaking this work?

This STRI have recommended this course of action, if we want to continue improving our putting surfaces we must undertake this work. By removing this excessive organic matter from the greens it will encourage growth on the greens, stop them drying out as much during dry periods and also encourage drainage during wetter periods.  An added benefit is that this give us better conditions to overseed with bent grass and reduce the level of meadow grass.  This will ultimately lead to better putting surfaces for us all year round.

Will the course still be open?

Yes – the course will still be fully open, a few greens will be re-located to temporary greens for a few hours whilst the work is being done, Douglas and his team are committed to completing this work as quickly as possible and reducing impact on play.

Will this be done every year? 

No – this is just a one off, however it is a nature of sand based USGA greens that organic layers can build up and we may need to do this again during the playing season to have maximum effect and most benefit.  It should be noted that we last did this in peak playing season twenty years ago at Prestonfield.

What else did the STRI report?

They flagged a number of positive items on the course based on the work done over the winter and will be visiting us again in September.