Under the watchful eye of our Golf Course Manager, Phillip Chiverton, our Short Game Practice area has been undergoing a bit of a facelift. Here, he tells the story and the steps behind the process of the transformation…
After 12 years, our short game area including the chipping green and bunkers was starting to look tired and needed refurbishing. I also had another reason behind the work , which I have explained in detail on this blog.
Working with Peter Scott who is Lead Shaper with Kyle Philips, the distinguished golf course architect who designed the The Grove golf course along with Kevin Merry, our head golf pro and the Dave Pelz Golf School we came up with a plan…
A new bunker design was agreed and we filled in one bunker and changed the other two, making them larger with improved playability for teaching.
We are trialing two bunker liner materials Capillary Concrete and Better Billy Bunker liner, these liners are being used extensively around the world to help maintain bunker life and also keep the sand on the faces preventing wash outs. In theory, this should save a lot of man hours pushing up sand after heavy storm rainfall. Something we’ve become very familiar with over the course if the last few months!
As well as discussing a full course renovation bunker project for the future we are in the process of trying two new bunker sands – a Red hill blend and a fine turf blend. The reason behind this is that the quarry that produces our bunker sand, which is called masters leisure sand is now closed and we cannot replicate it. As we are considering a complete bunker renovation project, we will require around a thousand tons of sand for our 75 bunkers – an area of 5000m2 – so we’re hoping that the sand used for our practice bunkers will compact well and help to keep the sand on the faces.
We have extended the green from 300m2 to 540m2 to USGA specification
In September 2013 we seeded our turf grass nursery green with various types of bent grass to help us decide which works well in this climate.. As a result of this trial we will choose three bent grass varieties and seed the chipping green in the first week of June.
We will monitor the green during the grow-in process over three months and evaluate the turf for wear, shade, playability, pitch marks, density etc.
As well as all the above we have
• Removed some scrub to improve light and air flow around the green and surrounds
• Improved the drainage in an area holding water and affecting turf quality
• Reshaped the surrounds, and sand capped to improve drainage and help to reduce casting worms
• The entire area was turfed with 1200M2 of Arena Bargold from Tillers turf
Overall we aim to provide a facility fit for a championship golfer and look forward to seeing golfers mastering their short game very soon!.