Friday, 11 November 2016

11TH MEDAL HOLE - IMPROVING SIGHT LINES FROM THE TEE

The encroachment of gorse over the last few years has compromised the view from the 11th back tees. In addition, the right hand side of the tees couldn't be used due to a bank of high gorse obscuring the fairway all together.

The view prior to work being carried out.

We used both a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw to cut the gorse. Some of the areas were just reduced in height while in others, where the view was obstructed, we removed the gorse in its entirety.  

The much improved view.

 The visibility of the hole is now much improved while still retaining the character, especially the carry which is an important stategic feature of the hole. We will also be able to utilise much more of the teeing ground when positioning markers which will help reduce wear.

We plan to carry out similar work at the 8th, 12th and 18th Medal holes throughout the coming winter months.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE - SUMMER SIGHTINGS

Throughout the summer there has been lots of wildlife to be seen on the links. Swallows Swifts and Sand Martins were often seen overhead but will soon be migrating to Africa for the winter. Roe Deer are also often seen, especially on the Broomfield course. Although rarely spotted because they are more active at night, foxes are present on the golf courses.

 During the finals of Open week this Common Lizard was seen sun bathing on the first tee, not at all bothered by all the golfers.


A family of Wrens were spotted outside the greenkeepers sheds. There were at least 5 young, one of which can be seen in the photo below.

Butterflies and Moths can frequently be seen. A few photographed over the last couple of months are pictured below. 

 Garden Tiger
Small Tortoiseshell
 Common Blue
 Six Spot Burnet
Brimstone Moth
Common White Wave Moth

The golf courses have always got a great variety of wild flowers that flourish within the rough grasslands. Some like the Foxgloves are quite dramatic while others like Thyme and the rare Maiden Pink can easily be missed
Foxglove
 Wild Thyme
Maiden Pink

It's been another typical Scottish summer with a lot of rain together with the odd sunny day. It won't be long now until the distinctive sound of the Pink Foot Geese can be heard overhead, a tell tale sign that Autumn is on its way.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
 Montrose Golf Links Limited.





Monday, 29 August 2016

NEW CHAIN LINK FENCE

We have recently installed chain link fencing along the roadside behind the 9th and 18th Broomfield holes. Due the amount of cars parking alongside the course there were safety fears regarding golfers and members of the public trying to cross the road. Children were especially at risk having to cross between parked cars.
 The newly installed fencing.

Dropped kerbs were installed by the Council and together with the fencing there are now designated crossing points. It would be appreciated if anyone who parks along the roadside could leave these access points well clear.

One of the dropped kerbs.

I am sure everyone agrees the importance of trying to ensure that anyone crossing the road can do so safely.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

PGA Eurpro Tour - Montrose Links 2016

A few photos from the Europro, held over our historic Links between the 5th -7th July. Weather on the whole was very good apart from some heavy showers during the first day of play. Many great scores were returned including a course record 61 on the final day, by overall winner Billy Hemstock from Teignmouth.
















Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.







Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE - SMALL BLUE BUTTERFLY


A postcard produced by Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the Tayside
Biodiversity Partnership.


The east coast of Scotland has scattered colonies of the rare Small blue, the UK's smallest butterfly, while Angus is home to isolated populations of what is a conservation priority species.
 Since 2012 the Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership have facilitated annual volunteer surveys of both the small blue and the kidney vetch plant on which this butterfly is reliant. Initially a 5 year project, the addition of growing on and planting Kidney vetch in key sites means the project has been extended for another 5 years.
Although Montrose Golf Links wasn't part of the survey sites and numbers of Kidney vetch are currently unknown the habitat is very much in keeping with those favoured by the Small blue.
 Having recently spoken with Kelly- Ann Dempsey ( project officer / environmental strategy for Angus Council ) regarding the Small blue she said she would be happy to come to the links with a view to planting some of their pot grown Kidney vetch.
 Last week we planted 12 of the pot grown plants in an area that we felt was suitable and hopefully they will survive and establish themselves. If this trial is successful we may also be considered for any further plantings that take place in the future.

 Kelly-Ann helping plant one of the pot grown kidney vetch.
 One of the plants in its new home.


Once the Kidney vetch were all planted out we had a look around the nearby area and were pleased to find a good number of the plants already happily growing in the surrounding dune land. 

 An established plant that we found on site.
Another healthy looking kidney vetch plant growing happily on the links.


Having a good population of Kidney vetch already established on the links means that we have the correct habitat for the small blue and with a bit of luck it will attract them into the area.The plant should come into flower through May.
 The butterfly is active from the end of May til the end of June and sometimes again in August. With a wingspan of only 22mm it is one of our smallest butterflies. From above the female is brown and the male smokey blue. The underside of the wings are silver-grey with some tiny black dots.
 If anyone thinks they may have spotted a small blue on the golf courses over the next few months could you please fill in one of the postcards that can be picked up from the MGLL office foyer or contact the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership (www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk ).

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.




Sunday, 27 March 2016

WINTER WORK 2015/16

One of the many stunning sunrises that we witnessed over the winter.

For those golfers who have played throughout the winter many will have seen first hand the work that has been carried out over the courses. However as the new golf season gets underway many others will be getting back out on the courses for the first time.
 We have undertaken aeration to all areas of the courses. We have also carried out the usual bunker construction work (15 rebuilt between the Medal and Broomfield ).  The realignment of the 18th Broomfield hole which involved re-contouring the fairway, adding 2  bunkers and constructing a new tee. Major gorse clearance work between the 2nd / 17th Medal fairways has been completed. Other areas of gorse have also been removed around the courses which will improve sight lines and should help speed up play.
 A few of the other projects that we have undertaken can be seen below.

Astro-turf
A quantity of astro-turf was acquired  from Montrose FC, which was used to replace some of the old tennis court material paths. The walled area adjacent to the pro shop has also been cleared of gravel and astroturf laid.

Starting to remove the old astro-turf from the 1st Broomfield path.

The newly installed path.

The 1st Medal path before replacement.

A much improved look to the path.


 The walled gravel area.


Astro-turf laid.

Erosion and the irrigation system
Unfortunately erosion has continued to be a problem at the 1st green /2nd tee area. The path  has now eroded and fallen away. Major pipework for the irrigation system was also exposed along part of the path. It was important to realign a 90 metre section of the pipe and electric cable away from the dune edge to ensure that the system could remain functional this coming year.


Path leading towards the 2nd Medal Fairway showing the erosion.

Exposed pipe and cable work on the eroded dune face.

Digging out the irrigation pipe and cable.

Digging out a new route further away from the dune edge.

Pitch and Putt
As part of on-going improvements to the pitch and putt we have tidied  up the trees and cut back the deep rough to the left of the 9th hole. We have also filled in one of the bunkers and revetted the remaining 4. These bunkers were badly in need of improvement and it also gave our apprentice Jamie a chance to build the bunkers on his own, under the guidance of a senior member of the green-staff, As time allows we will continue to improve the condition of this course.
One of the bunkers before refurbishment.

Work underway.

Digging out another of the old bunkers. 

Revetted and ready to be turfed.


New Machinery
A couple of new pieces of green-keeping kit has been been purchased over the last few months. A machinery lift has been installed in the main shed which will help in the servicing of the machinery and will do away with the unstable car ramps that had been previously used. A replacement van has also been acquired to replace the old van which had a number of faults that were not cost effective to repair.
Sean with the new machinery Lift.


I hope this gives an insight into some of the work that has taken place over the winter months. Hopefully we will get a good warm Spring and everyone can get out and enjoy the 3 courses.

Les Rae,
First Assistant ,
Montose Golf Links Limited.