Thursday, 12 March 2015


We were quite lucky with the weather over the winter months and we managed to get on with a lot of construction work. 

 In total we completely rebuilt 25 bunkers, all of which were in different states of disrepair. In addition we also repaired damaged areas on a number of other bunkers. 

One of the fairway bunkers under construction on the 14th Medal hole.
All that remains to be done is for fresh sand to be added.
In my last winter work update, we had just started to remove the unnatural bank between the 13th and 14th on the medal and this has now been completed.
Removing the bank between the 13th and 14th.

Once the rough starts to grow up again  this area will look much more natural and be more player friendly.

We have also re-contoured an unnatural mound between the 10th and 11th holes on the Broomfield. This mound produced lush coarse grass and was not suitable to be cut with our rough cutting machine. The height has been reduced and countered to match the other small mounds nearby.
The mound prior to work being carried out.

 Work in progress.

The majority of the soil was transported back to the sheds which will be used for other jobs.

The completed project.
In periods of hard frost we turned our attention to gorse management. Over a number of years gorse bushes can spread quite dramatically. Sight lines from tees to fairways on a number of holes had become an issue so we cut away areas of gorse to open them back up. The main areas that we addressed were at the 8th, 11th and 13th on the Medal. This will not only improve the look of the hole from the tee, but it should also speed up play.

 The improved view from the 8th Medal tee after cutting away gorse to the left of the path.
The 11th prior to work being carried out.
More of the fairway can now be seen from the 11th Medal tee.
 The last remaining bushes being removed from in front of the 13th Medal tee.
The opened up view from the back of the 13th Medal tee. 
We have extended the path at the 16th tee on the Medal right out to the road that crosses the hole. This area was rutted, uneven and unsightly. Hopefully by creating a path the surrounding ground will get a chance to recover.
The unsightly walkway at the 16th.
The extended path is now much tidier..
We have also installed two areas of rubber matting, one at the start of the path leading to the 6th tees and the other at the start of the path leading to the 16th tees. In the past we have re-turfed these areas, but due to high wear this has proved unsuccessful. These mats, which are full of holes, are sunk into ground level with turf already having been laid underneath. Hopefully over time the grass will grow through the mat which will then protect the crown of the plant.
The newly installed matting at the start of the path at the 16th.
The last major project of the winter was to create a new walkway from the the 3rd Broomfield green to what will be the new 4th tee (the present 16th tee ). The new layout that has been planned for the Broomfield will allow for those wanting to play 9 holes to finish at what is the present 7th hole and close to the clubhouses and car park.
 All the gorse cleared from the site of the new walkway.
 Preparing the area prior to turfing.
Turfing work complete.
As the start of the season draws near we have now turned our attention to getting some definition back on each hole. All the Medal fairways have been brushed, cut and divotted. The tees are in the process of getting the same treatment. Other areas around the courses will also be cut to tidy them up.
 The paths around the courses will also be edged and a fresh coating of quarry dust put down to freshen them up.
 All bunkers will  be tidied up, their faces will also be blown to remove sand build up. We are in the process of grading sand which will be used for topping up the bunkers around the 2 courses.

 I hope that this blog together with the previous 'winter work' and bunker construction blogs, give you an insight to what has been happening out on the courses over the last few months.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.