Thursday, 29 October 2015


Sight lines from two winter tees on the Medal course were being compromised by gorse bushes. Over the years these bushes have expanded and gained height resulting in restricted views and the possible knock on effect of slow play. It was therefore decided to remove the offending bushes prior to the change over to winter tees.

18th hole
The 18th winter tee prior to gorse removal.
The view of the 18th Medal hole from the winter tee was very poor with the bunkers and the majority of the fairway out of sight.

Tractors on site and work underway.

Gary using the back hoe to remove the gorse.

In the past we have used chainsaws to remove gorse from around the courses. This method is very time consuming and still leaves stumps that have to be dealt with. The addition of a back hoe for one of the tractors has resulted in us trying a different method, pulling out the gorse bushes complete with their roots. Initial indications are good, with the work carried out quickly and little mess left to tidy up behind. 

The much improved view from the tee.

The hole now looks much more appealing with the hazards and fairway all now in full view. Where the gorse has been removed the areas have either been re-turfed or will be seeded with a rough grass mix next spring.

9th hole

The view from the 9th winter tee was similar to that of the 18th with little if any of the fairway visible. Having completed the work at the 18th with the tractor and back hoe successfully this was the next area to be tackled.
The view from the winter tee showing the limited view of the hole ahead.

The first patch of gorse removed.

Steve doing some tidying up work.

The view after gorse removal.

Other areas of gorse that are impacting on the playability of the courses will be addressed over the coming months.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Thursday, 22 October 2015


The Medal course welcomed 3 visitors from Sweden today, not only did they play using hickory clubs they were also dressed in period clothing. Although a beautiful sunny day it was also accompanied by very strong winds. However they said they really enjoyed the links and coped well in the conditions

Thomas, Johan and Owe Eriksson who are all members at Bro-Balsta golf club, Stockholm, have been competing in the word hickory championships over Carnoustie's Championship Course.  This year is the 10th world hickory championships and since 2012 it has been staged in Angus with Montrose playing host in 2013.

Les Rae,
First Assistant, 
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Work to relieve the surface compaction that has developed through the course of the season has started. Compaction is caused by foot traffic and golf course machinery. The introduction of greens irons over the last few years, which are used to smooth and speed up the surfaces, may well increase surface compaction over the golfing season. We have put off disrupting the surface of the greens for as long as we could but due to the recent localized flooding to a number of greens we feel that this intermediate measure will alleviate the problem until we carry out our deep aeration later. We have our own tractor mounted John Deere Aercore machine which punches holes into the putting surface.

 Aerating the 6th Broomfield green.
The work to aerate all 36 greens over both courses together with the putting greens should take around 5-6 days to complete.

 A close up view of the tine holes.
The aercore is set to punch holes to a depth of 3-4 inches. Due to the small diameter of the tines, disruption to the surface of the greens will be minimal.

 The aercore in action.

Our deep aeration programme using our Wiedenmann Terra Spike will commence later in the year and will include greens tees, aprons and walk off areas. It is also planned to verti-drain the Broomfield fairways. This machine will relieve compaction down to a depth of 8-9 inches.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Friday, 2 October 2015


For some reason there didn't seem to be quite as many butterflies and moths to be seen during the summer as there was the same time last year. However one that was seen regularly and which I photographed last week was the Common Blue.

 The most common of all the blue butterflies to be found in Britain, the male has bright blue upper sides which can be highly variable while the female is primarily brown.

 They can spend hours feeding on plants such as fleabane,  the caterpillars food include bird's-foot trefoil and clovers of which there is a good supply of all over the links.

Les Rae, 
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.