Major disruption to golf course after chemical applied ‘in error'

Jamie Hallin Golf

City sport chiefs have apologised to golfers after it emerged they will have to rip up the greens at one of Aberdeen's top courses following a blunder involving chemicals.

The putting surfaces at Kings Links were severely damaged after "the erroneous application of a strong chemical" in June and have become increasingly bare and dry as the season has gone on.

Now Sport Aberdeen, which operates the popular course, has admitted it will not be possible to fix the problem without major intervention.

Bosses, along with the course's maintenance contractor Idverde, have embarked on an "extensive" repair programme which will include completely relaying the turf on the worst-affected greens.

The work will be overseen by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), and a new head greenkeeper has been appointed at Kings Links.

Work is expected to take several months to complete - and the main greens will not be ready to play until next season. Instead, course staff have begun the process of setting up temporary greens, similar to those installed over the winter months.

Stuart Dillett, idverde's north region managing director, said: "As Sport Aberdeen's golf course maintenance partner since 2015, idverde is fully committed to doing all that is necessary to successfully complete remediation of the damaged surfaces of the greens and surrounds at Kings Links Golf Course."

"Whilst a full investigation is underway into the cause of the damage, I have instructed my team to move immediately to plan the required works along with a full rectification programme. This will commence during August to ensure that all greens will be returned to a high standard for play by the start of the 2021 golf season.

Managing director Alistair Robertson said: "I want to offer my sincere apologies to our Kings Links golfers and also to the three associated golf clubs and their respective members. I am devastated at this development as we have worked hard over recent years to improve all aspects of the city's golf offer."

"My colleagues and I are fully committed to putting this right and we will give this the high priority focus it deserves. I am confident that we will begin the 2021 golf season next spring with the course fully reinstated to a much higher standard than it has been in recent months."

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