In this regular column, we talk all things turf along with the projects and challenges you face on a regular basis.
The team at Lincoln Golf Club are well underway with launching its new look course. We asked Head Greenkeeper Adrian Kitchinson what's next.
How long was the process of completing the redesign work of the 7th and the 14th in 2022?
We intially decided that those holes would have the most impact and showcase to members what could be achieved. Lakeland Earthworks were chosen to do the shaping and construction of the bunkers with Fineturf supplying the turf and materials. The process took around five weeks to complete, which helped to give an idea on timescales and how we would approach the work we have done more recently.
What did you learn from that project?
We tried to use as many of our own materials as possible. We used our own topsoil when reshaping the bunkers and to build up the run-off areas. We have a sandy base and, with the summer that we had, it dried up a lot so we had problems getting the turf to establish. This time we brought in 500 tonnes of topsoil, which should have a better moisture retention and help the new turf establish. We are also going to be using a different lining in the bunkers.
Head Greenkeeper Adrian Kitchinson
What work have you done to holes 1, 2 and 3?
About three years ago, golf architect Ken Moodie (Creative Golf) visited the course and provided a full plan of each hole, so we are looking at developing the whole course. During 2021, we did seven and fourteen and last year it was one, two and three. We are trying to follow Ken's designs, in particular, where he thought bunkers would sit well on each fairway. Wayne at Lakeland then does a rough shape before we topsoil it and get turfing. For the first hole, we filled in two bunkers and created two bunkers; the young golfers seem to be hitting the ball a lot further these days and so we thought they needed a change in position. We've pretty much done that for all three of the holes to try and give it a fresh look.
Have you got any other projects planned for the future?
Hopefully, we can do two more this year. We will just have to see how the financial side of things goes in the coming months. Despite everything going on, we hope that we can keep developing the course.
Have you had support from committee members for undertaking the projects?
I must say I am very lucky here, it's a board of directors who all support me very well.
How is the club managing budgets considering the current financial situation in the UK?
We've actually had a separate budget for the course improvements so, this financial year, the money has been available for all the improvements.
Have you got a timescale for the projects?
So, we actually started and then had rain for two weeks, which delayed us slightly. We hope that it will take about four weeks in total.