Year-round golf can prove a double-edged sword when winter wear threatens to wreck playing conditions in spring and summer
Leighton Buzzard Course Manager Paul Harris knows from his experience that a winter traffic management programme can help sustain sward but he has chosen to adopt a different style of the strategy this time round at the 18-hole Bedfordshire private members parkland course.
"Aerosols, posts and ropes are expensive, unsightly, prone to vandalism and get in the way of play," Paul explains. "When golfers remove ropes, in nine out of ten times they don't put them back."
His focus shifted to linemarking measures. "We needed a quality, lightweight linemarking machine that was easy to use and efficient," he continues. "The Briteliner Arrow fitted the bill."
From late October through to March, the greens team uses the Arrow and Vitax SupaStadia marking paint to apply demarcation lines to the approaches on the 1st, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 13th and 17th holes.
"Quick and easy to lay down, the lines stay clear and sharp for long enough to allow us to help vulnerable areas recover," adds Paul, "and are a friendly, unintrusive way to say 'Walk this way'."
When spring play begins, golfers pit their wits against the challenges of Leighton Buzzard, including the feature 11th Par 3, described by commentating legend Henry Longhurst as "outstanding" in his book 'The Nine Most Beautiful Golf Holes in England', with the benefit of Paul's linemarking traffic management programme that has played out over the winter.
For eight months of the year, the Arrow will lie dormant in the shed, its job done until the autumn. "After power spraying the machine clean, a little WD40 is all the maintenance it needs," declares Paul.
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