The course, which was first constructed as nine holes in 1992 and extended the following year, is a former fruit farm, and cider orchards remain in place around the fairways to provide definition.
Head Greenkeeper Steve Lloyd comments: "The course is on fertile, heavy clay which drains well and the greens were built from a local soil and sand mix. However, 20 years of top dressing and soil exchange using hollow tines have built up a good growing medium which gives an improved root structure for the turf. We have also reconstructed bunkers and tees over the years to make for more challenging play."
Most recently the fairways came under the spotlight: "Because of the good growing conditions, there were a lot of clippings on the surface and a thatch layer had built up. On the free-draining soil this dry layer meant that the fairways would quickly burn off," Steve explains.
The renovation programme began with hollow-tining and deep aeration on the fairways before they were scarified in April.
"We then applied Multigreen temperature controlled release fertiliser, with Clipless growth regulator and Elevate FE complexed liquid iron in a tank mix," he adds. "Clipless helps control excess growth while the iron in Elevate FE prevents any yellowing on the edges of leaves and helps carry it into the plant. The results have been an impressive thickening up of growth on the fairways which has filled in the divots so that they look like a carpet."
Steve comments that the combination of Multigreen, Clipless and Elevate FE is a highly cost-effective solution, which gives the fairways a rich green colour rather than the light green of a growth flush.
"We have also applied these products to surrounds and tees, and we are able to use the tees all year round on the majority of the course. They withstand wear and tear so much better - it makes a big difference."
Steve has used Headland Amenity's liquid feeds on the greens for the past six years and he says it is a very user-friendly programme.
"We use a base feed in spring and then only have to liquid feed once every three weeks before we apply a granular fertiliser in autumn. There are no growth flushes, and at our recent tournament, green speeds were excellent."
Tricure AD is another useful product, he comments: "We don't have many high spots on the greens, but using Tricure AD ensures that there are no dry patches. It is used in combination with Turfcomplex biostimulant to keep the turf healthy, which is essential as our greens are relatively small and get a lot of use. These are fantastic products and we get great results."
Steve also enjoys a good relationship both with the Headland Amenity team and their distributor Countrywide. "We soil sample in the spring and then Adrian Masters from Headland comes and talks through our needs for the year ahead - he suggested the programme for the fairways as a result of our discussions. But I also know that if I have any issues or queries, there is always someone at the end of the phone to offer advice. The company has a wide range of products to meet our needs and offers great service - it's the whole package."
Tel: +44 (0)1223 597834 - Fax: +44 (0)1223 598052 - www.headlandamenity.com