Kenmore Golf Club
The nine hole golf course is situated inside the Taymouth Holiday Centre, a park of static caravans for holiday makers. The course itself is used mostly during the summer months, but we do have around a hundred local members who continue to use the course in the winter if the weather allows.
The whole site that we manage is about 154 acres, of which the course is approximately 70 acres. Including myself there are five of us to maintain the course and the caravan site, although I am the only one employed specifically for the course itself. In the summer we take on an additional youngster from school to help, but because many of our 15,000 rounds played are tourists, and the course is played mostly with iron shots, he spends his time putting back divots!
I joined the club in February and work within a fairly limited budget. My aim has been to improve and to continue to improve the course, and like everyone else, I'd like more funds to do what I regard as major course improvements.
My machinery includes a John Deere 2653 triple ride on, a 220 John Deere hand mower, two 24" Ransomes Auto-Certes, a quad, two Gators and a 3250 John Deere fairway machine. This ride on has the new auger rollers that are vastly better than previous systems as they don't lay the grass flat prior to cutting. We also have a very old compact tractor and some trailed gangs.
From the start of February this year, we have had 105" of rain, that's over two and a half metres of rain.
The course is built on a free draining gravel and sandy grit, in fact part of our grounds include a quarry, so the water drains away well. The valley that we're in was one of the last valleys to be formed during the ice age (or so I'm told), and the underlying ground is rich in silica deposits. At the end of the park, we have the start of Loch Tay.
Our greens are all built with a USGA root zone specification, but we are reliant on the ground to provide the natural drainage. These greens enable us to play all year round, and we have never had to create temporary greens. Although the greens are full spec we have nine mats out in use as winter tees for the members.
We have some difficulties with our second tee, it is situated within a copse of Beech trees and Scots pines, and gets virtually no light during the summer months. I would estimate that I have spent over £1,500 in labour and material costs so far, trying to improve the
The grasses are trying to survive in a difficult environment, I have had the area drained and vertidrained to try to improve the air in the ground, as there is little air movement in the copse anyway.
I used 'Sustain' in the spring to try to thicken the grass and encourage more leaf growth. I have over seeded with Rye grasses and also 'Solo' which contains Descampsia, the tufted hair grass. The latter has
The front of the tee has become compacted as the golfers have used the temporary tee mats placed there, so I plan to put the verti drain over the area next spring. I will also construct a new path and steps up to the tee through the trees from the 1st green, to avoid the grass areas becoming more compacted.
I hope to use my old Sisis barrel spiker on the greens and tees in the next week or so, I don't need to use it though on the fairways as they are so free draining.
It is a great place to work, but because our location is quite isolated there isn't a huge amount of passing trade. The caravans are always full for the season, but it would be nice to get more members playing the course all year around.
There is a rumour at the moment, that another golf club, a few yards up the road has been sold to developers. The golf course has Tay Castle within its grounds, and there has been talk of renovating the castle into a huge hotel complex and the addition of two more eighteen hole courses to accompany the existing course. The talk says that this project could be the next Gleneagles and it would provide a fantastic boost to the local economy and ourselves, situated so close to such a prestigious development.