New tees at Lilleshall
By John Chantrell
My staff have been very busy this winter completing the latest phase of tee reconstructions at our club in Shropshire. We are currently part way through a five year strategy to revamp, remodel and enlarge all the tees on the course. Ten have been completed, with another four being undertaken this winter (3rd,7th,8th and 10th holes), and the remainder scheduled for next year.
Where extensive remodelling works were required we hired in a 360 degree excavator to move the large amounts of earth. In general the construction process was the same for all the tees.
We began by stripping off all the surface turf material and binning it. We then excavated and removed all the old top soil (150mm) and reused it to infill hollows and depressions around the new tee areas.
All the tees have had new 200mm Rufford 70/30 rootzone mix. We will be using over 350 tonnes on our four tees this year.
We made a point of consolidating the newly formed soil layers at regular intervals to reduce the chance of any future subsidence.
By using 6 metre length levelling bars we were able to achieve near perfect levels for turfing the top of the tees. We then brought in over 2000 square metres of turf from two. West Midlands C1 Downgrade turf was used for all the banks and slopes and Frazier's Elegance turf (a bent and Fescue mix) for the tee tops.
tee has developed. The old tee was quite small with the added problem of being shaded by a large mature tree. The new construction has enabled me to re-size and reshape this tee, giving me a bigger grassed area that now lies outside the canopy of the tree. At the same time I was able to redesign the pathway, giving easier access to the tee for the players.
These winter works have also given me the opportunity to tidy up the vegetation and woodland areas nearby. We have flayed off areas of vegetation with the aim of introducing some wild flower areas to brighten up the course.
The new tees have been well received by the club's members. There is also the added benefit of making the course easier to manage and maintain by my staff.
In between completing the tee construction works we have managed to complete a programme of deep aeration (vertidraining) of the greens and remaining tees to help promote good gaseous exchanges within the soil profile before the onslaught of spring renovations.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my staff for there dedication and commitment and professionalism whilst carrying our these works.