0 Shipley Golf Club

Shipley Golf Club

Shipley Golf Club is situated in the West Yorkshire town of Bingley, a parkland course set in the most beautiful part of the Aire Valley.

Shipley's head greenkeeper is Pat Murphy, a past chairman of the British International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

Pat, who has worked at Shipley for 32 years said: "Everything depends on the weather. We have closed the course only five times this winter because of rain.

The 500 golfers at our club have played on the regular greens throughout the winter except for one alternative green. Golfers want to play all the year round and that is the problem, but we try to enable them to do that.

Our main work on the course this winter has been to do with aeration and we do this work on the greens whenever weather permits. We use a Wiedenmann Terra-spike, which enables us to go down 12 or 14 inches.

We also use a sorrel roller spike, which keeps the surface open, but that only goes down about an inch. We also use a Robin dagger on the greens. That machine has one spike on it and it goes down about two feet.

It produces compressed air at 120 pounds per square inch and, when air is injected, it cracks the soil to give us an aeration. We also use that machine on the fairways."

Pat and his six staff are also doing hollow coring around the course and plan verti cutting, top dressing and seeding as well as renovating and re-sanding the bunkers this spring.

"My aim is to do all of that before March 31," said Pat.

Shipley GC have also been undertaking a woodland management plan during the last two and a half years. The plan is complete except for the housekeeping of the new plantations and, to complement this programme of work, a course survey was undertaken in January 2002.

John Nicholson, the club's woodland consultant and his partners Ken Brown, the former PGA European Tour player, and Ken Moodie, a golf course architect recently spent a day at Shipley walking and viewing the course. The report will provide for strategic planning of projects.

"We have done extensive tree planting as well as thinning out our trees," said Pat.

The club are also in the process of installing an automatic watering system all round the course. The staff have just fitted a watering system on the first ladies tee. Eventually every tee will have its own watering system.

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