This March sees the completion of a far-reaching project to revamp the drainage under the greens at Crieff Golf Club. In charge has been the club’s course manager for 18 years, Charlie Macdonald.
You’re coming to the end of a big drainage project – are you happy with the results?
“We’re hoping to get all the turfing and construction jobs finished by the first week in March. We’ve done four greens for the last three winters, so that’s 12 in total. It was hard going with all the materials which we did by hand. There were no machines used to move the 90 tonnes of root zone into the drainage lines. But if you do it by hand, you don’t have any mess. It’s time-consuming, but you don’t have any machines running up and down your greens. So it comes out really well.
As well as Hugh King’ root zone, what other Hugh King products do you use?
From March through to October we top-dress the greens fortnightly with Hugh King’s medium coarse blend top-dressing sand. We used about 120 tonnes of it last year. It keeps the surfaces dry; we wanted something quite coarse because our soil is quite coarse – we needed something to blend into the soil. In October, we then use the kiln-dried sand when we hollow core the surfaces. We use a big brush to sweep the dried sand down the holes. Last year we used about 60 tonnes.”
You also use the Bunker 7 sand – that’s a lot of product.
“We’re using four different types of Hugh King sand. That’s about 300 tonnes of sand and rootzone every year. It’s a fair bit. All sands we use on the golf course are Hugh King’s. It has been great because it has been so consistent – we’ve never had a bad load of sand. They’ve been absolutely superb.”
How long have you been using Hugh King’s sand?
“It will be three years in March. The sand has really firmed up the greens and made the drainage a lot better. The root zone we’ve used as part of the drainage work has been superb, really consistent and free-draining. It is fantastic. It gets the surface water off the greens a lot quicker than ever before. It’s a vast improvement in firmness and drainage rates.