The man in charge at West Kilbride Golf Club is overseeing a substantial renovation project that will see half of the club’s bunkers reconditioned and reshaped. Here Jim Paton tells us how he’s getting on.
I understand you have a big project on the go.
“Yes, we’re renovating and reshaping 38 bunkers – that’s half of the bunkers on the course. The project started in October and will be completed in the next two to three weeks. We’ll hopefully have everything finished by the end of February. I certainly want the bunkers back in play for the first medal in April.”
“It’s a pretty big project which started a couple of years ago when the plans were drawn up for changing the golf course, which really concentrated on the bunkering. We got rid of a few bunkers and put in a few new ones. We’re 125 years old next year, so over the next few years we will work on 6-10 bunkers a year to do the rest of them. It will be an on-going project.”
Can you describe what has been done sand wise?
“All the bunkers have had new drains put in them and we will be using more than 250 tonnes of sand to fill the bunkers. We’ll be putting Hugh King’s rootzone down first as a bedding to cover the gravel and drainage. We’ll put the sand on top of that. In total, we’ll probably use 200 tonnes of rootzone and about 250 tonnes of Hugh King’s Bunker 8 sand.”
You also use Hugh King’s sand for top-dressing. What advantage is there in sourcing your sand from a single supplier?
“I topdress the greens using Hugh King’s Washed Dune sand. I also use Hugh King’s Bunker 8 which is a good stable sand and the members seem happy enough to play out of it. The rootzone is 20% soil and 80% of the same sand. We want the bunkers to be uniform so when the golfers play out of them, they experience the same conditions from hole to hole. We’re trying to get the same sand in every bunker so we have the same conditions in each one.”
How would you describe the service you receive from Hugh King?
“I’ve been at West Kilbride for 36 years and I’ve been using Hugh King’s sand all that time. The consistency of the sand we receive from Hugh King is great. They quality check that all the time to make sure they deliver the same product. They provide good-quality sand and the service is also very good. I ordered some rootzone yesterday and it has already been delivered.”