It’s been a busy time at Blairgowrie. The club has spearheaded a number of changes ahead of this summer’s Scottish Amateur. Head greenkeeper Brian Scott explains how changing to Hugh King’s root zone helped speed things up
What have been the biggest changes at Blairgowrie?
“The main ones have been rebuilding the tees, greens, approaches and bunkering on 6th and 7th on Rosemount. That work was completed two years ago. We had the Scottish Amateur here in August and the biggest fear I had was cutting the greens down to 3mm. But the greens coped really well. I thought we might have to raise the height of the cut after, but it’s been fine.”
What was the players’ reaction to the rebuilt holes?
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback to everything we’ve done. Last week Ritchie Ramsey was out for a round and he couldn’t believe how good they were.”
Was any other work been completed over the winter?
“We rebuilt the 12th tee on Rosemount using Hugh King root zone (RZ2). It’s a brand new tee complex. The old one simply wasn’t big enough for the amount of golf we get. The build went very well, and it was quick. The tee was open for the first day of the golf season.”
You started using Hugh King Washed Dune sand for topdressing and, more specifically, RZ2 four years ago. How important has that change been?
“I’ve noticed that since we’ve changed to Hugh King Washed Dune sand and RZ2, the turf has taken a lot quicker and the root development has been a lot quicker as well. It’s been very positive.”
How has this affected your construction projects?
“Well, we didn’t have to build temporary tees. We now know that if we complete the work during the winter, it will be ready for the start of the season. Everything is a lot quicker. A perfect example is we rebuilt the 1st, 2nd and the practice putting greens on the Rosemount about 12 years ago. It took two years before those new greens performed like the rest of the greens. It’s been a year and half since we did the 6th and 7th greens and you would never know. They’re at the same speed as the rest of the greens, maybe even quicker.”
That’s quite a difference!
“This season it’s all come together. Last year, I had to play with the heights of cut a bit. This year, all the greens are at the same height, which makes things very straightforward. Compared to 12 years ago, that’s about 50% quicker.”