The Course Manager’s Calendar – September

It’s been a busy summer at Dundonald Links. After hosting the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open in July and being touted as a possible venue for the men’s event, you’d think course superintendent Frank Clarkson would be putting his feet up in September. Think again! What is the greatest challenge working at Dundonald Links? “Because we’re on the west coast, our main challenge is organic matter and rainfall, especially this year. Saying that, we’re open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I can’t remember the last time we closed through weather.” What are your plans for September?...

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The Course Manager’s Calendar – August

During the last 12 months Neil Sadler has overseen Portlethen Golf Club’s transition from using medium course sand to medium fine sand. If that wasn’t enough, he is preparing for the BIGGA Scottish Golf Championships in August. What prompted you to move to Hugh King’s Washed Dune sand last year? “Particle sizes. We were using a medium-coarse sand before and the coarse particles were very coarse and weren’t brushing into the greens properly. It was like little stones had been left behind which were dulling the mowers which then needed to be taken away for re-sharpening. On two occasions we...

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The Course Manager’s Calendar – July

Gordon McKie looks after the most famous golf course in the world. How is the course manager at the Old Course in St Andrews preparing for the 144th Open Championship? How much sand do you use when you top-dress the Old Course? “On Sunday we used about 20 tonnes of top-dressing on the greens and another 20 tonnes on the green surrounds. So we put 40 tonnes on over four hectares. I actually do a lot of my top-dressing during the winter simply because of the impact it has on our cutting machines. I try to get a lot of...

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The Course Manager’s Calendar – June

Stewart Duff began his greenkeeping career at Gullane in 1985 left in 2002 and returned in 2006. He and his staff are busy working towards this year’s Scottish Open in July. With the Scottish Open just around the corner, what’s the atmosphere like at Gullane? “There is great excitement. The members are proud that we are hosting this great tournament, the green staff have a buzz about them and we’re striving to get everything done so the Championship Course will be in the best shape possible.” What are your objectives in the run up to the Scottish Open? “Going into...

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The Course Manager’s Calendar – May

Innes Knight has been looking after the tees, greens and fairways at the spectacular Kingsbarns since it opened in 2000. As the acclaimed links now prepares for its fifteenth anniversary, the facility’s greenkeeping supremo reveals what it takes to get the prized Fife course into showroom condition. Kingsbarns is famed for its conditioning. How do you do that day in day out? “We aim to produce tournament conditions every day. We have a huge team – there are 13 full-time staff and nine seasonals– and every morning we look to prepare the course almost as we do for a tournament....

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