Greenkeepers are ‘busting a gut’ to get courses ready

Golf Club greenkeepers across the county have been making the most of the warm and dry weather conditions to ensure their courses are in perfect conditions when the sport eventually resumes.

Although the Government Lockdown means that people must stay at home except for medical needs, daily exercise, shopping for basic necessities and some travel, golf greenkeeping has been characterised as essential work.

But, as Wellingborough Head Greenkeeper Steve Mackie explained, each course is unique and therefore staff have a variety of different challenges to overcome, particularly at this time of the year.

He said: “Greenkeepers have a set of regulations from the golf governing bodies R&A and BIGGA about what we are allowed to do and we are sticking to these recommendations. But they are guidelines because every course is different.

“We can mow the greens a maximum three times a week, the tees once a week, the fairways once a week and the rough once every two weeks, which is difficult because it would get out of hand.

“There are some courses that can get away with cutting their fairways just once a week in the summertime – here its three times a week. So it all depends on growth.

“Our message to all golfers is please be patient. The course at Wellingborough is not getting out of hand, and we will ensure that this remains the case, because the more we can keep on top of it, the quicker we will get back to playing. We are busting a gut to get it ready.

“We’ve had a wet winter, but a dry and mild early spring has helped. There is less stress on the greens because no-one is playing on them and there is less time restriction to get them sorted, which is good. But it has its downside – the main one being is that we want the course to be played and enjoyed!”