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GOLF


The Cheshire 18th tee


course is built on clay and the fairways can become very heavy going. Between 2007 and 2009, I brought in a construction team to work with us installing drainage across the course, costing six-figure sums. Laid at 9m centres, then sand slitted at 45 degrees angle to 2m centres, topdressed over the drain lines to keep them open.”


“The greens, bunkers and tees are all drained and storm systems take off the water during heavy rainfall.”


Last year, the team renovated 4,500m2 of


teeing surface, lifting and levelling over an intensive two-week window, with help from contractor Greentech.


Jeff Jones


It also signalled a return to a more organic approach. “If you make the plant healthy, it looks after itself,” Peter states. “Three or four years ago, we used compost teas and saw such a reduction in disease that we plan to return to them, with several being trialled currently. Bringing them back means we don’t need to feed the greens so much in winter, which introduces high risk of disease.”


The year-round maintenance workload


demands a big team to help Peter master the terrain. He heads a 16-strong team of full-timers, bolstered by another four part-timers when the new season tees off in April.


Peter’s is no island domain and he relies on two deputy course managers to look after the courses. Both in their roles longer than Peter, they know Carden like the backs of their hands.


Phil I’Anson has been here for seventeen years. “He’s a very clever guy, who’d like to be an agronomist, is in charge of our fertiliser calibration programme and completed his diploma in turfgrass science two years ago,” says Peter.


At Carden just a year less than Phil is Dougie Neilson. “I first met Dougie as a Gleneagles seasonal greenkeeper. It was a pleasant shock to see a friendly face when I arrived at Carden. He’s great at motivating the team to get up and out of the shed in the mornings.”


Also one to be mentioned is Jeff Jones. “Still full time at 77, he communicates well with young people, is a first-class stonemason and tackles


We treat our two hard courts with algaecide,


powerbrush them every six to eight weeks and paint them every season


50


PC August/September 2019





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