This is how England’s most south westerly golf course is maintained

By Alistair April 12, 2017 22:23 Updated

England’s most south westerly course, the nine-hole Isles of Scilly Golf Club, offers stunning views and is maintained by a team of three volunteer greenkeepers, headed by Derek Metcalfe. Having no previous greenkeeping, or even gardening, experience Derek relies on advice and guidance from trusted friends and industry contacts – like Headland Amenity for the clubs nutritional requirements.

“I’d shadowed the previous greenkeeper, so when he left, the club approached me and two of my fellow players and greens’ committee members to take over,” explained Derek. “Dave Manley from Cape Cornwall Golf Club, came over to Verti-Drain the course for us and I became quite good friends with him. Dave went through the shed, explained things and created an annual maintenance plan for us – which I’ve followed religiously.”

Derek then got to know Richard Shapland from Headland, who visited the club and has been helping with the nutritional side of maintenance. Derek again, “Richard came over and advised that, because we had not previously done a lot of work on the fairways over the years, we could struggle to maintain them with the amount of moss, weeds, fibre content and heather encroachment that we had. We trialled a couple of products, Mulitigreen and Xtend 46-0-0 Soluble, in different parts of the course. The results were impressive and following this we formulated a weed control programme. Since the application we have seen a big improvement in the sward and now we are able to start work to remove the moss with verti cutting, brushing and spring raking.”

Richard spends the day with Derek walking the course with him once a year and from this, as well as soil sampling, makes his recommendations. “We now have a full Headland programme in place including Greentec, Protec NK and C-Complex fertilisers, Seamac Ultra Plus and CalciComplex which has helped to raise the pH on some of the greens which were almost peat!” The Isles of Scilly course is also not on a mains water supply so they spend time hand watering when water is available and the rest of the time they’re relying on rainfall. “To help with this we’re also using Headland’s Tricure AD which helps to prevent hydrophobic conditions.”

Final word from Derek: “The fact that Richard and Dave are always on the end of the phone is invaluable. With only 80 members we live very much hand to mouth so maintaining the presentation of the course is vital to the survival of the club.”


By Alistair April 12, 2017 22:23 Updated

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