Thursday 20th January - Links Report



2010 finished with the worst December weather for 50 years, certainly in my time at Carnoustie, having never recorded an average noon temperature as low as 0.5°C. The courses were closed due to snow from 25 November and through December apart from a week in the middle of the month when the Championship and Buddon reopened with shortened courses. A light north westerly airflow dominated through the month bringing in Arctic air over the country. Prevailing conditions obviously restricted winter works progress on the three courses and it is hoped the weather over the next three months will be much less severe affording a period of catch up. Rainfall totalled 96 mm for the month.


Championship Course

Bunker Sand

The removal of “Tay” sand from rebuilt bunkers continued in December. Our own dune sand was then placed in the bunker floors and the Tay sand replaced accordingly to raise levels.

11th Fairway – Landing Area

Final shaping, firming and raking out was carried out in this landing area as weather permitted. Re-turfing around the rebuilt bunkers and semi rough areas was also achieved. The main fairway section has just been re-turfed following the Christmas / New Year break.

Turf Repairs

The area of gorse removal on the left hand side of the 14th hole just over the service road was prepared for turf earlier in the month and turfing over was carried out at the end of December. Turf was also laid on the smaller gorse removed area adjacent to the shelter near the 15th tee (Tournament Scoreboard position).

Machinery Presentation

The “Double A” Company based in Cupar, conducted a golf course maintenance power-point presentation at South America on the range of machinery they can provide and support.


Various other jobs were carried out during December apart from environmental work including clearing and salting service roads on the courses, around the maintenance facility, Burnside Car Park and course bridges, stock taking in chemical store, tidying sheds, screening sand, driving sand to the maintenance yard, dismantling tee boxes, painting course furniture, removing ice from fairways and breaking up ice in bunkers, health and safety training, competence checks etc.

Environmental Work

The concentration was as usual gorse and /or broom cutting involving the following holes:- 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes. Gorse stumps and roots were removed next to the shelter at the 15th tee and some in the 8th carry. The two trees next to the 10th Hogan Tee were felled and removed and the trees next to the 10th green approach were pruned to maintain sight lines, as they were for the Open. Chipping gorse and tree cuttings was a regular occurrence during the month.

Burnside Course

Environmental works dominated during December although one trailer load of turf was laid on the 13th fairway re-landscaped area in between the snows. A silt build up was removed from the burn in front of the 5th green.

Gorse or broom was cut back on the following holes:- 2nd, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 15th and 16th as well as services road edges as required. Fallen branches and broom was cleared within the 6th, 7th, 16th triangle. A number of dangerously leaning branches and extensions were removed from the crack willows to the left of the 5th hole.

Smaller re-growths were trimmed off these willows, the one closest to the green in particular. Two damaged poplar varieties were removed from the right hand side of the
2nd hole and a dead willow was removed from right hand side of the 5th hole close to the irrigation storage tank. Dog bins were emptied as required, however a considerable increase in dog faeces has been noticed on the links following the snow clearance.

Buddon Links Course

Road Metal to 3rd Tee Development

Driving road metal from the Open contractors’ compound adjacent to the 12th tee continued in December as weather dictated. This material has been useful to form a base for the new raised 3rd tee and affords a relative cost saving on sand infill.

Turfing Preparations – 11th Hole and 10th / 13th Holes

Further ground preparations were carried out around the new fairway bunkers on the
11th hole and around the greenside. The area between the two remaining bunkers at the 10th and 13th greensides was also prepared for turfing. Some rough turf was replaced at the 11th fairway bunkers.

Burn Bank – 2nd Tee

The eroded burn banking section next to the service road in front of the 2nd tee was back filled with rock armour and spaces filled with gabion stone during the month.

Environmental Work

As per the other courses, gorse and broom cutting was a regular occurrence during the month. Work was concentrated on the 11th and 15th holes with broom removal along the fence line next to the 16th tee.

John S Philp
Links Superintendent