Monday 25th February 2013

As my camera has finally bitten the dust, i will show you some pics of jobs that have been completed or near enough.
Above, we have taken away the astro-turf path that led to the 8th green and installed a rubber mat.

The grass will hopefully grow through the rubber mat and give a more natural look to the hole rather than the astro-turf.

An additional change to the Championship Course this year is the removal of the green tees. The new yellow tees will be a mixture of the old yellow tees and the old green tees. The course will measure around 6600 yards. The box will remain on the yellow tees for the season apart from Spring, Autumn and Paul Lawrie Meetings. Doing this allows us to use any tight turf from some of the tees we wont use anymore.

Here is the 4th white tee.

The area is stripped of turf and prepared ready for rough turf.

Thge 17th fairway is finally finished.

I am glad to see the back of that job!!

With the floodings, we have taken the step to try and raise all the bridges around the course. The only downside is that irrigation pipes have to be raised up too.

Dangerous Jimmy has a new pair of wellies to match his bucket.

The yellow wellies are one way to spot where he is on the course.

Thats as long as he wears them.

Another bridge ready to be raised, this time at the 1st.

A big hole between the 10th and 11th fairways is where we managed to get sand for the 17th job. The only thing is that it has been too wet to get back in to sand cap and re-contour the ground.

A crow enjoying a dook.


Bunker at the 5th completed. Hopefully get on with a few more in the coming weeks.


Tuesday 12th February 2013


96 mm of rain fell in January (more than twice the average rainfall for this month) with rain falling on 21 days which meant the inconvenience of the water table being higher than normal causing certain holes on all 3 courses to be unplayable at times resulting in them being closed or shortened in length. It also meant that bunkers were flooded and travelling around the courses for the greenstaff was very awkward. Temperatures were average but there was a lack of sunlight due to all the rain which isn’t good for the metabolism of the grass plant.


Water removal and the continuation of the Winter Works Programs were the main focus of work through January.


The greens and approaches were slit tined early in the month with the greens being verti-drained with 8mm tines and top-dressed during the last week. Greens were cut twice and rolled once. Sulphate of Iron was applied to greens, approaches and surrounds to keep the grass leaf hard and to control any small patches of moss.

Winter Works

·        Extension of top tee at 1st hole completed, preparation work in surrounding area continuing

·        Preparation work on Island and 2 of the 3 bridges raised to help alleviate future flooding

·        Installation of rubber mats and surrounding turf on 8th walkway completed

·        Bunker at LHS 5th fairway revetted with rear and run-in being raised slightly to allow more sand to be put in bunker to prevent standing water

Other work

·        Pumping flood water from affected areas

·        Verti-draining wet/flood affected areas

·        Front half of 10th green mini tined to remove silt from flooding

·        Bunker floors loosened

Environmental Work

·        Gorse cutting at 1st, 8th, 9th and 12th holes

·        Eight leaning trees removed from LHS 9th hole


The emphasis on the Burnside during January was to remove the flood water, debris and silt left on the back of the Barry bursting its banks in late December through pumping and squeegee-ing water and shovelling large areas of silt from the 3rd/4th fairways. These areas were then verti-drained to assist in the drying out of the surface and soil profile.

Winter Works

·        Bunker revetment either completed or commenced at LHS 7th green, 12th green (2), 15th fairway (3) and LHS 18th green (2)

·        Ground raised in front of newly raised bridge in front of 3rd tee

Other work

·        2nd & 3rd greens/approaches mini cored and top dressed

·        All greens pencil tined (6mm solid tines) and rolled behind

·        Fairways slit tined

·        Winter tee mats washed

·        New turf on 6th and 11th tees tip dressed

Environmental Work

·        Dead trees removed from RHS 5th hole


The Buddon greens were Star tined (8mm) and rolled and were cut twice during January. Verti-draining continued on fairways, walkways and on the practice ground and the bunker floors were loosened as required.

Winter Works

·        Adjustments and turfing on and around the left and rear of 4th green were almost completed

·        New back tee at 13th was shaped up

·        Revetting alongside path at 3rd tee


Craig Boath, Stephen Mitchell, Gavin Lowe and I attended BIGGA’s Turf Management Exhibition in Harrogate where we attended workshops and seminars as well as finding out the latest developments on products and machinery used in the Greenkeeping industry.

Retired Links Superintendent John Philp paid a visit to the sheds one morning to deliver a presentation on the History of the Open Championship and the modern day guidelines for preparing a course for the Open to the staff.



Eric Watson, our Maintenance Engineer of 25 years, announced that he will be retiring on 31st May. Along with advice from Eric we are in the process of advertising for the position with the intention of having someone in place shortly before 31st May so that Eric can assist his replacement to become familiarised with the operations of the Workshop and Golf Courses.

Sandy Reid

Links Superintendent

4th February 2013


Saturday 2nd February 2013

Well this my first real post of the year, the last one being before Christmas. 

Dangerous Jimmy being the fairy on top of the Christmas tree.
Dangerman was not the only thing i was having to keep an eye on before and during the festive period.

It was the weather and the high tides,

causing a lot of headaches and heartbreak. Just when we had cleared up from the last flooding this comes along.

A lot of work being carried out on the course just now as we try and play catch up.
The mound in front of the 4th tee has been lowered, a little bit of sand saved and a discovery of three hand hammered gutta-percha balls.

Mound shaped and re-turfed

The fairway bunker on the left hand side of the 5th has had the run in raised and the height of the bunker on the left hand side raised at the same time.

This bunker gets bad with lying water after heavy rain.

The idea is to raise the sand level too. Job completed more pictures to follow.

With the flooding of the burn the descision was made to raise all the bridges around the course, starting at the 17th. When the burn level does rise the problem is that the bridges are too low and the water hits off the bridge and gets pushed on to the fairway.

This week, greens verti-drained with 8mm tines, double rolled, top dressed and brushed in. All greens completed in 3 days.