Greens are the most labour intensive area and receive the most care and attention.

Director of Greenkeeping Q&A

Last month we invited you to put your questions to our Director of Greenkeeping, Gordon Moir.

When would you put fertiliser on greens? Before, during or after the rain?
Ideally before, because the rain waters it in. We could do during the rain but it can get a bit messy.

What one consideration would you ask visiting golfers to implement to try and help improve course conditions? e.g. pitch marks.
Just general course etiquette. Repair pitch marks, rake bunkers and replace divots. It’s also very important for golfers to shout FORE where necessary.

I would love to learn about budgeting for the courses, how much, equal dispersion, man hours per course for a year etc?
The Old Course gets more attention than others but we make sure to keep the other courses to the highest possible standard. Labour takes up the highest proportion of our budget.

Which part of keeping the courses is hardest? Any problem areas? The pressure of the course history etc?
Greens are the most labour intensive area and receive the most care and attention. Heavily trafficked routes are the most difficult areas to keep in good condition.

If there was only one thing you could do to keep the greens great, what would it be? (Mowing not included)
Aeration – making sure compaction is kept to a minimum and roots get an opportunity to develop.

What is the one greenkeeping technique, you believe you do differently than most, to create ideal playing conditions?
We are one of a handful of courses who replace divots with plugs of turf off-season. Otherwise we do things very similarly to any other links course in the UK.

How different are the fairways layered compared to a modern course?
No different to any other links course. The fairways are built on the natural sand.

How much damage is actually done by walking on frozen greens?
The leaf of the grass plant breaks very easily because it’s brittle. This can cause discolouration and increase the opportunity for diseases to invade at the point of breaking.

What is your Eco regime? How much time to spend on Eco projects?
We have very low inputs of fertiliser, pesticides and irrigation which reduces costs and our carbon footprint greatly. Approximately 10% of our time is spent on Eco projects. For more information you can read our GEO Certified report on –


Words by Gordon Moir, Director of Greenkeeping

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