During the week of a tournament we will have 3 to 4 times the number of staff on the course for the first 3 hours each morning.

Greenkeeping Q&A

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

How deep is the Swilcan Burn?
It is approximately 1 metre top to bottom. Water levels can vary from 12cm – 90cm.

I am looking to see if the greenkeeping team may be looking for extra staff for next year’s Open, can you advise who I might contact?
We have our full greenkeeping team in place for next year’s Open. You’ll find any future opportunities on our website.

How many fungicide applications are carried out on your courses each year?
It’s very unusual for us to apply this. We never blanket spray, only spot treatments on greens. It’s weather dependent and very localised.

What HOC do you cut in the summer?
4-4.5mm on greens. Fairways and tees vary from 7-11mm depending on time of year and growth.

What’s the best machinery development in the last ten years and why?
There has been huge development across the board. Areas like mowing, aeration, turf irons and software have all seen significant improvement.

Is there a place for COSHH chemicals in the future?
Manufacturers are constantly striving to produce chemicals that are less harmful to the environment. With appropriate control methods and training there is still a place for them if cultural methods aren’t effective.

What are the greenkeeping challenges you face in an Open year?
Additional amount of personnel, vehicles and infrastructure on site. General greenkeeping practices don’t change dramatically.

How many extra men/hours do you normally dedicate for prepping a course for a tournament?
During the week of the event we will have 3 to 4 times the number of staff on the course for the first 3 hours each morning.

What might be the long term effects to the grass if there is considerable snowfall this winter?
Very little. The grass would have to be under snow for more than 30 days before any damage was caused. This is highly unlikely as we are on the coast.

Generally how long do bunkers at St Andrews last before they need to be rebuilt?
Approximately five to six years. Depending on location, the busier bunkers like the Road Hole Bunker will require more frequent repair work.


Words by Gordon Moir, Director of Greenkeeping

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