Friday, 26 April 2013

Ealing Greenkeepers visit The Grove

Every year we do a course visit and luckily this year it was The Grove in Watford's turn. The Grove is considered by many the best conditioned course in the UK and held a world championship event in 2006 (remember Tiger Woods and that 18th hole). We have done this for the past seven years and visited courses such as Sunningdale, Bearwood Lakes and The Buckinghamshire. The aim for these visits is to see how these illustrious clubs set up their maintenance operation and to hopefully take things that we consider relevant to us back to Ealing. The Grove didn't let us down!

It was a glorious day last Tuesday and The Grove was in excellent condition. Greens were firm and fast and fairways beautifully presented. Speaking to their Head Greenkeeper and Irrigation technician it soon hit us that things are not always greener on the other side. Yes they may have treble the number of staff than us at Ealing, but it is a high maintenance golf course. For instance for us to cut greens and tees, it takes two guys on a ride-on machine. For them it is seven, with four on the green and three on tees. The big thing that we took away was the need to plan ahead and attention for detail. With a busy course the Head Greenkeeper spends more time in the office planning operations than out on the golf course. It is a beast and needs to be managed right. The golfer is their number one priority, something that we agree on at Ealing!

Known for their fast greens!

Dave their Head Greenkeeper explaining operations
Tees as good as some clubs greens

Well defined 'crisp' edges
Great run offs at the backs of greens

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