Thursday, 3 July 2014

We are going Green!

Last month we commissioned an ecology report by James Hutchinson BSc (hons). His brief was to look at how we do things from an ecology side and what we can do in the future to improve this area. Over the years the 'green' side of the industry has taken a bit of a back seat but in todays market if used correctly can become a powerful tool. We have always tried to do everything correctly at Ealing but when budgets become tight everything has to be justified. We believe if you can get turf maintenance and ecology working together, then this gives you a great product to market.

Over the years we have done many things to try and improve our ecology. For instance our pesticide usage has been heavily reduced over the past decade. Another area that has been introduced are certain 'Hay' areas around the course which has given a nice backdrop to an urban environment. On top of this it has created definition and increased golfer challenge. What it has also done is reduce labour requirements and fuel. Before a lot of these hay areas were introduced the rough cut used to take three days to complete. Now our rough mower is only out there for one and a half days. The challenge then becomes to try and make these areas not to penal so that it slows up play with golfers looking for golf balls. Not an easy thing to do on a parkland, meadow land environment such as here at Ealing.

Hay left of the 14th fairway
What was also good to hear is that the new chipping green that has been implemented was thought by James to be very sustainable. The fact that we used 'poa cores' from our own greens is a much better way of implementing a new green than trying to import new seed or turf off site. Actually he was quite impressed with our greens, which in some peoples eyes are thought of as a weed. Good ball roll smoothness was one thing that he commented on.

James having a putt on our 18th
Poa Cores used as the seedbed