The installation of a Huxley all-weather putting green, pathway and tee at Niddry Castle Golf Club has received an unqualified thumbs-up from members and visitors playing the attractive nine-hole Scottish golf course.
Located at Winchburgh, West Lothian, some six miles west of Edinburgh, Niddry Castle Golf Club was founded in 1926 but was closed at the outbreak of the second world war. Revived and restored, the club re-opened in 1984 and today has close to 600 members who enjoy the scenic and historic setting of the well-wooded parkland course. Legend has it that Mary, Queen of Scots, stayed at Niddry Castle during her fateful flight to England in 1568.
Although a new clubhouse was completed in 1990, there had been no practice putting green at the course – until club member and Huxley Golf’s northern area manager, Hugh Fraser, put a proposition to the club’s committee.
“Hugh plays in our first team and knows the course very well,” pointed out secretary and treasurer, Jim Thomson. “The club had always been concerned about the level of maintenance required by a fine turf putting green shaded by mature trees and subjected to extensive annual leaf drop. We were, therefore, most interested to learn from Hugh about the performance, ease of maintenance and widespread uptake of Huxley all-weather surfaces for golf, and particularly the recent practice green installations carried out by Huxley Golf for Darren Clarke and other world-ranked tournament golfers.”
The project included an 84 sq metre (900 sq ft) Huxley all-weather putting green together with a walkway around the clubhouse and a new tee for the par 3 first hole.
First used by golfers in April this year, the installations are proving a great success. “Everyone who knows the club says that our new all-weather surfaces have enhanced the course,” said Jim Thomson. “Although different specification materials were used for the three surfaces to suit each application, the results are all first class, requiring minimal attention to keep them looking good and performing as well as, if not better than natural turf.
“The speed of the putting green can be altered quickly and easily by a light brushing while the all-weather tee on the opening hole has taken pressure off the adjacent turf tee which was suffering from high wear and tear. Back-filled with Huxley Turfill, the new surface looks, feels and reacts just like natural turf and can even accept a tee peg.”
“The new walkway around the clubhouse is both comfortable and silent to walk on,” concluded Mr Thomson. “This latter point is greatly appreciated by golfers who are practising their putting nearby. The resilient all-weather surface also eliminates the risk of stray material being carried by golf shoes into the clubhouse or onto the putting surface. The club is delighted with all three installations.”