John Greasley has just been awarded the contract for reconstructing and installing its proprietary ‘HyLine’ bunker liner to the second phase of major project at Verulam Golf Club in Hertfordshire. Last autumn 32 bunkers were reshaped and lined on nine holes and the second phase is for the completion to all 18 holes, with a total of 58 bunkers. This James Braid course is famous as the home of the Ryder Cup with the trophy being presented by its then captain, Samuel Ryder, in 1926. The work has proved a great success with members and the club’s secretary/ manager, Robin Farrer, has commented highly on the works carried out by the company.
Major reinstatement works have been completed at Nefyn Golf Club, North Wales, following extensive storm damage last winter, with four greens and four sets of tees being irrevocably damaged and needing to be rebuilt to USGA criteria. A series of eight holes known as ‘The Point’ are among some of the most dramatic golf holes in the UK. The work carried out in conjunction with architects Howard and William Swan has greatly enhanced the course at Nefyn and it is hoped this will encourage more visitors once the greens have been grown in by course manager Pat McAllister. The rootzone UK spec was supplied by Whitemoss ECO Supplies and the greens turfed with a washed greens’ turf supplied by County Turf. The works were carried out in May and June.
Following on from the very busy summer / autumn of 2013 and with work for the summer months being at full capacity and looking forward to a busy autumn / winter, John Greasley has invested in excess of £250,000 in new plant to update and modernise his fleet of specialist equipment. Two new JCB JS130 tracked 360o excavators fitted with power tilts and a fleet of new Terrex TA6 six tonne dumpers fitted with wide flotation turf tyres have been purchased along with various seeders, cultivation and turf bed preparation machinery. The new items of plant are all fitted with very efficient ‘Tier 4’ diesel engines. These ‘clean burn’ units meet the latest government legislation and environmental constraints, use less fuel and are quieter.
With regard to buying JCB, John Greasley was proud to buy British manufactured machines particularly as JCB is a close neighbour to its headquarters and the largest privately owned manufacturing company in the UK; the investment also goes towards supporting the local economy. With confidence growing in the golf market, the time is right for the company to continue to modernise its fleet of machines on a rolling programme over the next two years. This will enable it to maintain its position as one of the leading golf course contractors in the UK.
Contracts recently completed in the UK include the revised 5th hole at Fairhaven Golf Club and the second phase of bunker reconstruction and HyLine installation at Wildernesse Golf Club, both projects designed and overseen by Jonathan Gaunt of Gaunt Golf Design. A new 4th hole was constructed at Hankley Common Golf Club and extensive improvements made to the De Vere-owned course at Mottram Hall, Cheshire.
In mainland Europe the second phase of a major reconstruction of all 27 holes including rebuilding greens, surrounds, bunkers and some tees is underway at Fureso Golfklub, Birkerod, near Copenhagen, Denmark. Work to this phase of 17 holes is due for completion in September.
The substantial alterations designed by Tom Mackenzie of Mackenzie & Ebert are making a dramatic improvement, whilst being carried out in a cost effective manner. The emphasis of the project is concentrated on the reconstruction of greens’ surrounds and bunkering. A proportion of the putting surfaces are remaining untouched, however selected sections of the greens’ edges and collars are being carefully stripped and remodelled with the introduction of shoulders and borrows to create movement and complement the revised surrounds’ contouring.
The intensive programme is being achieved by three teams, each comprising an experienced shaper operating a 13 tonne excavator working with six tonne dumpers. The teams work in parallel with each other and carry out the stripping, earthworks, shaping, drainage, rootzoning and resoiling operations. A further team of finishers follows behind and carries out the cultivation, final preparation and seeding. With works programmed to be carried out during the summer months, all areas have been seeded in the conventional manner using BLEC cultipacturfmakers. A hydroseed mulch has then been applied to the surface of each area to provide a protective covering and help retain moisture. The results have been impressive with guaranteed rapid establishment along with no surface water erosion of the exposed soil or rootzone during the initial growing in.
The members and committee of Fureso Golfklub opted for a two year reconstruction programme on the basis of the course staying open, albeit as an evolving temporary course layout. To reduce the risks and separate the construction areas from the golfers, temporary greens and tees were established to a high standard at least six months prior to the works commencing. The grow-in period for phase one was relatively short with the construction completed and seeded down by September 2013 and fully opened for play during May 2014.
In the coming winter John Greasley is scheduled to return to Le Touquet and Hardelot Golf Clubs in northern France to continue its fourth consecutive year there. Having completely rebuilt the 18 holes at Hardelot, attention has turned to Le Touquet where it is proposed to rebuild a further three holes. During the previous years extensive bunker works and alterations to three greens have been completed. The works are being supervised by Patrice Boissannas and Frank Pont, golf course architects.
John Greasley www.johngreasleyltd.co.uk