Langland Bay Golf Club in Swansea has always prided itself on presenting their cliff top parkland golf course to the highest level with extremely high standards and attention to detail. The current team of Greenkeepers have all been working together for a number of years, in which time they have not only won the Welsh Golf Club of the year award and a Tourism Award but also shortlisted for the club of the year award for the 4th time.
What is surprising and great to see from such a well-established multi award winning club as Langland Bay, is the training, commitment and dedication from their greenstaff team.
The Head Greenkeeper Rob Honey is 35 year old and has worked at Langland for a number of years gaining numerous qualifications and experience. His Deputy Darren Burfitt is 34 years old and has a wealth of experience at a number of championship and prestigious venues. To assist them, are 3 additional greenkeepers aged 22, 25 and 26 years old. A young team, with a wealth of talent and commitment, which is proving to make headlines all over the world due to the consistently good conditions and playing surfaces.
Recently a headline in the Australian Financial Times said that Langland was one of the most picturesque courses in the UK and Sarah Stirk from Sky Sports called it the ‘Pebble Beach of Wales’. Regular testing of the greens in house, as well as testing and visits from STRI, allow the greens team to follow out their work with the peace of mind that all the members understand and are kept up to date with all procedures and reasons why certain projects and jobs are carried out.
Rob Honey said: “The key is good communication with the members. We have a large membership here and it is essential that we meet daily with our Director of Golf and give him an up to date analysis on the course for him to feed back to the membership. The reports we have had from numerous governing bodies over the last few years from BIGGA, PGA, GCMA and the R&A have been fantastic and very motivating for my team. We certainly have a lot of work ahead of us, with carrying out drainage in house and a large part of a new full irrigation system we are having installed to replace are existing one. A lot of tasks and responsibility, but my team is up for the challenge.”
With a rolling machinery replenishment programme in place, allowing the staff at Langland Bay to have the latest equipment with good back up from local companies for maintenance and repair. Implementing a hand cutting regime to allow the best surfaces possible and using the greens iron, has gained Langland a reputation throughout Wales for putting surfaces to rival any course.
Rob explained: “The key for ongoing agronomic improvement is to promote drainage potential. The need for installing drainage to help the greens cope with prevailing wet periods. Maintaining good soil structure and alleviating compaction will go a long way to keeping control of organic matter and improving natural drainage potential here at Langland Bay.”
Langland Bay Golf Club www.langlandbaygolfclub.com