In August this year Heythrop Park Resort and Golf Club will be playing host to the Bridgestone Challenge, part of the European Challenge Tour, on the Bainbridge Course. To make sure the Bainbridge is ready for intense play and media coverage, Estates Manager Matthew Cropper has been working hard on a course-wide nutritional programme with Headland Amenity.
Set in 440 acres of Cotswold Countryside the Bainbridge Course was redesigned in 2009 by Tom MacKenzie, the golf course architect responsible for many Open Championship venues.
Matthew has only been at the Heythrop Resort since the end of January, prior to this he was Estate Manager for James Dyson. He is now supported by a mixed team of 10, helping to maintain all areas of the resort. “I found out within a few weeks that we were getting a European Tour event, a great honour, but to turn a pay and play golf course into a championship standard course in 6 months is quite a tall order, especially as there wasn’t a very effective feeding programme in place when I joined.”
Experiencing problems with root depth and moss on the greens, Matthew turned to trusted suppliers Headland Amenity for their help.
“I built a great working relationship with Adrian Masters of Headland and have got to know the Headland products, and what they can deliver, very well during my time on the Dyson estate. To help me achieve the quick, true greens I want and overcome the moss problems I asked Headland for advice.”
Combining Headland Greentec Mosskiller Pro 4-0-4+9Fe with an overseeding and topdressing programme, Matthew is already achieving fantastic results. “After just 2 applications, we’re seeing better recovery rates and the moss scarring is growing in – the improvements are already visible.”
Another issue Matthew is trying to combat is the mixture of mature and new areas, particularly fairways, which have come as a result of the 9 hole course being built into a full 18 hole course in 2009. “Some areas of the new holes are pretty sparse and weak so we want to thicken these up and eventually get to a point where we can apply consistent feed course-wide.” Following soil sample analysis of tees, approaches and greens, Adrian recommended C-Complex Granular and Xtend 46-0-0 soluble fertilisers.
“Adi’s been great working together with me on achieving an effective, proactive feeding programme that will deliver the top quality results this championship course deserves. At the moment the European Tour team come in every month to six weeks to make sure the course is adhering to the tour standards, it’s fantastic that they’ve also commented on the improvements we’re achieving already. It’s vital that the feeding programme helps us achieve the tour standard.”
Heythrop Park Resort and Golf Club www.heythroppark.co.uk
Headland Amenity www.headlandamenity.com