Global Edition

Greg Evans Course Solutions paints a pathway to success at Bishop’s Stortford GC

10.03am 23rd May 2023 - Courses - This story was updated on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club’s members and guests are enjoying an elevated playing and practice experience at the popular Hertfordshire based-club following the successful implementation of a three-phase project of improvements guided by the expertise of leading agronomy consultancy Greg Evans Golf Course Solutions (GEGCS).

Appointed in 2019 to conduct an initial agronomy audit around the club’s playing surfaces, it was clear that alterations were necessary to improve the course’s playing conditions. As a result, GEGCS was commissioned on an advisory service to periodically visit the club and work alongside course manager Keith Rowley to roll out a course improvement and

maintenance plan. Keith has been at the club for over two decades, with the club now in the third phase of their course improvements.

Keith said; “I’ve been working with Greg Evans since 2019, it’s been an excellent process in moving the club forwards – not only in terms of course presentation but also in staff levels as we have gone from five full-time staff to our current complement of nine.”

“Greg has also helped with adding more machinery and, probably the most effective improvement of all, the installation of the new irrigation system. He knew his way around the system, which helped me to understand how it all worked. Greg has also had an influential role in a number of the new course improvements – especially with the grow-in on the new 4th green, plus with the two new 800sqm practice greens. On the three new greens Greg recommended using the cores from all the existing greens and the results have been fantastic.”

Course Improvement Plan – Phase 1
In conjunction with the agronomic work delivered, in 2021 GEGCS started the first phase of their course improvement which included installing a new tee on hole 3 and reconstructing hole 4 by moving the green a total of 20 metres – a follow on from a Master Plan that was previously outlined by architect Alan Walker.
One of the main reservations was that there would be delays in the reconstruction of hole 4, however GEGCS were pleased to deliver the project on time and as a result the hole re-opened on time in May 2022.

The new short game practice area opened earlier this month

Course Improvement Plan – Phase 2
Phase 2 commenced in the summer of 2022 and included installing a new 900m2 short game area with chipping zones, bunkers and a new 800m2 putting green. These opened for play in May 2023. In addition, the main course also required a new irrigation system, levelling the approach to the 5th green and adding new tees to holes 8 and 10.
Mark Ely, of Ely Golf Ltd, constructed this phase alongside Phase 1 with GEGCS overseeing all o the agronomy specifications for the build, working alongside Keith Rowley to oversee the grow in period.
For all green renovation work the ‘Poa Core’ method was used which has become popular in the UK over the last decade. This process includes hollow coring the course’s main greens, picking up the cores, laying them out on the new green, raking them in, and then overseeing with bent grass.As these cores are natural and indigenous to Bishop’s Stortford, germination is swift and the new greens look the exact same to the current greens albeit a little firmer due to the construction being predominately sand based.

The newly constructed 800m2 practice putting green

Course Improvement Plan – Phase 3
Phase 3 has already begun and will include work to hole 8’s pond area, bunker upgrades on the 6th and 16th greens complex, and even a new mound feature to the left of the 12th green.

Craig Greason, Chief Executive at Bishop’s Stortford, commented: “Appointing Greg Evans Golf Course Solutions to provide us with a clear vision for our agronomy work has been invaluable. Not only has their expertise and experience cut out any guesswork, but they’ve ensured every part of the project is delivered on time and to a world-class standard – something extremely important to our members.”

Evans said: “It has been a pleasure working with the club on this phase of projects. The workload has been intense and working alongside Keith and his team during the grow in phase has been very successful. The new 4th green has blended into the surrounding area very well and the new short game facility will be a fantastic new facility for the club and its members and visitors.”

Greg Evans

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