is a relatively new course in that it was built in the early 1990’s. Originally a 9 hole, relatively short course (2000 yards), it was purchased by Neil Burke in 2007 along with an adjacent 100 acres of land to extend the facilities into an 18 hole golf course. Because of changing soil conditions around the course, the type of seed mixture required careful consideration and guidance that John Hughes, Technical Support at DLF/Johnsons Sports Seeds, was called upon to give.
“There was a vast variation of soils on the site over woodland and fairways,” said John, “and the chosen mixtures were modified to cope with these different soil types. Some were lower nutrient soils, and in some areas there where high shade levels.”
Contour Golf was involved with the construction work at the course, who had luckily worked very closely with John Hughes in the past. John and Ingrid Eichler of Contour Golf strove to get the best results for the site. Together they settled on seed recommendations to cope with the existing soil profile, as well as that of the imported soil (often local) in the new areas of the site. Where the greens construction was concerned bespoke rootzones were specified so high quality greens mixtures were utilised. These greens mixtures were composed of top rated fescues and bents including Cezanne slender creeping red fescue and Manor fine leaved bent.
In addition, a woodland fairway mixture was required where higher shade levels were experienced. No one mixture was selected for the course – not even for all the greens or all the fairways. The fairway mixtures incorporated Dickens perennial ryegrass for initial establishment and durability. Also within these mixtures was the top rated strong creeping red fescue Rossinante and Manetto hard fescue.
The roughs mixture was chosen to provide a low maintenance fine fescue sward with low nutrient demand. The inclusion of sheeps fescue (Quatro) provided a contrast to the manicured fairways with a naturalistic visual appeal.
“This was truly a bespoke job,” explained Ingrid, “but within the DLF stable are cultivars to suit all requirements so it was just a case of selecting the most appropriate ones to get the best results for the job. John and I have been so pleased with the outcome and meeting Neil’s expectations.”
The finished complex will boast an 18 hole course; a 9 hole junior short course; a floodlit driving range and a fitness suite together with clubhouse facilities. So far the 18 hole golf course is finished with 9 holes currently open and playing, a combination of the front and back holes, with the full 18 scheduled to be fully operational by the end of this year. The 9 hole short course is virtually done so once these are fully grown they will focus on the other elements of the expansion. Neil expects, and hopes for, completion in late 2016.
Horsham Golf Club www.horshamgolfandfitness.co.uk
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