Major investment plans revealed for championship golf course in St Andrews
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The Duke's - the heathland championship venue overlooking the ‘Home of golf’ - will carry out the work over the next two years.
The initial investment, totaling £1.7 million, is the first phase of a two-year plan that will enhance The Duke’s overall offering - from the Championship golf course and practice areas to the clubhouse facilities.
Course works start at the end of this golf season and will run through until nextSpring. By April, the course will have undergone “meticulous sand banding and sand slitting work” to achieve “optimal playing conditions”, improving The Duke’s ability to handle adverse weather.”
Derek Robson, head greenkeeper, said: “The completion of our drainage and irrigation system upgrades will mean golfers can expect even better playing conditions and ensures The Duke’s is in keeping with the collection of Kohler Championship courses that includes Whistling Straits.
“Golf is a year-round sport. The change in the infrastructure for both drainage and irrigation will allow us to handle adverse weather more effectively and to provide the opportunity to keep improving our playing surfaces - improvements that will benefit members and visitors alike.”
Derek has played a key role in pulling the project together and has enjoyed a working relationship with R&A Agronomist, Gordon Howat.
He added: “Sand banding, a process involving the installation of narrow sand bands within the soil profile, will enhance drainage, prevent waterlogging, and ensure better stability under changing weather conditions. This improvement will reduce the risk of water accumulation and encourage firm, fast, ‘ball on ground’ golf.”
Sustainability also lies behind the investment plan. The enhancement of the iirrigation system will enable precise control over water distribution, ensuring that the greens, fairways, and all other areas receive an “optimal amount of moisture needed for healthy turf growth”.
Ayden Roberts-Jones, Duke’s manager, said: “We are delighted to announce this investment. It underpins our core vision to be the standout Heathland Championship venue in Scotland.”
The Duke's, St. Andrews remains open for play during the improvement works. The project is anticipated to commence in early November.