Open Championship

We had a brilliant 2 days at Royal Birkdale viewing course setup in the mornings and evenings. 

Andy Barr, who is one of our full-time, qualified Greenkeepers has travelled over to Birkdale and worked for 2 weeks to assist and also gain valuable tournament experience. Andy is on Rickie Fowlers right.

The Course is in super condition and I’m sure all of the team are proud of their efforts. 

All the very best of luck to Chris Whittle, Rob and the team for the remainder of the week. 

North of Ireland Amatuer Championship

Players couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions this week for the North of Ireland Amatuer Championship.

Qualifying scores over the Dunluce and Valley links have been quite varied but Caolan Rafferty was best qualifier on -10 par for the 2 rounds and carded a magnificent -7 par over the new Dunluce layout. 

Both courses were played from the medal positions but for the remainder of the week Dunluce is set up from all Championship tees, bar the new 7th.

Green staff have been working hard from 5am preparing the courses for play this week.

All surfaces have been mown daily with greens also ironed. 

Dunluce greens were stimping at 10′ at the beginning of the week and 10′ 5″ this morning.

The weather forecast is favourable for the rest of the week with some light breeze for the final on friday. 

Irish Open

Beautiful day for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club. 

Justin Rose pictured walking down the 18th.

Best of luck to the players and to all involved at Portstewart Golf Club for the final day tomorrow.

Newly refurbished half way hut

The halfway hut will re-open tomorrow, following a complete renovation. 

Wilma has had contractors working evenings and weekends to get everything finished in time for Captains day on Saturday.

The renovation has been completed in less than 4 weeks with all but the 4 walls replaced. The tin roof has been replaced with a rosemary tile roof to match the clubhouse and starter building, mains power has been added and a complete refurb inside the building to update but still retain character and tradition.

Here is the work in stages

Causway Stones

The Causway stones will start to go back out on Dunluce again tomorrow after re-engraving with new hole information. These all had to be changed due to new holes, new tees and change of indices.

Work can now start making adjustment to the Valley stones which will be quicker to complete.

Lots happening on the course this week

This week, aside from Open week on the Valley Links, another busy week on Dunluce and preparations for Lady Captains day on the Valley, we have been putting the finishing touches to the 2 new holes for Dunluce in advance of opening next weekend.

Representatives from the R&A and STRI have been walking Dunluce for the last 2 days assessing course setup for the 2019 Open Championship. 

The aim of the visit was to view progress and establishment of the Course changes and also to view all playing surfaces and cutting detail from a Championship perspective. The visit was very positive,  with very little to change from a maintenance perspective and credit was given to all of the greens staff for their hard work through the construction and grow in period.

PRH, who recently constructed the new greenkeeping facilities have been working hard on renovating the 9th hut (halfway house). With a very tight deadline of next weekend they are making good progress and have had 5 men on site for the last 2 days to ensure completion. 

The new bunker to the right of the 7th had its final prep before opening next week. Slightly smaller than “Nellie”…Wee Nellie maybe?

Once open, players will notice an area left of the new 8th approach which is surrounded by post and chain. This is an environmentally sensitive area which is one of the rarest in the U.K. and Ireland. lichen, orchids and other wild flowers dominate the impoverished soil and it is important that trollies and carts do not pass enter.