What an incredible month July was for everyone associated with Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The praise that the course and the club received was very pleasing even though we had a very wet month of July with 4 inches of rain from the 10th-21st.
The 148th Open was an amazing experience which none of us will forget but for most of the Greenkeepers it was work as normal the next day be it a little bleary eyed.
It really is difficult to sum up the last month on the links with all that the Open has entailed.
Myself and the green staff feel very privileged to have been a part of what was a historic sporting event.
Here are some statistics of the event from a Greenkeeping perspective.
• Staff worked up to 235 hours for the week prior and the week of the Open
• Greens cutting teams racked up over 200Km each in the 8 days of course preparations
• 29 volunteers and 2 seasonal staff came from the UK, Ireland, Australia and the United States to assist the team.
We had a volunteer from each of the Open Venues, these volunteers were a great asset. They came for 2 weeks, slotted straight into our team and all did an exceptional job.
• There were an agronomy team of 4 for testing greens along with Alistair Beggs and myself who directed greens mowing to ensure consistency of green speed throughout the links.
• Our team were assigned their tasks which included
13 pedestrian greens mowers
10 Fairway and surround mowers
6 Tees mowers
2 Hole changing and painting
3 mowing bunker banks
6 bunker raking
8 Tidying & quality control
3 practice area preparation
1 Servicing and tidying tees
As well as additional work with contractors and any other requests from the R&A
The Team including volunteers for the Open Championship
Support equipment shipped from the UK and Ireland was made up of
5 Fairway mowers
13 Hand mowers
2 Triflex tees mowers
2 Sidewinder Trim/35mm cylinder mowers
10 Workman buggies
1 Towed blower
Various handheld blowers, strimmers and mowers from Husqvarna
We set the course up in the morning, and while some staff were able to go home there were some key staff such as Stephen Walker (RPGC mechanic) who worked through the day to adjust and prepare all of the equipment for the next shift.
In the evenings everyone returned for that shift which included
Mowing rough and trim
Mowing all practice ground areas and filling divots
Filling divots and repairing pitchmarks
R&A staff along with our hole changing team measuring and placing daily hole positions
Richard mowing the 14th green
Some great memories were made but it’s back to normal for the Greenkeepers along with some additional repair work to get the spectator areas back to normal and reinstate turf damaged by tented villages etc.