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Preparation pays off for Meldrum House
May 12, 2011

The carefully manicured greens and fairways at Meldrum House Country Hotel near Aberdeen are a sight to behold in the spring sunshine, but according to the golf course and estate grounds manager at the four-star resort, the remarkable condition of the course is the upshot of months of preparation which began in October last year. In fact, Kenneth Harper believes after a long hard winter, this is the best pre-season preparation he and his team have overseen.

Following the coldest December in 120 years and one of the snowiest in living memory, he says he is pleased with how the course has emerged from the harsh conditions. "I would have preferred to have had less time under snow, although saying that we prepared really well and now the course is coming along nicely," he said. "Considering the amount of snow we've had, I am happy with the condition of the greens. It's probably one of the best preparations we've had."

With the first snow falls arriving in November and not clearing until February, the Aberdeenshire parkland course had plenty to contend with over the winter months. "Although the snow came in November, we had watched the weather very closely and were able to protect the greens against disease. Snow creates a micro-climate so the surface of the green is quite warm. It almost works as an electric blanket and the diseases just love that. You could have disease thriving and you wouldn't know about it until the snow disappears and then you see how badly the greens have been scarred. Fortunately for us, our greens came out looking great."

Andy Burgess, head of operations and development at the award-winning Meldrum House Country Hotel, agrees: "The course looks in fantastic condition, which is great for the season ahead," he noted. "We're hosting the Northern Open and will no doubt have spin offs from the Walker Cup, so it's going to be busy. Having a course in A1 condition is a great asset and I take my hat off to Kenny and the boys who worked their socks off during the winter months."

The praise follows an intense period of work for the green-keeping staff at Meldrum. As well as contending with the testing conditions, the team also rebuilt a number of bunkers and improved drainage around various tee sites. There was also a continuation of an eco drive that started last year with the opening of a new greenkeeping centre designed specifically to slash the resort's fuel bills. This principle was continued during the winter months when the team introduced recycled materials into the resort's drainage system. As well as reusing waste materials, the new system also helps improve drainage around the greens.








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