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Case Studies

Wimbledon Park Golf Club

Category: golf

Background:

Wimbledon Park Golf Club is an interesting and historic site. Originally part of a larger park designed by Capability Brown, it is a designated conservation area.

STRI has provided general agronomic advice to the club since 1997. Since 2014, we have undertaken multiple visits per year focusing on measuring and fine-tuning greens playing quality, in response to increasing expectations and demand for perfection from the members.

 

Wimbledon Park Golf Club

 

The challenges:

  • Heavy clay soil and course set in a valley next to a lake. Drainage is inherently poor and air movement and opportunity to dry out relatively low.
  • Compact site prone to concentrated wear.
  • Designated conservation area.
  • Course closes and becomes a carpark and hospitality site during Wimbledon tennis fortnight.
  • High member expectations.

The objectives:

  • To work with the course manager and greenkeeping team to provide the highest possible standards and maintain the course in optimum playing condition year-round.
  • To objectively measure greens performance on a regular basis to inform decision making.
  • To communicate findings to the membership so they appreciate the quality level achieved and also understand the need for further investment to meet their expectations.

The solutions:

  • Accurately and regularly measure greens performance in terms of pace, smoothness, trueness and firmness.
  • Accurately measure underpinning agronomic aspects such as moisture content, organic matter content through the profile, compaction and rooting depth.
  • Present the information in graph form to show trends over time.
  • Discuss the findings with the course manager and make suggestions as to how maintenance might be fine-tuned to make further improvement.
  • Highlight limitations of the soil based greens and support the need for drainage.

 

 

The Results

Greens playing quality has measurably improved and has also been extended over the year.

The course is known for having good greens in the main playing season.

Green speed and smoothness are some of the best recorded for parkland greens and frequently within tournament target.

Testing has highlighted the challenge of managing soil-based greens in wet conditions so that funds have been made available for drainage improvement works.

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