Posted by: westlancashirerecord | July 1, 2016

After Pandora’s Box Opened At Beacon Park Golf Club

After the disclosure of the destination of the landfill royalties pandora, Golf Club members vented their spleen on the condition of the golf course. Ditches and water hazards have no marker posts. All ditches need clearing out so water can run freely. They are, to quote one golfer, “overgrown and full of crap”. Greens need treating ie diseased and bare patches because of a lack of irrigation and weed and feed. Lack of manpower was a factor.

Mr Snaylam said last night that it costs Serco £500 every time they turn on the water for the greens. That’s the nature of golf courses, grass does need water to keep it green. Or maybe they should be called “browns”?

Mr Snaylam agreed to meet golf members on 14 July for a “greens” discussion. DIY golfers have offered to paint marker posts themselves? Two members will be providing the paint and labour.

Captain Tommy Jackson invited Leisure Trust chair Joan McNally to walk with him to inspect the new 9Hole course after the meeting. She declined his offer stating “not in these expensive shoes”. But after the meeting ended Mr Snaylam and his Serco maintenance manager went to inspect it 004 after which they admitted to the club captain and others that it was a mess and that they had not signed the work off yet. Just as well, it needs another topsoil makeover done professionally and paid for from royalties!

Some golfers spoke highly about another landfill course, Hart Common Golf Club hart1 Wigan Road, Westhoughton. The club is now “The number one rated course in the North West and also rated number four nationwide in the under £20 per round category. There is plenty of room on our course for you to stay in play and be rewarded for doing so. Miss our broad fairways and you will be in the rough, some of which is almost links like, thin wispy grab your club type, other areas it is just plain thick rough. Our greens are gaining a reputation for being some of the best around everybody enjoys putting on them. Bunkers and enhanced natural water hazards will keep you thinking about your golf all the way through your round. Club selection is not likely to be the same each time you visit as we are blessed with a breeze that rarely blows in the same direction or strength two days running! There has been a great deal of thought, work and effort that has gone into making sure our members and visitors are able to enjoy our course all year round. Come and enjoy a round soon”.

“It seems many people do, and for a landfill course done professionally it is remarkable. Described as “A complex remodelling project completed over an 8-year period using progressive infill/landfill to raise ground levels by up to 1.2m. 3 additional holes were built to facilitate members’ play during the project. Enhancements made included USGA Green and Tee construction, drainage improvements, additional out-of-play grassland, and a new irrigation pond. Substantial local employment was created during the prolonged construction period”. hartcomclub

“EIGCA the “European Institute of Golf Course Architects” who did the work report that “In 2002 we were asked to submit a planning application to import some 500,000m3 of fill and the income generated would be used to upgrade the course. From a management viewpoint however the problem to be addressed was to retain an 18 hole playing facility so that the membership was not unduly affected. To this end 3 more holes were added and a complicated arrangement of 18 hole layouts was designed so that there was always a golf course available for the membership”.

“The infill material hartcommonlandfill has not been used to create a completely new “golfing” landscape. Rather the material has been used to raise the levels of the site by some 1.0/1.2 metres across the site. On a site of 150 plus acres raising the contours by this amount is barely recognisable. The greens and tees have all been redesigned properly to USGA specification and the fairways drained. The project lasted for some 8 years and whilst there have been inevitable difficulties with maintaining an 18 hole course and sourcing fill material nevertheless the membership have generally stayed loyal to the club and are now beginning to reap the rewards of that loyalty. Green fees are now up on pre construction figures and some members who did leave at the beginning of the project have returned. There still remains some outstanding works but the club can now see the final product.

“With the use of fill material the Hart Common G.C. now has a long term future. There is no doubt that the original course would have folded within a couple of years had extensive alterations not been undertaken. The golf course is now economically viable and sustainable. The greens are of a standard fescue/bent mix with a high percentage of rye in the fairways. Large areas of the course have reverted to grassland requiring minimal maintenance and the course is run with only 3/4 greenkeepers. Irrigation water is taken from an on site pond with water harvested during the winter months as well as from a network of recently installed drainage pipes. Only greens and tees are irrigated.

“It has to be said that the idea of sustainability was not to the forefront when this project began but with the use of local labour, control over materials, and a realization of where the golf course would be marketed locally once finished have provided the framework for the whole development. Money has not been wasted in trying to set the golf course beyond its natural market and that is why the membership and green fee paying public have largely stayed loyal to the project”. Whoops, forgot to mention they have a real driving range hartcomrange5…fancy that!

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