Situated in the heart of the South Downs National Park, Pyecombe Golf Club is renowned for its excellent course and beautiful views of the Sussex Weald.
The 240-acre site, founded in 1894, is also home to an abundance of wildlife, as a result a key initiative within the club is to enhance and improve upon its natural fauna and flora with ecologically sound management practices.
When given the task of extending, rationalising and improving the existing golf tees on the 9th, it was therefore crucial to take environmental concerns into account.
Greenkeeper at Pyecombe Golf Club Simon Wells said, ‘Our focus on the environment contributed to our decision in using Earth Cycle’s Rootzone turf dressing; we always try to use local, sustainable and quality products on the course which are easily available. Even better was the knowledge that the turf dressing is peat free and recycled using local garden waste!’
The project brief was extensive and despite it being a downland course some of the smaller tees were unable to handle winter play and therefore unavailable during these months.
For the last few years, the Club has been working on a Course Development Policy, and a strategic aim within this is to address some of the challenges of maintaining play on all tees during the winter.
In order to achieve this, it was necessary to reconstruct existing tees that had limited playing area because they did not face the hole. The addition of a new rear tee for competitions was also part of the project brief.
The contractors began work with the removal of the old turf, the existing chalk subsoil was then salvaged as much as possible, in order to create the surrounds and new tee platforms. This was graded with a slight positive fall, allowing the Club to install the irrigation.
In keeping with the eco-friendly nature of this project, the Club chose to use a rootzone product from the Earth Cycle range.
Traditionally, compost contains peat harvested from peat bogs which destroys their fragile eco-systems which have taken millions of years to develop. This process also releases carbon into the atmosphere exacerbating global warming.
The Woodhorn Group provides an alternative; it’s range of Earth Cycle peat free compost and soil conditioners are made from locally sourced recycled plant materials that are composted under carefully controlled conditions to create high quality products.
To finish the project, 150mm of the nutrient-packed Earth Cycle rootzone was laid, consolidated and then laser graded. Following the soil amendments, the main areas were then turfed with County Turf and the outer surrounds were rough seeded.
Barry Pace of Speedcut Contractors said, “there are some big problems with sport aggregates at the moment and we were looking for an alternative high quality product which is when we found Earth Cycle’s Rootzone – it proved to be very good and we will definitely be using it again.”
The renovations to the new tees at the 9th will allow for all-year-round play at the Golf Club. Whilst the new medal tee has added more yardage as well as elevation, to give the golfer a better view of some of the surrounding holes – perfecting an already good golf hole.