Aug 19 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
BLAIRGOWRIE Golf Club is pulling out all the stops to ensure that its reputation as a heather-fringed course endures, writes PA Sport’s Gordon Bannerman.
Over many years, the heather at the Big County club has been receding and becoming less of a feature than many remember.
It is a problem on various courses nationally, with experts pinpointing causes for heather recession which include trolleys and buggies being driven or pulled through and over the heather, thoughtless tramping and hacking at the heather, and possibly the most contentious, an increase in the number of golfers who hit the ball with a slice short and right, or less often a hook short and left, which results in wear and tear to the foliage in these areas of the courses.
Managing secretary Douglas Cleeton said: “The club is known worldwide as having heathland courses and it is intended to regenerate much of the heather that has long since receded.
“To assist with this there will be consideration given to less cutting of areas where young heather is growing, allowing established heathers to grow to a greater height with a progressive cutting regime every five to six years, re-seeding of heathland areas of the course with heather seed harvested from our own plants and restrictions on access to areas where re-seeding has taken place by low stakes/rope which will be declared GUR.”
Members are being requested not to take a trolley or a buggy into heather.
“Clearly, thick heather can also be detrimental to golfers, affecting the pace of play and players’ score, where golf balls are difficult to find, so the management of heather in general is being carefully planned in order that the appearance of the courses are heathland, yet fair,” said Douglas.
There is no joining fee for under 30s at Blairgowrie and the fee has been halved for other potential new members.