Night watering as part of drought management at the golf course

August 29 2018 | Golf

With water in short supply during the heatwave drought management at the golf course has seen the greenkeepers hand water at night to protect the course.

The water used to maintain the course at Hever Castle Golf Club comes from the pond at hole 11 which is made up of winter rain. There is a restriction imposed by the Environment Agency on how much is used by per day and per month as the site is on a live water course.

The golf course is then watered by a computer controlled irrigation system with 7 miles of pipework.

During the drought the greenkeepers have had to regularly repair the plastic pipework which has been cracking in the clay soil.

As water is in short supply during the drought the greenkeepers have reduced the amount of auto irrigation and moved to a system of hand watering at night via torchlight to target the grass.

The greenkeepers have also focussed their attention on the greens during the drought.

Annual planned maintenance of the course has been put on hold as the drill and fill and scarifying would put undue stress on the greens which were already coping with the prolonged drought.

The greenkeepers would also be unable to commit the amount of water needed to irrigate the greens after the treatment.

• It was in the 1920s that golf first featured on the estate when a private 9 hole course was built for owner William Waldorf Astor’s personal enjoyment in the grounds where today’s Championship Course lies north of the Hever lake. The golf course proved a valuable tool for the Astors to entertain friends, family and for business.

The original course survived until the Second World War when it was sadly abandoned during the war effort. The present day Championship Course was created in 1992 and the Princes 9 Hole Course opened in 1998.