Head Greenkeeper Rob Peers explains how the weather affected the course in 2018 and details his plans for the next year.
January and February arrived with near record amounts of rainfall, with Siberian cold snaps that turned sodden ground into blocks of ice for weeks at a time.
There was no real growth rates for the grass plants until the end of April, spring was effectively a non-event and then it started, the hottest summer in 40 years, the dry weather exceeded 1976 and was more akin to 1961.
June started off as the hottest in 25 years, so we had to employ our water resources in the form of irrigation very early in the season (considering the wet winter!)
July saw the club’s first no smoking ban on the course as the grass became dehydrated and tinder dry.
The stream that supplies the irrigation had all but stopped running at the end of June beginning of July, (this I have never witnessed before). We hit records of heat with temperatures of over 26 degrees for more than 30 days.
But it was not all bad news as the hard ground conditions allowed us to move forward with other opportunities for the ongoing improvement on the course including the reconstruction of three tees.
The 12th green has seen a new tee constructed to make it look better and act as a better water defence.
There will also be renovation works on the 6th, 12th and 13th.
The unpredictable weather has demonstrated the importance of plant roots so we will be working on an aeration programme on all the turf to protect the course for the future.
About Hever Castle Golf Club:
It was in the 1920s that golf first featured on the estate when a private 9 hole course was built for 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 Astor’s 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.