Ryegrass at Trump

Added on September 23rd, 2013 by
Posted in Greenkeeping, New courses reviewed
trump international links plaque,

Trump 'Greatest' plaque

FineGolf, as it has done from the outset, wishes Mr Trump well and notes that both Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay have enjoyed increased visitor green fees this year, attributing this predominantly to the nearby Trump phenomenon of attracting golfers to North-East Scotland.

Calling into the Trump International site this August, I happened to be there on the very day they had an exhibition in support of their request for planning permission to construct a second course for which Martin Hawtree is again the retained designer. 

This also gave me the opportunity to discuss with those in charge their controversial policy of over-seeding the fairways. Apparently Donald Trump’s initial reaction to seeing the dark green-ness of the annual ryegrass-seeded fairways was positive, though it is thought with advice he may ultimately come to recognise that if he wants his “greatest course in the world” (see plaque) to be accepted as part of the modern retro-trend of the running game experience, the annual rye grass will need replacement with fescue/bent fine grasses. 

trump international links ryegrass fairways,

Annual ryegrass seeded 18th fairway

I was assured that the action of seeding annual ryegrass on the fairways and cutting it at only 6mm which gives them a whiteish hue, will ensure the more delicate fescues are protected in the first year, thereby allowing them to establish themselves and that the consequence of the annual ryegrass not being allowed to seed will be for it to then die back, permitting the fescues, (which are now being heavily over-seeded), to advance. 

I have talked to people of differing views as to whether this ‘process’ will work and we shall just have to wait and see, while something all are agreed upon was that the reason for going down this path arose from the course being opened for play too early and the fescue seeded fairways losing grass cover. The greens, which were turfed with browntop bent/fescue grasses, well in advance of course-opening, are doing well. 

The set-up of the green surrounds is also excellent with no fringes of higher cut grass, so one can ‘bump’ your run shots around the green across the aprons, though with many of the greens being raised with a gully in front, most longer approach shots need to carry to the green ‘thru the air’.  

trump international links

different grasses around 18th green

When I played Trump International before the over-seeding of the fairways, the colouring of all aspects of the course was a beautiful light green and in keeping with the natural duneland surroundings. Unfortunately the course is now ablaze with different levels of green and with sharp boundaries between the colours. This has created a man-made artificiality more in-tune with all those international ‘conurbation‘ courses built during the ‘target golf ‘ era of the 1980/90s, the one feature I suspect Martin Hawtree was trying to avoid.




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