[Applause] welcome to the course reports on site your real-deal inside look into professional golf venues around the world and when I say around the world I mean the 148 Open Championship Northern Ireland and royal Portrush Golf Club on this episode we're gonna speak to course manager Graeme beef and he's gonna give us the inside scoop on links golf here at royal Portrush Golf Club we're gonna talk fine fescues embedded bunkers firm fairways firm greens we're bringing it to you link style I'm Curtis Tyrell certified golf course superintendent master green keeper I'm here to give you the smooth and true facts it's time to get on the green Northern Ireland style it's time for the course reports on site royal Portrush golf club was first formed in 1888 and they inaugurated the Irish Open Championship in 1892 in 1929 Harry Colt laid out the dunluce Lakes the home to the 148 Open Championship their second Open Championship the last one being in 1951 a true links golf course is one that is actually close to the scene highlighted by sand dunes sandy soils Marin and fescue grasses well I'm here with Graeme beat course manager at royal Portrush Golf Club Graham thanks so much for having us out thanks for coming you are two weeks away from the biggest tournament in golf how're you feeling I'm quite relaxed actually more than more than I thought we would be I think all of us are quite comfortable with the course a sight from our course changes you know we're not doing anything really differently to the way we would normally maintain the golf course for our members and our visiting golfers and so that side of things hasn't been that difficult so we're quite happy right so day-to-day what you're saying is that the standard for you and your team and the club is a Open Championship quality we try our best yeah well we try our best what type of fescues are you seating in here we would use a mixture of chewings slender red creep and fescue and yeah we we would just see it as often as we can really often through the season will use a dimpled cedar so we might only get two or three seeds in each hole whereas the end the autumn and the spring if we get the opportunity will solid tighten with the pro core but we'll just turn the titans over and use the blunt end okay and then you can get eight or nine or ten seeds in each hole right and then we usually get really good establishment after that we've sort of started to use more and more wetting agents over the years we started using revolution on greens and now we use revolution throughout the whole Golf Course just seems to be a good one for links and that's definitely made a difference to plant health and so even this of color we you know we would generally get too much sort of muscling or uneven surface and it also helps with fairy ring which is an issue for every links golf course well one of the things that you're gonna see when watching the Open Championship this week at Worldport rush it's something that we call fairy ring it's these darker green circles kind of in the irregular patterns and size throughout the golf course it's common to find these on links golf courses but really they're all on all golf courses they're into golf courses in the United States but on different grasses than the fescue that they're growing here they don't show up as much and sometimes in the United States we can do things because of the grasses we have to mash them more but here in the UK and Northern Ireland on fine fescue fairways like this they don't want to apply a lot of fertility because the turf doesn't need it so these fairy rings are actually microscopic mushrooms under the turf in the soil that are decomposing organic matter and releasing nitrogen which causes these dark green circles so links golf courses are known for not having any trees on them and royal Portrush doesn't have any trees on the golf course but here on the fourth hole on the south side the course is bordered by a big row of trees which really create some interesting challenges for the guys managing the turf here there's extra shade it stays colder sometimes they have frost and so this one little microclimate all set up by these trees creates a real unique issue and something different than they have on the whole rest of the golf course so Paul we have beautiful fine fescue t2 green into the rough it's just gorgeous what's it like to manage it from an input standpoint it's actually very very easy feschi doesn't really like many nutrients are much much input it's just a matter give it a little and often but just enough to really keep it alive mm-hmm and we find if we over feed the fescue then pull our other grasses start to really sort of dominate at the sward so it doesn't like too much fertilizer no it doesn't like too much fertilizer and it doesn't really knit don't say it doesn't like water but it doesn't need a lot of water you can't keep it on the edge and keep all the grasses out why let because it's deep-rooted it can survive the fescue doesn't take an awful lot of management and the biggest issues we have our areas like this that are quite narrow that take a lot where establishment and repair take such a long time if you have a damaged area or an area you've reached it takes so long for it to blend in with the rest of the Golf Course right and you can be talking three or four years what what happens when the wind starts blowing how does the fescue react and in terms of the way it tightens up and firms up well fescue it's sort of its Aeneid of grass that grows here in our sound June's anyway on a peak go right back to to be a six it's party truck as it tends to rule itself even tighter so it doesn't lose any moisture and then can survive and it's very very deep-rooted so when you get a lot of wind and a quite dry well air our greens tend to speed up through the day as opposed to grow on the fescue does sort of it tightens itself and really rules and that eight or leaf which means it's getting a there's less friction on the on the leaf because it's so fine it goes like a needle and if it goes really really dry it could go dormant and just it just looks like it's dead it just it's not actually dead and then as soon as the Rian's come as long as it doesn't go too far as soon as the Rian's come again it starts to green up right so you can sort of see how you can use that to your advantage and if you're looking rid of boa or trying to thin hypoa because you can sort of play with the fescue and give it just enough that you're stressing the poor but keeping the feschi alive paul the conditioning of the fairways is just really unbelievable they're so firm the lies are so tight and the movement through them is just unbelievable the shaping and the mouths I mean the ball is gonna bounce and roll all over the place oh it definitely hits gonna you could hit a good a reasonable drive up the middle of a fairway and get a off one of the I'm gonna end up maybe even in a bunker that got over in the side it's I think the person who went in here I'll definitely have patience look at this rough over here I mean you've got two cuts which what do you call this cut we call this the trim okay I never got the salmon off and then just jungle what do you mo the true mo the tremens of 35 and then your Sammy's at 65 and then nothing really just leave that that's whom devices and so this is all still the same fescue grasses yeah then once we move out into the ruff yeah we've got all kinds of stuff yeah you got I hear you've got crested dog's tail you've got Timothy you've got bent you could fescue you've got Burnitz Roos you've got orchids you've got everything in there Under the Sun it's just everyone seems to think it's all fast you and I are off our mahram grass but it's a whole mixture of all sorts of stuff in there one of the unique things to all links golf course and particularly here at royal Portrush is how firm the surfaces are being built on sand dunes it's just rock hard surfaces from tee the fairway to green so you're gonna see guys playing the bump and run in ground game all throughout the week with as firm as these fairways are and all the humps and bumps going on out here the ball is surely gonna be bouncing in a lot of interesting places in particular into this rough it's only four paces from the edge of the fairway to some real trouble well I'm here on number five T 374 yard par-4 and this is the opportunity for the players to really take a risk with Ward and try to go for the green if they get the right wind they might have a shot at it with his firm as the ground is gonna be there is some trouble out there with some deep bunkers on either side of the fairway so Graham and Paul and the rest of the team they're having to manage all kinds of details as they run up to the Open Championship and one of them is this all the professionals are starting to show up to play their practice rounds and they'd like to hit five six balls from different locations and in some of these swales where balls are gonna collect if they were able to practice down here with five or six balls they'd tear it up right before the championship so Graham and the guys have quarantine these areas off as well as some of the championship tees so they're ready for the tournament days you know one of the things that's really unique about links golf and I know everybody and the United States loves it is what we call sod wall bunker but what do you call this kind of one riff happen but okay yeah it's just I suppose that's what we've always called it you guys have always called it the solid well hungry right and so so what what are we looking at specifically from the sand lined up it's upside down stacked turf but the likes of that bunker there if we were to start again and do that bunker ghee and you'd put all the sound away knock the fierce off take it away and then find a nice level firm foundation maybe two three feet underneath where you seen I and then just stock it upside down a bit maybe it depended on your fall if you want a steep wall you build it quite quite close together if you want it to fall back you through the turf further back like a staircase steep or or shallow and then you stack them on top of one another and I've rec work pattern and and the the turf that you use when you do build one is there a particular type that you you try to find or a supplier or certain that you need a good quality we prefer to use your own turf you buy in turf it's not mature enough you're almost looking for a layer of will say thatch but like fescue gives you a matte almost like thatch on top and it's quite weary so if you got our sword you could you could barely tear it in half if you tried with your bare hands you're looking for that to give you that strength and it's not spongy either so you're looking mystery for a mature fescue turf your continent maybe an inch to two inches thick depending on what type of wall you're trying to build and that that's the sort of thing we're after the sand that is in these bunkers is native to the site yeah it's that's our own sound just wind blowing sound up in the jins' and we've an area we can go to and and remove that sound and uses 2cm sound are used for top dress and greens fairways in the bunkers and the beauty of that is then when you do get wind blowin or sound splash onto the green it's exactly the same material that the greens are miedo if I'm not wear top dress and wet see you've got no root breaks no compaction s using often with royal Portrush golf club has got at all I mean this is a links golf course of all links golf courses whether it's the classic rivetti bunker or some serious elevation change this bunker right here is some 40 feet below the surface of this green and let me tell you what you don't want your ball rolling backwards on this one well like we've been saying this Lynx is anything but flat and here on number 17 they hit a good long drive and catch this downslope they got a shot to hit the green so these greens are just looking so good Graham I mean going into the tournament what are you hoping for in terms of the way the ball is gonna roll yes smoothness trueness I don't think we're gonna be able to get them too fast the greens are quite sloppy tends to be quite windy here so I think they'll be cautious on that side of things sure I'd say maximum speed of ten and a half yeah we're at 4.25 mil at the moment and we might go down to four but I don't think we'll go lower than that any double cutting or rolling or anything potentially really depends on the weather well the color too is amazing so you know what do you use is kind of your your mix if you will do to push color and just generally feed the plant you need to feed it waivered Jews generally speaking it's fairly basic we would use a bit of ammonia we would use see we'd use a little bit of iron was really sort of old-school pop right it seems to work for us and it works for our turf over the greens the greens are sand based we've got them farmer and farmer over the last few years we've been applying a lot more top dressing so we've been applying 150 tonnes a hectare it's such a sustainable environment you know the grasses are low input on the scale of grasses that we grow and you talk about table dressing so what's and you used to talk to us we have our own supply of gin sand wind blowing gin signs so it's clean we don't run it through a screener or anything we just put it straight in the top dresser just right off the site yeah yes it's the best son that we could use for the site you know it's our own it's the same as what we have in the in the root zones already so it works really well well this is this is one of the best greens in the golf course not just botanically but also the ships on it it's probably only about 400 square yards but three-quarters of that is only utilized because everything around like an alternate upturn saucer if you go up short you fall off the front if you miss it left or right you fall off to the side and the big bunker that side and if you go off the back again you've almost an impossible shot back up with the ball could come back to you again sir and these fall off sarn't short I mean these know 3040 feet yeah yeah that's a big heel and even worse down deny with a golf ball with any kind of backspin on it you could be 20 30 feet away and maybe 10 foot below I'm faced with a similar shot of the ball even you play a high shot it's coming in almost low when it lands so and then you can run the risk of falling off the other side again as well let's talk about green speeds on the fine fescue here royal Portrush fine fescue is maintained at a little bit higher high to cut in the grass as we maintain on the putting greens back in the United States it needs less fertility it doesn't like a lot of heat and it doesn't like a lot of aggressive mowing so therefore you know it's not necessarily as fast on a stint meter 9 or 10 out here though could feel like 12 with the way the wind whips with all the movement in these greens and his firm is this stuff is going to get and actually already is it's really just about being smooth and true and that's the way these greens really are rolling already this is number 16 236 yards par-3 called calamity corner on the scorecard but the members just call it the calamity and you can see why with this wind blowing and a tight match on Sunday this is gonna be a fun aw little watch so we're here on number 70 and this is one of the new ones you did right that's right that's right mark Denis Burt's a architect and so we had two holes in here previously what was the process of passing these homes like from the fairways and the roughs and stuff like that we had some small fairies in there already two greens obviously we stripped those for it to use on other parts of our construction we used to strip the fairways as well to use on other other areas once it was completely stripped we took off the roots or screened all of that and then re spread it once the hole was shaped and then we whole chord and we spread the cores on the fairways and collected up all the cores and spread them down on the fairways and seeded through the top of those okay and rolled them all in and just kept them watered the idea of that was when we gained a little bit more its own by doing that for one and then the other thing was just to try and get a blend of grasses that matched what we had on the existing course so some of those holes have been there from a hundred years plus what was it like going to seeing the course go through the changes that it went through tell us a little bit about that experience as it was understood that's the first time you ever seen a copper holes being bolt from scratch you know what I think it's the angle T was a great change to the course and it's just it was nice to help those ideas wherever that's so vile smears and what they can reduce from just till her goal holes and turn on a tune you go for the nose but that's just that was a creative team they were welcome you mentioned that you've been here through some other tournaments but when you heard that the Open Championship was coming that had to kind of raise the bar just a task and then all the sleeveless GMAC magma as well it's just a stand the cake it's been nice just been creaking appears ready with older fellows you know what to get it ready for meal and broiler just as just tasting the cake but it's gonna be a great week yeah see see you have a particular interest in this opened and and you know how's Graham hitting the ball and how's everybody feeling in this well say I played with him Monday there huh I think he's having those good as I've ever seen him have that as well he's just full of Copeland's again I say it's to get her back PGA Tour as well and then also do a dud the Gannet open it's just full of cones again I'm say is happening a ball well so I think he's yeah hangs I'm from a bike jumper that's quite nice to be the green keeper here and my own brother right plan Oakland that's sort out or in a speedo it's a it's gonna be a great atmosphere you know this the seating at Roper rush there's just over 14,000 seats which isn't the biggest the course naturally has a lot more sort of viewing areas and because it's quite hilly obviously they'll be following tiger but well course manager Graham beat and his team have royal Portrush Golf Club and absolutely pristine condition the 148th Open Championship is set to be one of a kind don't miss any of the action from Northern Ireland and thank you for watching the course reports on site you can catch all of our shows and podcasts on the course of course comm YouTube and anywhere that you get your podcast don't forget to subscribe this episode is brought to you by Dave Thompson's organic healthy growth and healthy grow professional brand fertilizers it's sustainable it's organic it's best-in-class find it at a retailer near you or online at healthy grow calm slash green the way it's made matters healthy grow calm slash green

The Course Reports ON SITE – The Open Championship 2019 Royal Portrush Golf Club

42 thoughts on “The Course Reports ON SITE – The Open Championship 2019 Royal Portrush Golf Club

  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Curtis, Nick has been encouraging me to watch your podcast. Just watched your Royal Portrush episode and loved it. I can promise you I won't miss another!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Really enjoyed it, thanks so much!!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    I'm a member at St. Andrews and I wish they held it here every 5 years instead of at The Old Course which is no longer good enough for a major so often, or maybe at all.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    the biggest tournament in golf? no, that would be the one we just had in pebble beach, california, last month.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Hi — please let us build you ROKU and AMAZON TV Channels from your content 200 million by next year, www.rokudeveloper.com

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Like where this channel is headed. So let's get going! 😁

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Such an amazing video…wish I would have found this sooner…well done

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Great video. Amazing golf course! Lots of trouble around the greens. As usual the Open will favor those who can get a feel for the greens and control the spin on approach shots. The Open and the Masters, my two favorite events!!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Lord, I pray for four days of non-stop howling winds, bitingly cold temperatures, and incessantly diagonal rain!!! Please, no -20 par winning scores please. Amen.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    6:47 I thought they are walking on the green 🙂

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Fantastic looking Golf course! Good thing it's so remote, otherwise it would be overrun in summer like some of the Scottish links.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Instead of holding it at the boring St.Andrews every five years they should come back to Portrush more often.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    It's not RIVETTED, it's REVETTED.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Welcome to Northern Ireland this will be the best OPEN ever enjoy our wee country to everyone from all over the world and enjoy the CRAIC as we say

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Love the content! Keep them coming!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    So the old homes used a similar arrangement of thatching for their rooves ?
    Love the simplicity of this course management.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Please make it tough, bring that rough into the fairway and make them take something else off the tee than a driver.?

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Beautiful course.
    Needs more trees, I imagine there were many more in the old days ?
    Shame you can't get some nice tee boxes and greens on those cliffs ?
    Has anyone ever played a course where every single hole was memorable ? that's a course I would play for ever.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Fantastic loved it

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    What a great insight on the course! Thanks!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Best thing to do before a big tourney is watch your show, for real.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    when the 2019 open starts this course will be soaken wet just like every other golf tournament and it will be target golf and quite boring. wait and fucking see

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    One of the best course previews

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Well done, great interviews

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    What a course!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Love links golf. I've had the pleasure of playing about a dozen courses in Ireland although none in Northern Ireland. Can play a course every day and every day it's different. A ball landing two feet from where it landed yesterday can result the next shot to be totally different from what it was the day before. Just hope there is some wind and a little rain wouldn't hurt either. This is going to be fun to watch!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Love this report – as someone who loves a green sward in my garden I love the detail on the management of the grasses etc. I've played Portrush probably half a dozen times and for me it is by a distance the best course I have played – and that was before the positive changes to the course recently. The old 17th and 18th did not Iive up to the rest of the course so it is great that they have been replaced with the new layout. I am up on Wed and Thurs for the Open. I see the wind isn't too be that strong which is a shame – but still hoping that the course can provide a good challenge to the world's best players.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    To work at this beautiful Royal Portrush Golf Club would be my dream career in my second life.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    This is a fascinating topic and should be of great interest to all golfers,sadly ruined by the crap music playing too loud in the background.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    looks like the windiest day will be the Thursday but a different wind direction each day"

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    10.5 on the stimp, USGA take note…

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    I LOVE THESE VIDEOS!!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Great video, as a former Greenskeeper turned PGA Professional 30 years ago I think your content is wonderful. All the best.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Really good stuff here guys, thanks

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    There is no way the manager is not doing more to maintain the course this year than others – members have to been alloed to play off fairways since last november. WHat is he talking about?

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    "Obviously they'll be following Tiger" you're damn right

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    I love this content. Just love it

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Sick 18th hole with the crowd.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    True spectacular golf course. The undulation, bunkers n the layout. Gets rewarded with a good shot n penalise with a bad shot

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Wonderful course. Hope the wind blows

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  • July 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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    Your show continues to expand my knowledge of the sport I love. Thanks Course Reports!

    Reply

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