Hamilton GC doubles up on Terra Spikes

Hamilton Golf Club has invested in a second Wiedenmann Terra Spike deep aerator to target extra depth to 40 cm on its fairways.

The Lanarkshire course was among the first clubs in Britain to purchase the original Wiedenmann Terra Spike GXi8 HD when it was launched in 2010.

Course Manager, Neil Hogg, said: “We’ve no complaints. Our GXi8 HD still does us proud. It’s booked for a thorough service, then will work exclusively on greens.

“The XP purchase is about performance and a change of tack. I had one at my previous club, so I know it is the best on the market; it goes deeper with scope for more heave.”

A beautiful parkland course designed by James Braid, Hamilton is in the enviable position of having a three year wait list for prospective members.

“Ours is such a busy course. We take a lot of foot traffic across all seasons. That’s why we need to give the fairways every opportunity to recover,” he continued.

“Historically, they have always been wetter than desired. This past decade has seen marked improvements. Now we want to go a step further, to keep them as dry as we can.

“Rather than going frequently with aeration at a shallower depth, I’d much prefer to hit further down, less often, nearer to 40 cm, and vary amounts of heave. We’ll also target aprons and potentially tees for the same…

“The XP goes a bit slower than the GXi8, but we have all winter to do what we need.”

Neil joined Hamilton in December 2022 from a similar post at Bruntsfield Links Golf Society, Edinburgh. As well as Wiedenmann aerator, his ‘new shed’ contains a Wiedenmann Super 500 and a Core-Recycler.

“Time has flown. Aside from the continuous programme of maintenance to keep the surfaces dry and open via scarifying and aeration, we’ve been busy on many fronts. We are almost finished a bunker refurbishment… all the greenside bunkers have been fully lined and in October, we start the second and final phase, repositioning, remodelling, and lining the fairway-side bunkers. A practice area refurbishment launches through the winter with new targets and nets, new driving bays and a covered range.

“Increasingly, we are going down the sustainability route, trying to reduce our footprint. We now have between 70,000 and 100,000 honeybees at the top end of our site, huge progress since we only welcomed the first batch of 7,000 in March.

“In time, we will get to some of the bigger projects on my list like GEO Certification, which I’ve done before. My way is to try innovatively to seek solutions. You can always be creative with everyday tasks to make little incremental differences.

“For example, after hollow coring our tees, green and aprons, the cores are retained. We identify spruce trees alongside whose protruding roots have the potential to become trip hazards. The pulped cores are spread with topsoil added; it doesn’t take long for new grass to be established in those previously bare areas and the tree roots are better protected and more pleasingly presented.

“I think it’s much better to try new things and always be seen to be finding a way forward.”

Rob Hogarth, Regional Sales Manager at Wiedenmann UK’s Scottish dealer, Fairways GM, provided before and after sales support to Neil and his greenkeeping team of eight.