With less than two weeks before the first competitive round, Golf Club St. Leon-Rot is nearing championship condition.
Preparations for The 2015 Solheim Cup commenced more than 3 years ago, with the programme of works currently culminating in the delivery of a world class golf course. Architectural improvements were completed last autumn when European Golf Design were appointed to redesign hole 18 and make adjustments to 13. The brief presented to Jeremy Slessor and Dave Sampson was to present strategic playing options for Solheim Cup and the membership of Golf Club St. Leon-Rot thereafter.
The course closed for routine play on the 17th of August allowing time for supplemental project work, rest and recuperation. This period also allows greenkeepers to maintain the golf course at the most agronomically appropriate time of the day.
From now until the event, many procedures and attention to detail tasks will deviate significantly from routine golf course maintenance. Such items include an increase in: data recording, frequency of cut and hand work to enhance accuracy and presentation.
Achieving tournament conditions for The 2015 Solheim Cup has been a challenge due to the harsh German winter and unforgiving heat experienced this summer. This July saw more than 20 days above 30º Celsius which is unprecedented for the region and caused severe stress to turf.
The agronomic focus over the coming weeks is to manage disease pressure, specifically Anthracnose and Dollar Spot which are currently a very high threat. In addition we are also faced with the task of accelerating the reinstatement of turf density post summer heat stress.
The advance week will see the commencement of directional mowing regimes for the purpose of presentation, which has become so important since the arrival of high definition television. Surface performance recording and the associated data are being utilised to make real-time decisions on agronomic conditioning which is essential to the set-up of the golf course.
Throughout preparations, Turfgrass are working closely with Peter Sauer – Head Greenkeeper, Steve Kavanagh – Tournament Director and Fanny Sunesson – Strategic Advisor to Team Europe Captain, Carin Koch.
We eagerly await the prize giving, hopefully on Sunday 20th September, after a European 3 in a row!