Why Do Course Works Take Place During Peak Season?

If you've ever wondered why greenkeepers often carry out renovation work in summer, here are the reasons...

A greenkeeper aerating the greens at a golf course in Ipswich
(Image credit: BIGGA)

The sight of greenkeepers carrying out work on your local course during peak season can often be met with a degree of annoyance. Up there with seeing greenkeepers laying sand on putting surfaces, even. After all, that's what the winter months are for, right?

Well, there is method to the madness. If members, particularly at parkland courses, are willing to have a little patience, some short-term pain can deliver long-term benefits, as Wallasey Golf Club Course Manager John Mcloughlin told us when we spoke to him.

He said: "On links courses, the likes of Wallasey, you can be less disruptive generally speaking because the drainage is so good. So you don't build up an awful lot of organic matter. A lot of parkland courses generally do a renovation to greens in August and the reason for this is the recovery is so quick. 

"So doing a hollow core and a heavy dressing and a scarify in August on a parkland course, that would take two weeks to repair before it came back to normal. Whereas if you did an aggressive operation out of peak growth - so if you did it in October or even March - it could take 6-12 weeks to recover. So it makes sense. 

"It’s sort of short-term pain for long-term gain where you could do it out of season but the recovery is so much slower. Then you'd have a lot longer of a recovery and poor green surfaces. So it does make sense for a lot of courses to carry out their renovations in August."

Additionally, August, especially in the UK, is approaching the tail-end of the summer months and is typically a time when a lot of families head abroad to soak up some sun before hunkering down as the temperatures drop in the latter part of the year. This gives greenkeepers a chance to save on labour amid the crisis of rising costs in the industry.

"I think at a lot of private members' golf clubs, August is when a lot of people go on holiday with their families. So notoriously it isn't a heavy month in the golfing fixture. Generally, when I was at Warrington, August was almost the quietest month of the golf season for competitions because it's when a lot of people went away. Therefore, it made sense economically for us to carry out our renovations during a month where there weren't any finals, club championships, or scratch events."

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1