The greens at one of Aberdeen’s top courses will have to be ripped up following the erroneous application of a strong chemical in June. The greens have become increasingly bare and dry as the season has gone on. Sport Aberdeen, which operates the popular course, has already admitted it will not be possible to fix the problem without major intervention.
Bosses, along with the course’s maintenance contractor Idverde, have embarked on an “extensive” repair programme which will include completely relaying the turf on the worst-affected greens local newspaper Evening Express reported.
The work will be overseen by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI). Sport Aberdeen has also resorted in appointing a new head greenkeeper at Kings Links.
Work is expected to take several months to complete – and the main greens will not be ready to play until next season.
Instead, course staff have begun the process of setting up temporary greens, similar to those installed over the winter months.
Stuart Dillett, Idverde’s north region managing director, said: “As Sport Aberdeen’s golf course maintenance partner since 2015, ldverde is fully committed to doing all that is necessary to successfully complete remediation of the damaged surfaces of the greens and surrounds at Kings Links Golf Course.
“Whilst a full investigation is underway into the cause of the damage, I have instructed my team to move immediately to plan the required works along with a full rectification programme.
“This will commence during the week of August 17 to ensure that all greens will be returned to a high standard for play by the start of the 2021 golf season.
“I remain deeply disappointed with the emerging condition of the greens after such a successful start to the 2020 season and we will work tirelessly to reinstate them to the right quality as early in 2021 as possible, and I apologise for the inconvenience that this will have for Golf Aberdeen members.
“In the interim, we will be working closely with Sport Aberdeen and the golf club captains associated with the course, to set up a temporary course to provide the best possible experience for recreational golf through the use of alternative greens and surrounds.”
Kings Links is home to three golf clubs – Northern, Bon Accord and Caledonian.
The course is currently out of action due to a sewage spill caused by last week’s flooding, and play will not resume before the end of the week.
Sport Aberdeen has also confirmed prices for pay-and-play customers will be reduced to reflect the changes.
Managing director Alistair Robertson said: “I want to offer my sincere apologies to our Kings Links golfers and also to the three associated golf clubs and their respective members.
“I am devastated at this development as we have worked hard over recent years to improve all aspects of the city’s golf offer.
“My colleagues and I are fully committed to putting this right and we will give this the high priority focus it deserves.
“We have already secured playing times for club competitions at other Golf Aberdeen courses and will do what we can to minimise the impact on the clubs during this period. I am confident that we will begin the 2021 golf season next spring with the course fully reinstated to a much higher standard than it has been in recent months.”