How golf courses across the UK are tackling the extreme heat

Summer in Britain always seems to cause problems on and off the course, with soaring temperatures and a lack of rain meaning restrictions are put in place to get through the freak weather conditions.

As golf courses firm up and grass turns from lush green to crisp brown, greenkeepers, managers and industry personnel are doing their best to combat the intense heat that continues to tear the country.

Players walk away as a fire breaks out behind them

A huge forest fire broke out in Wentworth during the 2020 Rose Ladies Series Final. Temperatures in England that day were approaching 40 degrees

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It seems that many clubs have put in place smoking bans on the golf course, which people might remember in 2018, with dozens of golf courses in the UK advising members that it was banned smoking as the country continued to experience a heat wave.

In 2018, the Golf Club Managers Association (GCMA) found that 60% of clubs in the UK temporarily banned smoking on their courses due to dry grass and the threat of fires.

Such is the heatwave the UK is currently going through, some courses have adapted their opening and working times, with some golf clubs closing completely as high temperatures pose a health and safety hazard to staff and patrons. members.

Check out the effect of the heatwave on Lickey Hills Golf Course below:

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Those most affected, however, are the greenkeepers who, not only during this summer period, but also during the winter, struggle to keep the course in top condition as the weather continues to take its toll.

Speaking to a local gardener, he listed some of the problems he faces during the summer months. “For starters, there’s the lack of water because of the huge amounts of evaporation from lakes and soils right now,” he explains.

“Managing what we have left in the lakes is a nightmare, especially to maintain the greens. We can’t water the tees and there is also heavy traffic with people on the course, so we have to wait and see how many grass returns once conditions change. This means we have no idea what it will cost to get them back with seed and fertilizer.

“It’s not just the extreme heat, but it’s how long we’ve been without rain. In fact, that’s our biggest problem because we can’t replenish the lakes and the ground can’t stand up. cool down a bit. Because the ground is so, so dry, for me, we’re postponing green space maintenance to a later date, waiting for the weather to turn a bit, but that’s just the modern way of maintaining green spaces, you have to adapt and show initiative.”

Michael C. Ford