Friday, 19 June 2015


 4 members of staff including myself have just completed a 2 day chainsaw course. The course covered health and safety, saw maintenance, cross cutting and felling and was undertaken within the grounds of Rossie school.
 Saw maintenance with Brian the instructor.
 Liam cross cutting.
 Steve cross cutting.
 Paul and the instructor felling a tree. 
 Paul cross cutting.
 Steve under instruction.
undertaking a bit of branch  removal myself.

For Steve and Liam this was the first time that they had been on a chainsaw course while Paul and myself were undertaking a refresher course having previously carried out assessments.
 Although at Montrose we mainly use the chainsaw for gorse removal the cutting principles and safety procedures are the same as for cutting trees. It also gives the staff a bit more confidence using what can be a dangerous piece of equipment.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


Today I had the pleasure of helping deliver the first Montrose Links Golf Trail to primary 4 children from Southesk School. This new initiative has been developed by Jason Boyd ( Montrose Golf Professional ), Links Park Community Trust and Montrose Primary School Teaching Cluster together with the support of Montrose Golf Links.

Jason carrying out the introductions to the class.

 Part of the Golf Trail is to teach children the appropriate behaviour that should be shown on the golf course, and how this is very closely linked to the behaviours expected in class.
 This morning the children were split into 3 groups and took part in 3 fun yet challenging workshops.  After lunch they all had the chance to create and play their own golf course. The 3 morning workshops were golf coaching led by Jason, golf etiquette delivered by Douglas Wood and golf course design which was delivered by Peter Davidson and myself.
 The golf course design workshop started with a brief description of the main features on a golf hole. This was followed by the children watching a video of golf holes and writing down in their booklet any hazards that they could see. We then went out on the Broomfield course and walked the 9th and 10th holes where the children had the chance to point out and name all of the features that they had just seen on the video. Once back in the clubhouse all of the children then designed and drew a golf hole of their own.
 One group and myself prior to their course walk.

Explaining the layout of the 10th hole.

 Question and answer time.

Some of the group designing their own golf hole.

After lunch the children went out onto the East Links where they recreated the holes that they had earlier designed. Once all of the holes were laid out everyone had a chance to play the newly named Southesk golf course.

creating one of the golf holes.

Peter doing the safety talk prior to golf commencing on the newly formed
 Southesk golf course.

It certainly looked like the children all enjoyed themselves, I know I did,and their good behaviour added to my enjoyment. The children learned lots of new concepts and skills and hopefully some of them will want to try golf again and become the golfers of future.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Monday, 8 June 2015


It is great to see that the pair of Mute Swans at the Curlie pond have nested this year. It is the first time in the last 3 - 4 years that Swans have reared young on the pond. The nest itself was in the middle of the reed bed, well out of view. The photos below show the 3 cygnets, which are only a few days old, together with their parents.

Les Rae,
First Assistant, 
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


Today we had our annual visit from the Sports Turf Research Institute. Agronomists Richard Windows and Ian Craig arrived in the morning to carry out a number of performance tests on our greens. The tests carried out were to measure speed, trueness, smoothness, firmness, moisture levels and soil analysis. All of the data collected is saved onto a computer programme and can be analysed and compared with previous years. STRI have target ranges for each test and the aim is to be within the desired target or to be improving towards it year on year. 

Trueness meter
The trueness meter has a small wheel attached to the bottom which replicates a rolling golf ball. This measures both trueness and smoothness by detecting any horizontal and vertical movement.

This piece of equipment measures the speed of the greens. There are industry recognized figures for green speeds ranging from slow to fast and for general play through to tournament play.

 Clegg hammer
The yellow piece of equipment is called a Clegg hammer and this records the firmness of the greens. The firmness is important as it directly affects the way a golf ball reacts on impact to the green.
Moisture meter
Alongside the Clegg hammer, a moisture meter is used. The weather plays big part in day to day moisture readings however the soil itself has a major influence on water retension and drainage properties. With this in mind, soil samples are also taken and sent away to a lab to be analysed. Thatch (dead organic matter ) levels are also measured as part of the soil sample. Any build up of thatch would compromise the playing qualities and the health of the greens.
  After the test were completed we carried out a course walk looking at the condition of the course in general.

A full STRI report of the visit including all of the performance testing data will be sent to Montrose Golf Links in due course and will be made available to all season ticket holders.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.