This week we started gorse clearance work between the 2nd and 17th Medal holes, to the left of the 5th Medal path and behind the 16th Medal green.
The work undertaken makes up part of our long term management plan that MGLL together with the Sports Turf Research Institute have recently drawn up.
A number of points were taken into account when producing the plan including the age and health of the gorse together with strategic and aesthetic factors. The ecology and wildlife habitat was also given major consideration which should ensure that both wildlife and golf can benefit from the work that is due to be carried out over the long term.
Below is a brief description of the work carried out between the 2nd and 17th fairways.
An early start for the contractor.
A contractor was brought on site to clear the larger areas of gorse. A large flail attachment was fitted to the front of the tractor which was then driven through the areas that we had already marked out.
Cutting through the first section between the 2nd and 17th fairways.
Six sections in total were cut out between the 2nd and 17th, which amounts to roughly 30% of the total gorse along that strip. In a few years when these cut out sections recover and new growth has developed then further sections will be removed again amounting to 30%. The remaining sections will be cut out a few years after that. Undertaking the work in this manner will also ensure that the penal nature of this hole will remain intact.
One of the sections after removal.
After the tractor mounted flail had cut out the gorse the areas then had to be tidied using a chainsaw and by manual raking. By removing the majority of the debris and leaf litter the buried gorse seed bank within the soil should be exposed and in turn aid seed germination.
A view looking across the 17th fairway after completion.
The sections were cut out at a slight angle oblique to play to ensure that there was minimal visual impact for golfers playing the 2nd and 17th holes.
Looking up the 17th fairway from the tee.
As this picture demonstrates, because of the angle the sections were cut out there is very little noticeable difference when playing the hole. It is only as you approach each cut out section that they become visible.
Montrose Golf Links Limited.