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Tilgate Forest Golf Centre

Project update

February 2021

Tilgate Forest Golf Centre has so many redeeming features – perhaps most notable is its wonderful mature woodland setting, creating a tree-lined labyrinth of holes. Not only do we have a beautiful 18-hole golf course – our 30-bay TopTracer™ driving range is without doubt the best in the region.

2021 is the year where we put Tilgate Forest on the map as a must-visit golfing desination. We’re know you’re itching to get back on the fairways, but we’re using the lockdown to complete a significant investment programme, which will help us achieve our goal.

Read more about this programme, including:

  • Greens reconstruction project
  • Irrigation upgrade
  • Investment into new machinery

The improvements programme is a significant investment for Glendale Golf, costing in excess of £100,000. We have teamed up with our sister company J Mallinson, one of the UK’s leading sports turf construction specialists, to carry out the greens reconstruction. Not only do Mallinson produce the playing surfaces for many Premier League Football Clubs, but their golf division has managed projects at Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Green reconstruction

The majesty of Tilgate Forest’s tree-lined fairways provides a golfing experience like no other in the region. While the dense woodland setting provides a beautiful backdrop, it also presents major maintenance challenges.

When trees and turf compete for sunlight, trees will always win. Shade limits turf growth and prevents areas from drying, causing poor playing conditions. The agronomic truth is that trees can make it very difficult grow healthy turf that plays well, despite best efforts to manage the balance between aesthetics and practical maintenance.

In recent years, several greens at Tilgate Forest have been affected by the above issues and now require a major rebuild. Work has now started on the complete reconstruction of three greens, led by the turfcare professionals at J Mallinson.

The programme will involve the following:

  • Removal of the existing top layer of turf and a further 12″ of rootzone (a layer of organic material beneath the playing surface).
  • Restore the greens core and drainage systems.
  • Replace/relocate irrigation systems.
  • Make contour changes to enhance playability.
  • Returf green with new rootzone layer.

Our Head Greenkeeper Ian Gosling is closely involved in all steps of the programme. Ian explains: “I am really excited to be involved in this landmark project for Tilgate Forest. Over the years we have found it increasingly challenging to maintain certain areas of the course and we now have a great opportunity to improve the overall playing experience, with the reconstruction of greens on holes 4, 6 and 18. Following an indepth analysis of the surrounding soil profile, we have selected dwarf ryegrass turf for its durability and speed of growing-in.”

Ian continues: “We expect the reconstruction to be completed by the end of February. If spring growing conditions are on our side, we’re optimistic that we can reopen the holes at the start of the summer. Work will also commence on an upgraded tree maintenance plan to ensure the long term health of the new playing surfaces.”

A major benefit of the replacement greens is vastly improved drainage systems. This will result in high quality all-year round putting surfaces, avoiding the need for temporary greens.

Irrigation upgrade

In addition to the greens reconstruction project, work also started on a major upgrade to the irrigation system throughout the entire 100 acre golf course. This will provide working irrigation to all 18 tee platforms, which is critical for maintaining quality surfaces throughout winter and summer months.

Paul Crane, General Manager explains: “The tee areas at Tilgate Forest have to stand up to a lot of footfall. Without effective irrigation, their surfaces can quickly deteriorate and lead to even bigger problems in the winter. We have invested over £25,000 into the system and we are now able to irrigate all tee platforms. Together with regular topdressing and overseeding, I am confident that we’ll have the best quality tees ever seen at Tilgate.”

This project is just part of Glendale Golf’s commitment to providing an even better experience for our community of golfers. Find out more about how you can Reconnect Through Golf in 2021:

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