As we move into December, the temperatures are dropping, and the nights are drawing in. Looking after the Golf Course throughout the winter months is particularly challenging. I have a few updates and issues this month that I hope explains our position.

Course Care and Teamwork

Looking after and presenting a golf course for play every day is a huge team effort. With various challenges from all directions, our greenkeeping team work together to overcome these as best as we can; keeping an eye on each other, chipping in, and helping each other, a real team effort.

Golfers at Bowood are also part of that team, and everyone that plays here also have a  responsibility to care for the course, in the spirit of the game.


Every shot played into a green causes damage to the surface and the turfgrass plant, some damage is visible and some not. It is up to the player who played that shot to take steps to repair the damage that their shot has caused.

This image was taken on the 11 green in the morning, before play had reached the green. We placed a golf ball on every pitchmark and ball scar on the front third of the green only. We did not place balls on anything else except ball barks.

After taking this photo we collected 314 balls. That is 314 pitchmarks and ball scars on only one third of one green. In many cases it is obvious that there had been no attempt to repair large and obvious pitchmarks. Please consider how this will impact your putt next time you are on this green. Consider how your pitchmark will impact those playing behind you.

Bunkers and Raking

We have bunker rakes placed in every bunker on the golf course. There are greenkeepers attending to our bunkers a minimum of six days per week. Our rakes are of a high quality, I consider them to offer the best finish of any “member” rake on the market provided they are used in the right way, preferably in a pushing action away from your body.

My blog may seem harsh this month, and I know that the majority of golfers at Bowood have the greatest respect for the course; however I receive consistent feedback from members about the lack of consideration that golfers pay to the course. It is a point of significant frustration for many, certainly a majority, maybe it is time for the minority to join the team.

As golfers it is in your interest to act as guardians of the golf course; the land is not the greenkeepers’, it is your golf course.

Yours in sport.

Jaey Goodchild
Head Greenkeeper