Green Keeper Course Updates

Course Update 


It has been an extremely wet period with 219mm of rain for November with more forecasted. On top of 89mm in October and 93mm in September, the ground is very saturated.

The constant rain has hampered our aeration program, meaning that some areas have not been top dressed due to the possibility of damaging turf.

All the greens, tees, surrounds and approaches on the Purbeck course have been verti drained and hollow cored to help reduce thatch content, promote root growth and achieve healthy turf. Most of these surfaces have been top dressed and we’ll complete greens 1,2,3,6,17&18 when ground conditions improve. 

The greens and tees on the Dene course have been hollow cored and will be top dressed next week if the weather permits.

We have started aerating/spiking the fairways which will be an ongoing process through the winter. This will relieve any compaction and aid root growth. Due to the rocky root zone throughout the course, we have started spiking at a depth of 14cm (5-6 inches) and will alter it when necessary.

The green keepers now have a diesel powered cabin down at the sheds. This allows us to have a clean, dry and warm area to meet, whilst having a clean toilet and a drying room for our waterproofs, uniform and boots.

Thank you
David Field
Head Green Keeper


As you can see around the course, the seeding process has been very successful. All tees, greens, surrounds, fairways and approaches were double seeded with the 5th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th and 14th having a triple pass. The investment in the two new tractors along with the two seeders and spiker will continuously improve the surfaces. Through this process, we have put down around 200 bags of seed.  Here is a before and after photo to show the transformation from July to now.

As you can see, we’ve also started Hollow coring. The tees have been completed and top dressed and we’ve started on the surrounds and approaches. We hope to complete the coring and top dressing of the greens on 7-11 November if the weather allows.

I will be leaving the Isle of Purbeck in December after 19 years of employment and relocating to near Oban, Scotland as a Head Gardener of Achnacloich House. So, I’d like to thank you all for your support and interest in the golf course over the years.

We are currently looking for my replacement and we are also happy to introduce our new deputy head green keeper Murray Mannall who will start in November. He has experience at Gleneagles, Forest of Arden and Castle Douglas GC and will be a key addition to the team.

Thank you,

David Field
Head Green Keeper


As we continue through the driest spell on record, our main objective is to keep the plant alive.

With just 2mm of rain in since 27th June, we are irrigating twice a day to try and keep our moisture levels at 20%. This also includes the use of wetter agents to allow the water to break through the surface and other key nutrients to keep the grass strong and healthy. We have spiked the greens as much as possible to also help with percolation.

Please help us by keeping your buggies and trolleys off the surrounds, approaches and tees. 

We have also enforced a smoking ban for both courses.

The greens will be hollow cored  on the 31st August-1st September. This form of aeration will help remove the thatch in the greens, therefore allowing water to percolate and allow roots to establish.

David Field 
Head Green Keeper 

July 2022

It has been a hot and dry June/July and we are seeing the course brown up. To help the plant stay healthy through this period, the greens have been spiked and top dressed to aid percolation and stop dry patch. We have also sprayed wetting agents, sugars and spread humigranule to maintain health.  We have also had a full Irrigation system repair with the help of JK Irrigation to gain better pressure, coverage, quantity and performance around the course.

We currently have the height of cut on the greens set at 4mm giving us a stimp reading of approximately 10 feet. We wouldn’t go any lower than this as we try to encourage the finer fescue grasses to grow. Also, if the cut is dropped any lower, the ball will oscillate due to the exposed nature of the site.  In the spring, the Dene fairways were made larger and the carry roughs have been cut down to 2 inches.

We have purchased brushes for our surrounds and semi tough mowers. This will help achieve a tighter cut and get better definition around the course. 

We also had a rotary brush and tractor on demo last week. This helps remove dead organic matter and help stand the grass before cutting. Therefore, this helps achieve a truer height of cut as continuous cutting in the same direction creates a nap with the grass laying down. The fairways, approaches, surrounds and greens were completed in a single day with fantastic results.

The golf course would improve further if golfers repair their pitch marks, replace divots and rake bunkers.  

David Field
Head Green Keeper 

May 2022

We have had a relatively dry spring so far with rainfall at only 30mm for the last 6 weeks.

The seeding on the greens, tees and fairways have all germinated and establishing well. This means we are able to cut the fairways at 20mm and brush cut the semi rough to achieve better definition around the course.

We will now to be able to brush cut the greens without ripping up the new seedlings. We hope to verti cut the greens soon to cut any lateral growth to make the greens faster. We just ask for patience in spring time on green speeds as it is crucial to maintain plant health in a cold and dry start to the year.

We have to take many things into consideration when preparing the golf course for you to achieve performance and maintain plant health.

This includes:

The Height of cut, plant stress, current climate, weather changes, ground conditions, Irrigation, moisture levels, root zone and compaction, thatch removal, forms of aeration, monitoring disease, growth rate and fertilisers, sward density, surface consistency and performance, speed, pest and golfer damage. 

So it’s more than simply cutting grass. It’s a science and skill to maintain a golf course 365 days a year.

We will be aiming for a green speed of 9-10ft on the stimp meter. Due to the exposure of the site, we agreed not to go quicker as the ball will oscillate in windy conditions and likely affect the health of the turf.

I also wanted to show you how far we’ve come in 16 months with the course investment by showing some ‘before and after’ photos.

We will be holding another 9 hole divoting session on Wednesday 25th May. The previous sessions have been a great success and is much appreciated.

David Field

Head Green Keeper 

April 2022

Now the temperatures have risen after the frosts from early April, we have been able fertilise the tees, greens and approaches and we’ve seen some great results.

The sward is healthy, growing well and is much more dense. This means we can drop the height of cut to achieve a faster putting surface.


The seeding of the fairways went well last week and we should start to see germination this week and see the fairways thicken up.

The tees and greens will also be seeded at the end of the month.


A big thank you to those who helped with the divoting last month and is much appreciated towards our efforts to improve the course.

We also ask you to educate others on course etiquette and encourage them to replace divots, rake bunkers and fix pitch marks.

David Field
Head Green Keeper 

March 2022

The 11th tee has been turfed and we hope to open it in May depending on weather conditions. This will allow the turf and root zone to settle and allow the plant to establish and root down.

It will now be watered daily and top dressed soon.

Please keep off the tee as the turf could be damaged and levels altered. It has been roped off and marked.

A big thank you to those who helped us divot the fairways. It is much appreciated by the green keeper staff.

We hope to repeat this on Wednesday 23rd from 9am on holes 3-7, so please sign up again. Thank you!

David Field

Head Green Keeper 

23rd February 2022


Storm Eustice carried 100+mph gusts and caused a lot of damage around the golf course. The staff have managed to clear the debris and remove the fallen trees. We also lost the halfway hut and practice ground hut that succumbed to the severe winds


Over the week, the fairways have been Verti drained at a depth of 4 inches with a 10 degree heave. This aeration process will aid in relieving compaction, help water percolate and aid in turf root development.



We will be over seeding the fairways again in April to continue the over seeding program we started in October.

We are also looking at having a divoting session on Wednesday 9th March where we’d like to invite members to help divot the fairways, so please contact the pro shop to help or sign up online via the website like a competition entry. This will be greatly appreciated by us all. Divoting tools will be available from 9am and through the rest of the day. 

Thank you 

David Field
Head Green Keeper 

February 2022

Range Bunker

The new bunker is now open for play.

Drainage has been installed and a wacker plate used to compact the sand.

Please rake the bunker after use

David Field
Head Green Keeper 

February 2022

We’ve had a dry and mild January with a total rainfall of 36mm compared to 111mm in December.

The course looks fantastic for this time of year and the team are doing a great job.

Our main focus has been on gorse removal and the hire of the Ventrac machine has been a real game changer for us. 

We’ve hired the Ventrac for 3 weeks and completed the removal of gorse, bracken, brambles and long grasses from:

2nd Carry

5th Carry and green side left

6th Carry and right off the fairway

7th Carry and left off the fairway

8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th Carry

15th Carry and green side back and left

16th Carry

18th green side back.

It’s made a big impact on the golf course to open up views, improve playability and encourage the original heather to return. 

We aim to cut larger gorse using chainsaws over the next few weeks.

We’ve had progress with the 11th tee to level the teeing area. The tee was higher at the front and we needed to reverse that to gain a better view from the back of the tee. A laser level will be brought in soon to achieve the best finish before ordering the pure fescue turf.

The original turf from the tee has been used around weaker areas of the golf course and also been used to turf the 2nd and 7th tees on the dene.

Our plans for February include further gorse clearance, verti draining and top dressing the greens, completing the drainage and shaping of the range bunker and tidying around the 11th tee.

There seems to be an issue with golfers not repairing their divots and pitch marks. Please repair any damage you create and encourage others to help us maintain the golf course and practice areas.

It will be greatly appreciated and help us achieve better playing surfaces.

Thank you

David Field

Head Green Keeper 

January 2022

Happy New Year 

It’s been a wet start to the year and we thank you for carrying your golf bag or using the hedgehog/winter tyre trolleys. This helps protect the course and reduce damage through the winter months.


Clearance of the invasive gorse and trees has continued by the 7th tees and 10th green. A digger has also been used to remove the stumps to encourage the heather to recover back into the area. The heather seed lays dormant in the soil so you’ll see it germinate and establish over the next few years. A good example of this heather regeneration is on the left approach to the 5th green, behind the 9th green and left of the 14th green.

The 11th tee has also been striped and will be leveled. We will then contour the tee edges to fit naturally in its surroundings.

The tee will be turfed with pure fescue grass. We have used this opportunity to use this striped turf to improve weaker areas around the course. This includes the 10th and 15th surrounds, 7th yellow tee and rabbit damage on 13. We also aim to level and turf the 4th and 7th tees on the dene if ground conditions allow us.

The team work closely with the National trust return to the site back into its original heathland. We use their knowledge and follow their advice to accomplish this. 

Removing invasive species will help us recreate a habitat that encourages rare types of flora and fauna back into our SSSI site.

This effort is combined with the vast golf course experience of our course architect Tim Lobb and course advisor David Langheim to help create this vision.

Personally, I am very happy with how the course has improved through 2021 and am confident in the personnel involved in this project to improve our heathland/links golf course, so please trust, understand and share our processes.

If you have any queries or concerns, please email us or talk to the National trust to clarify our combined goals.

David Field
Head Green Keeper 

December 2021

Now that the temperatures have dropped and we've seen the first deep frosts of the winter, the growth has significantly reduced. This allows us to start our winter jobs around the golf course.
The gorse and trees behind the 10th green have been removed to open up the views and stop the roots from searching under the green and surrounds.

(Before & After)

The 11th tee will also be levelled with a 1 to 100cm drop from back to front to improve the visibility of the green from the back of the tee. We will be hiring a digger in the new year to complete this work along with removing the gorse stumps to allow the heather to establish naturally. This will also allow us to grade in the tee edges into the slopes to make the tee fit more naturally within the surroundings.
The turf striped from the 11th tee will be used around the course to improve any worn areas. This will include the 10th surrounds, rabbit damage on 13 and the right side off the 15th green. A mat has been placed at the front of the white/yellow tees on 11 and we'll aim to open up the new tee in the spring. 

We had a demo day of a Ventrac rotary mower on the 7th December. This machine can be used on a variety of surfaces and slopes which will allow us to cut areas that were not possible in the past. So far, an area of the 5th white tee has been cut, as well as most of left portion of the 14th carry rough.

We will be hiring the Ventrac in the new year for a fortnight which will allow us to clear and open up a lot more areas around the course. Areas like this used to be cut by hand, so it will save us a huge amount of time when removing gorse. The overall economy of the staff is improving all the time with new machinery, new processes and training. The course will undoubtably continue to improve every year.
This use of the Ventrac is a continuation from using the rough cutter to reduce the heather down to 6 inches and remove small gorse on more suitable slopes. We have been able improve the playability of the rough around the whole course which will help you find any stray golf balls and speed up your round.

Throughout the winter, aeration is key to maintain a healthy playing surface all year round. The greens have been Verti drained 3 times at varied depths. This includes the surrounds and approaches at lesser depths due to the poor root zones. This will be continued in the new year along with the Toro ProCore to help remove further thatch. We aim to verti  drain all tees before Christmas as well.

The fairways have improved immensely since the seeding program in September and we can see much better definition around the whole golf course. Buggies will continue to be restricted to the rough to maintain the health of the fairways through the winter. Please help us to make the golf course better and leave no evidence of you playing it. So, replace your divots, fix your pitch marks and rake the bunkers.
It has been a fantastic year on the golf course and we've achieved so much. 
I couldn't be prouder of the team.

From all the Green Staff, we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

David Field
Head Green Keeper

November 2021

The 170 bags of seed sown on the 11-14 October has germinated well and we are seeing some fantastic coverage on the fairways.

The warmth already in the ground with a rainfall of 172mm for October has aided growth. This is also why we have restricted the use of buggies in these wet ground conditions and reduce the amount of damage to the course.

The fairways have now had their first cut at 20mm to bring back some definition as well as widening parts of the fairways.

All the greens, surrounds and approaches have been Verti drained to aerate the surfaces and help get an application of the insecticide Acelepryn into the rootzone to combat leather jackets.

What can you do to help us during the winter months?

If you’re able to, try to carry your clubs to limit trolley and buggy damage. This will help us maintain a healthier sports turf.

Repair your pitch marks. This keeps the putting surface smooth and less prone to disease.

We also ask you to rake bunkers, replace divots and keep trolleys off the tees and green complexes.

We will be Hand cutting more often over the winter over ride on machinery. This is help us keep the surfaces healthy whilst maintaining the aesthetics to the course.

We are extremely happy with how the course is progressing.

David Field
Head Green Keeper 

Course Update
October 2021

Seeding Fairways:

This is the optimum time to complete this process as the moisture and heat levels in the ground are high. This will aid in a high rate of seed germination. The disc seeding of the fairways is progressing very well and we hope to complete it all by today. So far, 150 bags of a fescue/dwarf rye seed have been sewn. Most fairways have been double passed and the weaker fairways including the 8th, 10th, 12th and 13th have been triple. This includes seeding the approaches of all 18 holes.

Before seeding, the fairways and approaches are dewed off to make the surface dry to stop seed clogging in the seeder and retain a consistent spread.
We are expecting heavy rain early next week to help bed the seed and aid in further germination and growth. We’ll start seeing the results in the next few weeks. If you have any more questions, please ask a member of the green staff.

David Field
Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

Course Update
October 2021

Please be aware that all the faiways on the Purbeck Course will be disc seeded from the 11th October and we expect the work will last around 4 days.
This process will disrupt play and we thank you in advance for your patience. 

Turftonics’s will likely start at 6.30am and hopefully get 4 fairways completed each day depending on the size of each fairway. They will be double seeded and possibly triple seeded on the worst fairways.
Whilst they are working, that particular fairway/hole will be closed which will interfere with play.
The discs/blades go approximately a centimetre into the ground, seed is dropped into the slot and a roller flattens it back down. This may affect the playability of the fairways in the weaker areas.
Recovery and germination should be evident in 1-2 weeks.
This is a key process to help the fairways develop and we look forward to achieving better lies to hit off of.

David Field
Senior Deputy Head Greenkeeper

Course Update 
August 2021

Once again, we’ve had perfect growing weather and coupled with the fertiliser, the course is really benefiting from it. 

We are seeing great definition to the course where we can all distinguish the greens, surrounds, fairways, semi rough, first cut of rough and rough. We have taken out more areas of rough on both courses that seem too penal without changing the aesthetic of the course. It might take some time to get used to the new layout but with good course management, you can easily avoid these tough areas. If not, we have a fantastic pro who can help you split those fairways.

I finally managed to play it on Tuesday and I’m very proud of our efforts. 

We have purchased plenty more range balls. They have been dyed orange to identify them as range balls and should only be used on the driving range.

The greens on 1, 2, 17 and 18 have been spiked/aerated to allow percolation and help reduce the thatch in them.

All the greens are top dressed fortnightly to achieve a more consistent playing surface and also aid in percolation.

The green staff are experiencing issues with golfers that tee off early or cut out holes and therefore catch us up in our morning preparation phase of work. 

I plan out a very specific route for each worker and how long it should take to complete a professional job. Interrupting or rushing them can lead to mistakes, frustration or missing out jobs. I want to provide a safe working environment and it is not acceptable for golfers to hit balls at them. Please allow us to complete the job or wait to be called through. A golf ball can travel up to 150mph and I know of green keepers who have been severely injured through negligence.

The team are very passionate about their work and all want to create a great golf course for you.

David Field

Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

Course Update 
July 2021

Again, we’ve had perfect growing conditions for the golf course and we are seeing much more definition around the tees, surrounds and fairways. Temperatures are averaging at 20 degrees at the peak of day with a total of 72mm of rainfall through June.

The rough will be cut at 2 inches and we’ll allow other parts of the rough to grow to improve the aesthetics and shape of the course. This will also aid is with natural reseeding around the site.

The greens are improving with light feed and top dressing. We will be dressing the greens fortnightly to stimulate growth and help maintain a smooth putting surface.

We now have our new pedestrian tees mowers allowing us to cut straight up and down the tees. The lines will be become more and more apparent every time we cut.

The sleepers around the tees have been edged to make them look neater and we’ve also used the rough mower around the tees to help frame them.

All the Fairways have been blue lined again to help distinguish between the fairway and semi rough.

The greens and surrounds on the Purbeck and dene course have been spiked to a depth of 3 inches to help percolation to get water to the roots and create a healthier plant.

The team now have a uniform to help identify the staff and create a more professional appearance on site.

We are extremely pleased with the progression of the course and we hope you are too.

Dene Course:

We’ve allowed the fescue grasses to grow in the rough on the dene course. This gives the course more character and a better test of golf. We’ve also included grass paths that link tees to the fairways and greens to tees.

Most of the irrigation trenches have been filled in and we are close to connecting it to the mains by the 3rd fairway. We will treat the tees, greens and surrounds the same as the Purbeck course and will continue with our fertiliser and top dressing program to achieve the best possible surfaces.

We have also decided to promote Alex Harvey to First Assistant. He is a valued, knowledgeable and experienced worker and will help us continue to move the course onward. He will also be putting his knowledge gathered from his degree in Ecology to help us use the SSSi site to benefit us and our processes. Please congratulate him as he’s truly earned this.

David Field 
Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

Course Update
10 June 2021

Temperatures are hitting daily highs of 20+ degrees and some of the greens are getting double doses of water to keep up the moisture levels. We are aiming to keep the moisture levels in the greens at 20-25%. This level is key to create the correct habitat for fescue grasses and keep poa and rye grasses away. These levels are also important in terms of playability as we want to keep a consistency across every green and how the golf balls reacts to the playing surface.

Today,we have cut, over-seeded, top dressed, brushed and irrigated all the Purbeck greens to encourage more growth and create a flatter truer green.

Golfers are reminded not to tee off early or cut across. Priority is given to the green staff to allow us to complete our daily jobs to the best of our ability. If we are rushed, we may have to skip jobs or mistakes can be made. I plan out our jobs for every morning across the week to get the best economy of our staff to produce a better golf course, so we thank you for your patience.

Blue lines will be painted next week to indicate the FAIRWAYS. The current blue dots indicate the semi rough and are for our benefit when cutting to make sure we cut everything correctly.

Please repair your divots and pitch marks.

David Field
Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

Course Update
14 May 2021

We've finally had some rain and the temperatures are starting to increase. 
So far, the rainfall for May is at 45mm. this is compared to 11mm in all of April and 15mm in all of March. It was a cold start to the year which hampered our objectives as we went into spring. Now that growing conditions have improved, along with an applications of fertiliser to the greens, tees and surrounds, the standards of the playing surfaces are getting better and better.  
The tees are becoming more defined and are in a diamond pattern until we get the new wider John Deere pedestrian mowers. The greens are looking much better after the top dressing and feed, along with the use of better equipment to achieve a tighter cut that will produce a smoother putting surface.

The irrigation project on the dene course is progressing well with the main pipe work going in through the middle of the golf course. This will attach to the existing pipework to the sprinklers around the greens and tees that we put in over the winter.

Now that the growing conditions have improved, the 3rd and 4th greens on the dene have been over seeded and top dressed to help improve the playability of the surfaces.

We are experiencing some minor leather jacket damage on the 10th and 12th greens on the Purbeck course. We will continue to put down tarpaulin over night on the worst affected areas to make the grubs come to the surface.

The surfaces will continue to improve and we hope that you see what we are trying to achieve around the course. It wont happen over night but a plan is definitely in place to produce a great golf course.

David Field 
Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

Course Update
May 2021

Top Dressing

You’ll be pleased to know that all the Purbeck Course greens have been top dressed to fill in the cored holes to stimulate growth and produce a smoother playing surface. The greens were also fertilised again at the beginning of the week and alongside the much needed rain, the greens are growing well.

We’ve also been asked why the tees aren’t cut straight up and down. 
As the new pedestrian tees mowers haven’t arrived yet, Farols have lent us some. Unfortunately, they aren’t the same width as the new ones. This means we cannot achieve the same width of lines cut so we’ve opted for a diamond pattern for now.

Kind regards 
David Field 
Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

Course Update
April 2021

Dave and Kathy have made a big investment in the club to bring in a brand new fleet of John Deere machinery.
Not only that, the annual course budget has also been increased for the amount of fertilizer, seed and equipment we can use.

We have purchased:
6x gators
3x pedestrian greens mowers
6x trailers
1x rough cutter
1x fairway mower 
1x semi rough cutter
1x sprayer 
1x ride on surrounds mower 
1x ride on greens mower
We are also waiting on 
1x top dresser attachment 
3x pedestrian tees mowers
All this new kit will allow us to boost our staff economy and improve the playing surfaces.
The team are extremely happy with these purchases!
Spring hasn’t been very kind on us as temperatures have rarely made it above 10 degrees and had many morning frosts to contend with. Not only that, we have only had 5mm rainfall in 4 weeks with no more rain forecasted.
This obviously impacts the growth rate around the course. Therefore, the cores on some of the greens haven’t filled in yet. Ideally, we would have top dressed the greens but we are still waiting on the attachment to arrive from Farols. Once it arrives, it’ll be used immediately to gain a smoother putting surface. 
I’m sure you’ve all seen the course improve since reopening and once the weather is kinder to us, the surfaces will get better and better.

These are certainly exciting times for the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club.

Kind regards 
David Field
Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

Course Update
March 2021

It’s been a busy lockdown for the greens staff. We have had a number of projects completed to improve the playing surfaces around the golf course. This includes new processes that we weren’t able to achieve in the past.

We continued our work with the contractor Turftonics to aerate the greens, tees, surrounds and fairways. The holes are closing in nicely but need your patience until we get our eagerly awaited machinery to top dress the greens and produce a smoother surface. All these processes are key to improve the quality of the course. 

The new John Deere machinery will be vital to help us achieve our goals to produce better playing surfaces and we can’t wait to get our hands on the new kit. This includes the opportunity to hand cut the greens and tees.

Our gorse clearance has also continued between the 5th tees and 6th green to open up the views in that area.

All the bunkers on the main course have now been edged and reshaped ready for play on Monday.

We have also purchased new tee markers, pins, flags and cups for the dene course. The fairways have also been reshaped and we’re in the process of edging the bunkers. The greens have improved but more aeration will be completed on the 3rd and 4th next month.

The Picnic area will also be worked on to help level the area whilst putting more paving slabs down around the benches.

For your information:
The blue lines on the course indicate the edges of the fairways and white dots are for the green complexes. They are there to aid us when cutting these areas.

We look forward to finally seeing you back on the course on Monday from 8am.
Please remember to fix your divots and pitch marks.

David Field
Senior Deputy Head Green Keeper 

23rd February 2022


Storm Eustice carried 100+mph gusts and caused a lot of damage around the golf course. The staff have managed to clear the debris and remove the fallen trees. We also lost the halfway hut and practice ground hut that succumbed to the severe winds.


Over the week, the fairways have been Verti drained at a depth of 4 inches with a 10 degree heave. This aeration process will aid in relieving compaction, help water percolate and aid in turf root development.



We will be over seeding the fairways again in April to continue the over seeding program we started in October.

We are also looking at having a divoting session on Wednesday 9th March where we’d like to invite members to help divot the fairways, so please contact the pro shop to help or sign up online via the website like a competition entry. This will be greatly appreciated by us all.

Thank you 

David Field

Head Green Keeper