Leighton Buzzard Golf Club Golf Course Construction

April 2011

Leighton Buzzard Golf Club, located in Bedfordshire, is a challenging course with a tight tree line, where shot accuracy is essential. Earlier this year, Fineturf, alongside golf course construction business partners Lakeland Earthworks completed a number of golf course alterations. This work included 5 tee constructions and renovations, 2 green constructions and renovations and 2 fairway alterations.

Tee Construction and Renovation

3rd Tee

The 3rd Tee was to be reconstructed and widened, creating a larger playing surface for the golfers in the hope that tee positions could be altered on a more regular basis avoiding excessive wear and tear to the grass. For this to be possible some trees had to be removed from the woodland next to the tee. Following this, the tee renovation could begin.

For all construction work a 14T Volvo 360 excavator with power tilt attachment was used.

Initially, all turf was stripped from the existing tee. Site won topsoil was then carted to the tee using a 9T dumper with low ground pressure tyres. Using existing material from site, where possible, helps to reduce material costs and reduces the environmental impact of producing and transporting the material. The 9T dumper, fitted with 750mm wide Trelleborg tyres, is used by Fineturf on all golf course construction works to avoid excessive compaction on not only the area being worked on but across the course.

Laser levelling equipment was set up to ensure the excavator accurately levels the tee using the right gradient, generally 1:100. This creates a slight fall from back to front of the tee and aids with water run off and drainage. Irrigation was then installed using Hunter I20 sprinklers. With the surface level and irrigation installed, the banks were shaped using the power tilt attachment. The ever important final ground preparation was completed carefully, by hand, ready for a 6:9:6 pre turf fertiliser and tees turf installation, a Ryegrass, Fescue, Smooth Stalk mixture.

5th and 12th Tees

Both the 5th and 12th tee were extended towards the back of the existing tee following the removal of some trees. The process for the reconstruction was very similar to that of the 3rd tee. Further work on these tees involved shaping the surrounds which were sown with Limagrain Turfmaster Tee seed, a Ryegrass, Fescue, Smooth Stalk mixture.

13th Tee and 15th Tees

The 13th tee involved a complete reshape and the 15th Tee was a new construction to be used for Ladies and Gents competitions.

Following the removal of existing turf the 13th and 15th tees were remodelled and constructed using topsoil stockpiled from fairway renovations. This reuse of topsoil is an important factor in reducing material costs.

Both tees then had a drainage system installed. These tees are situated in the new section of the course which was built in the 1990’s on an old landfill site. This area isn’t as free draining as the old course where the 3rd, 5th and 12th tee renovations took place, therefore drainage was required to USGA specifications.

V-shaped ditches were cut into the formation; perforated drainage pipe installed and then topped up with washed drainage gravel. A 100mm gravel carpet was spread across the tee, using a 4/10 washed gravel. Following this, a 20mm blinding layer was spread with 2/4 gravel and finally, a 200mm consolidated rootzone layer to create a surface ready for final ground preparation, fertiliser application and turf installation.

Green Construction and Renovation

14th and 15th Greens

A new green was constructed and relocated on the 14th hole and the 15th saw a reconstruction of the existing green. The 15th had suffered from some sunken areas and was therefore repositioned further back.

The green constructions began by excavating and shaping the formation using existing soil from around the course. New drains were cut into the formation followed by the installation of perforated drainage pipe. A gravel carpet was then added to a depth of 100mm, a gravel blinding layer to a depth of 20mm and finally 300mm of consolidated rootzone.

With the green shaped and drained an irrigation system was installed using Hunters I31 sprinklers. Finally, the surrounds and green side bunkers were cut and shaped prior to final ground preparation. The surrounds were sown with Limagrains Turfmaster and the 14th Green seeded with Limagrain MM10, a fescue / bent mixture and the 15th Green was turfed with USGA specification greens turf.

Fairway Alteration

Following the lowering and extension of the 12th tee, it was evident that an existing fairway mound now hindered the driving landing zone. This was removed and replaced with a fairway bunker.

The 15th Fairway was completely redesigned. The repositioning of the 15th Tee and the repositioning of a large fairway mound changed the hole from a dog leg left to a dog left right.

Please take a look at our Leighton Buzzard Golf Course Photos.