The record-breaking spring temperatures have given a boost to this year’s Northern Open venue.
The mild conditions have allowed greenkeeping staff at Meldrum House to complete a series of major on-course improvements that will ensure some of the best playing conditions at the tournament in August.
The completely redesigned first tee required the removal of 600 tonnes of topsoil and large granite stones to be positioned to create a new landscaped area, and three miles of drainage.
Golf course and estate grounds manager, Kenneth Harper, said: “The weather has been exceptional. We’ve done three winters’ work in one. This winter has certainly made up for the work we missed over the last two years because of snow cover.
“So far, the daytime temperatures have been amazing, meaning that we are about a month ahead of where we would be normally. It has been a fairly major operation that has kept everyone busy over the winter.”
Meldrum House Country Hotel’s greenkeeping team have watered newly-laid turf to keep it alive while it beds down.
Mr Harper explained: “The pay-off will come when the rains do come. The idea behind the work is to ensure the course is able to deal with excessive rainfall. The last two summers have been very poor, and although we have generally managed to stay open, we would like to handle the rain better. If we do get rain, we should be able to guarantee that we will stay open no matter how wet it gets.”