What the Brits Know that You Don't
Heathland golf is not well understood in America like it is in Great Britain, where heathland courses are highly regarded. There are over 13000 golf courses in the United States and perhaps 20 or 30 could be considered heathland property. What is heathland? Here are the points that make property heathland:
- It is typically not directly on the ocean but shares some of the virtues and vices of being near the ocean.
- Since they are built on old sand dunes they have a tendency to be undulating, a feature sometimes missing on links land.
- It is sandy and light soil that is poor in nutrients and is typically acidic. We were shocked when we checked the soil when we were first trying to grow grass and found it to be a pH of 4.2. A lot of our fertilizers have to be carefully monitored to not push the pH lower.
- It typically grows gorse, bracken and heather. Brant is constantly trying to keep the gorse out of the playing area as it very unpleasantly defends itself well with thorns even where plants shouldn't have thorns.
- Because the property is not right on the ocean the winds are gentler and the summer temperatures are a little warmer. This will typically lead to different grasses than typically grow on pure links land. That is why perennial rye is grown and holds up much better to cart traffic than fescue.
So if you want a break from the weather and a great golf course try heathland golf at Bandon Crossings.