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Les Mirandes Golf and Country Club

Greens_003 My remedial and advisory work at Les Mirandes, the small Golf course near Bergerac, is completed.

In fact I finished about a month ago but I returned yesterday to chat with Michael and look at the progress.

I came away feeling moderately pleased with results, especially on the top 9 greens.

On arrival the greens were on their last legs due to a prolonged dry spell and no maintenance for the previous 2 months. The grass  on the greens was longer than the rough with large areas apparently damaged by an overdose of chemicals.

I set about a regime of brushing and cutting to inhibit the broadleaved grasses and get them under some kind of control.

Irrigation then became a major factor due to the extended hot autumn and it was all we could do to keep the root zone moist and the water available to the plant.

Eventually, the greens started to turn in our favour which made it possible to spike with the Sisis solid tines, over seed and then dress with compost.

Following on from this we dressed with a fine sand which brought the levels up thus vastly improving the putting experience.

The next major hurdle was to improve the stable of equipment. The owner, Peter Fuller had embarked on a spree of impulse, buying up whatever looked a bargain on Ebay. Unfortunately, the choices were inappropriate and I strongly advised serious investment in the equipment.

New machinery was definitely out of the question but at least Peter now had an idea of what was required. He bought a Ransomes GT triple. This seems to have turned out OK and looking at the cut yesterday is more than adequate for a family pay and play golf course.

One of the immediate challenges was to steer Peter away from the grandiose title of 'Golf and Country Club'. Peter had and still harbours a dream of providing a premier venue for the discerning golfer. Situated close to Bergerac airport the principle is good but the terrain and more importantly the size of the golf playing area is not right and much too small.

Previously, children could only come and play by prior arrangement which meant many parents being put off from playing golf. During the holiday period of May through to October you need to attract as much traffic as possible so I had to steer Peter away from the previous dream and stare the reality in the face.

Accept children, or more importantly encourage children and they will be a conduit to future success. The venue is fantastic for family golf. It is at 4000 yards the right length to play and have fun without spending the whole day playing or dying of heat stroke.

Big new signs have been painted with the word 'GOLF' prominent in 18" letters and not hidden deep inside faded gold lettering on a dark green background.

Now all that is needed is a refurbishment of the clubs website and I am confident that the course is ready to play some fun holiday golf in the New Year.

I will be playing the course in the New Year with Henners and will report how it plays then.

Peter, over to you and good luck.