The history of Cotswold Hills Golf Club can be traced all the way back to 1902 when golf was played on the nearby common of Cleve Hill. After continuous problems with both sheep and people walking on the course, the club felt that it was time to make a change.
In 1976 a new course was created on 157 acres of land in Ullenwood, Cheltenham, and since that day the club has gone from strength to strength and is considered to be one of the best courses in the county. The club has hosted the Men’s County Championship on four occasions, the English Ladies’ Amateur Championship and in 2012 it also hosted the England Golf County Boy’s finals. It is easy to see why the club is at full membership capacity with a waiting list of up to three years.
A great deal of the club’s success over recent years can be attributed to its experienced greenkeepers. Wayne, the course manager, has been there for 13 years and deputies Mark Freeman and John Stewart have been at the club for 22 years and 12 years respectively.
Wayne, who has been in the industry since leaving school, admits that only the finest products will do for Cotswold Hills and this is why he chooses Limagrain grass seed.
“I’ve been using Limagrain products for nearly my entire time at Cotswold Hills. I’ve tried other suppliers in the past but the Limagrain products seem to work the best for us here. We’ve always got the results we wanted from them and I’m confident we will continue to do so. It’s like they say – if it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it,” he said.
Limagrain’s MM9 grass seed mixture is the secret behind the beautiful greens at Cotswold Hills. This mixture, commonly used for summer overseeding and autumn renovations of top quality golf greens, is relied upon by greenkeepers throughout the UK and beyond. It is renowned for producing a fine, dense sward for an excellent playing surface and Wayne believes it has been a stand out performer – especially in the club’s geographical climate.
“It’s always difficult trying to get establishment on greens because of the environment here. But the best results we’ve tended to have is through hollow coring. Once we’ve cored, we then do our overseeding with the MM9 and this gives the seed a better chance to establish.
“We use the MM9 anywhere between three and six times a year and have always had successful results. It produces a good colour all-year-round, it’s hard wearing and is disease resistant.”
For the course’s par 3 tees, Wayne uses Limagrain’s MM22 which is ideal for divotting, repairing and renovating areas that are subjected to high levels of wear. He also uses MM13 on tees and fairways which features excellent drought resistance and also offers low maintenance requirements.
“All of the Limagrain products we use have great consistency year in year out and from my point of view I just know that we are going to get the grasses and seed that we want. This is a fairly cold site and in the past we have struggled to achieve establishment and growth, but since working with Limagrain, we have the best possible start,” said Wayne.
As well as being full of praise for Limagrain’s products, Wayne was also quick to compliment the company’s customer service.
“The service has always been very good in providing us with the products we need – there’s never a hold up in getting anything. The technical side of it is very good too; they are very hands on with us at the golf course and always offer excellent advice.”