‘Major disruption’ to golf course after chemical applied ‘in error’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 18, 2020 18:10

An historic golf course in Aberdeen has said it will be on temporary greens for the rest of the year and into 2021 after a chemical was applied in error earlier this summer, causing significant damage.

According to the Evening Express, the putting surfaces at Kings Links have become so badly affected that the turf on several greens will be entirely relaid.

A new head greenkeeper has been appointed, it adds.

The greens were severely damaged after ‘the erroneous application of a strong chemical’ in June. They have become increasingly bare and dry in the last two months.

The course is operated by Sport Aberdeen, which has apologised to golfers.

Kings Links. Image from Twitter

According to the paper, it has admitted it will not be possible to fix the problem without major intervention, and, along with course maintenance contractor idverde, will embark on an ‘extensive’ repair programme which will include completely relaying the turf on the worst-affected greens.

‘The work will be overseen by the STRI and a new head greenkeeper has been appointed at Kings Links,’ adds the paper.


Work is expected to take several months to complete – and the main greens will not be ready to play until next season.

Instead, course staff have begun the process of setting up temporary greens.

Stuart Dillett, idverde’s north region managing director, said: “As Sport Aberdeen’s golf course maintenance partner since 2015, idverde is fully committed to doing all that is necessary to successfully complete remediation of the damaged surfaces of the greens and surrounds at Kings Links Golf Course.

“Whilst a full investigation is underway into the cause of the damage, I have instructed my team to move immediately to plan the required works along with a full rectification programme.

“This will commence during August to ensure that all greens will be returned to a high standard for play by the start of the 2021 golf season.

Kings Links. Image from Twitter

“I remain deeply disappointed with the emerging condition of the greens after such a successful start to the 2020 season and we will work tirelessly to reinstate them to the right quality as early in 2021 as possible, and I apologise for the inconvenience that this will have for Golf Aberdeen members.

“In the interim, we will be working closely with Sport Aberdeen and the golf club captains associated with the course, to set up a temporary course to provide the best possible experience for recreational golf through the use of alternative greens and surrounds.”

The Kings Links course is, unusually, home to three golf clubs – Northern, Bon Accord and Caledonian. The three clubs were all established in the 19th century.

Sport Aberdeen has confirmed prices for pay-and-play customers will be reduced to reflect the changes.

Managing director Alistair Robertson said: “I want to offer my sincere apologies to our Kings Links golfers and also to the three associated golf clubs and their respective members.

“I am devastated at this development as we have worked hard over recent years to improve all aspects of the city’s golf offer.

How the course usually looks. Image from Twitter

“My colleagues and I are fully committed to putting this right and we will give this the high priority focus it deserves.

“We have already secured playing times for club competitions at other Golf Aberdeen courses and will do what we can to minimise the impact on the clubs during this period. I am confident that we will begin the 2021 golf season next spring with the course fully reinstated to a much higher standard than it has been in recent months.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 18, 2020 18:10
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  1. Neil Sjoberg August 24, 04:16

    20 years ago we applied a small amount of industry recommended chemical into our irrigation lake to clear an unusual infestation of silkweed that was blocking our pumps.We were reassured after 14 days it would not affect our irrigated greens.We started watering one month later and all the greens died.The company paid us small compensation and withdrew the product.
    Fortunately a knowledgable friend recommended ENVIRONGRO ( Mostly Chicken droppings) that contain high levels of good bacteria.It started the greens back within a month.I feel sorry for the sacked greenkeeper too if that is the case.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sue August 21, 09:34

    Feel sorry for the green keeper whose error it was

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter August 19, 11:39

    This type terrible incident is more common in clubs where Superintendents failed to create an effective agronomic program and plan ! In these plans, chemical applications is detailed by season and many other parameters !! Some have plans that aren’t specific and these accidents happen !!

    Reply to this comment
    • Ronnie August 19, 20:36

      Take it you’re a greenkeeper Pete? Easy mistake to make with a catastrophic outcome, poor guy has lost his job by the sounds of it. None of the waffle you have wrote has any relevance without knowing what has been sprayed and why it was applied. Stick to playing golf you absolute blowhard

      Reply to this comment
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