I recently came across an article regarding Cavendish in a magazine called Pitchcare (Apr/May 2014), some of the key points go on to explain the numbers of staff and the reasons for this beyond just money:
- The club has never had a large greenkeeping staff
- Currently at 2 full time, with a couple of casual brought in over the summer.
- The climate there means a very short growing season (mid May to end Sept) which is a reason for only needing the small greenkeeping staff.
- Even at the height of the growing season they are able to cover all mowing operations, cutting the rough, fairways, tees and approaches twice a week, with the greens cut or rolled six times a week.
- Members volunteer their services to help out, especially with some of the winter projects such as the recent work to the 4th greenside bunkers.
In addition to this:
- They are planning a number of course improvements heading into their centenary year in 2025, with the help of member and golf course architect Jonathan Gaunt.
- A lot of this will be clearing areas of vegetation that have become overgrown due to greenstaff numbers.
- All bunkers will be redesigned / remodelled.
- Some new tees.
- Improved drainage!
- JCB, "keen to get into the golf market" (which I'm sure Robin Hiseman knows all about
) have donated a small excavator and dumper truck to help with these works.
I've always found Cavendish to be in good condition, especially considering the cost of a green fee and the number of staff and as a junior playing there regularly as I did, it always had the best greens we played all year. My only issue in recent years has been the amount of rain the Buxton climate has received, especially through the summer months, has made the course very lush and receptive, which is why I'm so glad Sean has got to experience it in a dryer and firmer state.
I understand the concerns, and I have them myself, but fingers crossed all will be well at this delightful MacKenzie course!