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Chart Hills set for relaunch

Chart Hills set for relaunch: Chart Hills Golf Club will be officially relaunching on 1st June, 2021, following an intensive year-long redevelopment.

Led by Director of Golf, Anthony Tarchetti, and Course Manager, Neil Lowther, the club has been subject to a total property renovation. Ramac Holdings (also owners of Prince’s Golf Club in Sandwich) purchased Chart Hills in December 2019, with a significant task in front of them as they looked to restore a golf course that had suffered for some years.

Chart Hills set for relaunch

Chart Hills set for relaunch

The result is the restoration of a playable, yet challenging layout that will be presented and manicured to championship standards year-round, set among some of the most picturesque countryside in the southeast.

“We have made enormous strides and are hugely proud of the product we will be presenting,” commented Tarchetti.

“While the work has been significant, we absolutely will not rest on our laurels. This is just the beginning of a road of continuous improvement at Chart Hills, with plans already in place to continue developments over the coming years.

“We are extremely excited to welcome our members and their guests back to the club in the coming months.”

Initial planning indicated that a complete redevelopment project would take more than two years to finish, with the hope of a late summer opening in 2022. However, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and forced closures due to government restrictions, presented an opportunity to dramatically accelerate the timeframe.

The decision was made to officially close the golf course in July 2020, with no reopening scheduled until all 18-holes had been completely renovated. The focus of the project was to completely relay the fairways, to produce carpet-like surfaces that are playable year-round.

Every fairway was completely stripped, exposing the bare soil. The maintenance team then laid thousands of metres of irrigation piping down before more than 30,000 tonnes of sand was shaped onto the holes to produce a four-inch capping. The finishing team spread Creeping-Rye seed on each fairway area before the watering and fertilisation processes began.

Off the course, the entire venue has been remodelled, with a completely redecorated clubhouse, all-new club shop, modernised bar area, improved car park and signage, and upgraded practice facilities that include a state-of-the-art simulator room.

Despite a challenging winter, the club has been able to make great strides in continuing the renovation of the clubhouse area and green complexes, while applying the finishing touches to the new fairways. There has also been a complete bunker overhaul to manicure all 100+ of Chart Hills’ famous sand traps.

The full facility, including the striking and vast clubhouse, will be open and fully operational from 1st June, with Covid-19 guidelines adhered to at all times.

Examples of the latest major developments and what can be expected from the newly renovated Chart Hills Golf Club, can be seen in the latest episode of the club’s video diary series, Inside Chart Hills. To watch Episode Eight, click here.

For the latest updates on the renovation project, find Chart Hills on social media: Twitter – @ChartHills, Instagram – @ChartHillsGolfClub, Facebook – Chart Hills Golf Club.

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Expanded greenkeeper team at Chart Hills

Expanded greenkeeper team at Chart Hills: The ambitious new owners of Chart Hills Golf Club, in Kent, are continuing their investment into the club’s staff and facilities by expanding the greenkeeping team and completing previously unfinished renovation projects.

The recruitment process has been led by Golf Course Manager, Neil Lowther, who has 18 years of service at Chart Hills to his name and is committed to restoring the course to its full potential following the venue’s recent purchase by Ramac Holdings Ltd.

Expanded greenkeeper team at Chart Hills

Expanded greenkeeper team at Chart Hills

“After initial conversations it became clear that it was paramount for us to add resource and build a new greenkeeping team in order to take the golf course forward,” commented Lowther.

“Investment has already begun, and we are now able to complete unfinished projects such as the renovation of the 10th and 12th tees which are now well under way.”

The new employees join the existing greenkeeping team of Adam Weeks, Irrigation Engineer, who has worked at Chart Hills for 25 years; Mathew Krause, First Assistant Greenkeeper; Marc Mulholland, Greenkeeper in Training; Gavin Spiers and Geoff Lezemore, both part-time Greenkeeping Assistants.

William Watkins joins Chart Hills as a qualified Greenkeeper with five years’ greenkeeping experience, while Liam Levett heads to the club at the beginning of March as a Greenkeeper in Training, having had previous experience working at the resort.

The club has ambitious plans for major improvements to all the main playing surfaces, excluding the recently renovated greens and bunkers, with drainage works forming a major part of these improvements.

“There is a very positive vibe amongst the greenkeeping team, and we are all looking forward to being part of a new era for Chart Hills,” added Lowther.

Ramac Holdings Ltd are committed to investing significantly in the venue having announced its acquisition in December 2019 and are working on an extensive development strategy alongside the in-house team, led by General Manager James Cornish and Director of Golf Ant Tarchetti.

For further information on Chart Hills, visit www.charthills.co.uk, ring 01580 292222 or email reception@charthills.co.uk

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First Toro fleet for Cotswold Hills

First Toro fleet for Cotswold Hills: When it comes to golf course machinery, time is money, and as such efficient machines are fast becoming a must have for golf courses across the country. Which is exactly the reason Cotswold Hills opted for the Groundsmaster 5900-D in its first Toro fleet deal.

“We have a team of six here to maintain a 157 acre course,” explains course manager Wayne Vincent. “Plus, with the course draining naturally because of its position on Limestone rock it’s playable year-round, which means there’s no let up on maintenance. That’s why it’s so important to have efficient machines that get the job done quickly to a high standard.”

First Toro fleet for Cotswold Hills

First Toro fleet for Cotswold Hills

The 18-hole, 6,800-yard course at Cotswold Hills is situated at the top a hill 850 feet above sea level. With the club’s impressive views and stunning tree-lined course, it’s attracted a membership of near 1000, with member expectations for the course as high as they are above sea level.

With that in mind, updating the club’s machinery fleet after years of replacing one machine at a time was of the utmost importance. And it’s the Groundsmaster 5900-D, capable of mowing 17 acres an hour, that heads up the new fleet of efficient Toro machinery.

“We have a lot of rough to cover on the course and previously we were spending three days each week cutting it,” says Wayne. “It was obvious we needed a larger machine to get the job done quicker. Although our fleet was already predominantly Toro and had served us well, we looked into other brands for due diligence. But there wasn’t another brand that had the size of machine we wanted available – no one could match the offering that Toro provided not only when it came to the spec of the GM5900-D, but the fleet too.

“The GM5900-D has cut our rough cutting time in half already,” Wayne says. “With the increase in cutting width and speed, alongside its excellent contour following, we can now get the whole course done in a day and a half and the finish of cut is brilliant.”

Joined by a new Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder, RM3575-D and a Greensmaster Flex 2120 pedestrian mower, the new Toro fleet has certainly made an impression.

“From experience I know that Toro machines are incredibly durable, which is why we’ve had a fleet of purchased Toro machines for so long. But having these four new machines with the latest upgrades and technological advancements has made a vast difference already.

“The Greensmaster Flex 2120 follows contours really well and is helping us extend the collar cut into the aprons and run offs and the Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder is giving us a better, cleaner cut, particularly in wet conditions.”

And going forward, this first lease deal with Toro is just the beginning of a longer term investment in the club’s machinery to help improve the course.

“Continuing an agreement plan with Toro will mean that we can consistently bring to the course the newest technology and upgrades, while simultaneously reducing machinery downtime. We’ve already seen the team’s productivity increase after only having these new machines for a few months, so it’s definitely proven to be the right move for the club” concludes Wayne.

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