Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, the 18 hole championship golf course at Wiltshire’s Bowood is considered to be one of the finest in the south of England and is one of the most popular of the 1,000 plus courses belonging to 2-FORE!-1.
And the fact that the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) will be staging its own golfing tournament for the South West England and South Wales area at Bowood on Wednesday 15 August certainly provides more than a nod of approval!
Arriving through Sir Charles Barry’s ‘Golden Gates’ (built in 1840) provides a clear sense that what lies ahead at Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort (between Calne and Chippenham) will be in a league of its own.
The entrance to this western corner of the Bowood estate - where the Lansdowne family has lived since 1754 - leads you towards Capability Brown’s 2,000 acre Grade I Listed Great Park with the golf course weaving through 200 acres of its mature woodland.
Bowood’s course was built on former farmland in 1992 having been designed by former Ryder Cup player and renowned architect, Dave Thomas. Stretching out over a total distance of 7,309 yards, the course suits the occasional golfer as well as the experienced pro.
With such credentials, it’s imperative that the course maintains the most pristine condition and it’s due to the dedicated and all-embracing attention of Head Greenkeeper, Jaey Goodchild and his 11-strong team that the turf at Bowood rises to the occasion time and again.
“A modern, agronomical approach is taken to the turf management of our golf course with the highest demands of a top golf course balanced alongside consideration for our particular environment,” explains Jaey.
“For instance, we focus on nutritional ways to reduce pesticide use on the greens being mindful of the plentiful wildlife - mammals, birdlife and insects - that roam near to and beyond the course. It’s not simply a case of keeping the turf in the finest condition but respecting too the nearby natural habitats. Certainly, we can be proud of the way that the course at Bowood harmonises with nature.”
Selection of Bowood by Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation for its fund-raising ‘A Cracking Golf Day’ in May proves that the efforts of Jaey and his greenkeepers have marked out the course as a leading choice for big golfing events.
Indeed the Microsoft Masters held on 26th – 28th June is testimony to this too while Bowood’s Open Week from 21-26 August will also place the course under the scrutiny of the discerning golfing fraternity.
The real acknowledgement that the course at Bowood measures up supremely, however, is the fact that the labours of the greenkeeping team will be judged by its peers when the BIGGA golf tournament for the South West England and South Wales area takes place at Bowood in mid-August.
Some 80 greenkeepers will not just be competing that day...but judging Bowood scrupulously too!
And don't forget, Bowood is one of the top 2-FORE!-1 venues and you can play there for half-price with a 2-FORE!-1 voucher.