deeside storm to national award after big clean-up

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The greenkeeping team at Deeside Golf Club has won the Achievement of the Year Award at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition 2018.

Led by course manager Neil McLoughlan (41), the greenkeeping team were announced as the winner of the BTME award sponsored by Baroness, at a ceremony held in the Harrogate Convention Centre’s Royal Hall.

When Storm Frank hit Aberdeenshire the day before New Year’s Eve in 2015, it caused the River Dee to reach record levels, three times covering the course in a thick layer of silt and debris.

In the aftermath, the team was able to get ten holes re-opened after just 77 days and the clean-up saw over six tonnes of grass seed laid down, 10,000 square metres of turf laid and all 98 bunkers rebuilt, using 3,000 tonnes of sand for topdressing and bunkers.

During 2017 the hard work continued, with the silt layer impeding drainage. Over 400m of drainage was installed and a programme of scarification and topdressing helped break down the silt layer further.

Neil said: “It’s a real honour to win this BIGGA (British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association) award. Storm Frank came in and devastated the whole Dee Valley and the golf course ended up in a hell of a state. We do flood quite a lot, but generally we call them clean floods.”

BIGGA chief executive Jim Croxton said: “Of the golf clubs who were hit hard by the devastation that Storm Frank wrought in December 2015, it was perhaps Deeside who were hit hardest of all.”

The Deeside team was presented with the award by television presenter and ThisGirlGolfs ambassador Naga Munchetty at the BIGGA Welcome Celebration sponsored by Textron Golf.

The awards ceremony is one of the highlights of BTME 2018, the premier turf management exhibition in Europe.