The satisfaction of a job well done
The Omega European Masters takes place on a perfectly maintained course: 32 gardeners pamper it throughout the tournament.
Head greenkeeper of the Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre for five years, Richard Barnes has a smile on his face. The Severiano Ballesteros course has been unanimously acclaimed. "Everyone tells me that the greens have never been as good as this year."
During the season, the gardening team consists of 18 people. At 1500 meters, the winters are much longer and the work done on the course is more intense. "This is one of the challenges we face on the golf course in Crans-Montana. When the snow melts, we never know what is the state of the ground. Thereafter, the tasks are fairly similar to those of a golf course in low altitude, but with shorter time available", notes Richard Barnes. The course is prepared primarily for the members of the Golf Club and green fee holders. But the European Tour is following the preparations very closely. "We collaborate continuously and the European Tour visits the course between three to five times a year. Our goal is to have a quality course from the very beginning. In this way, we only have to make small improvements for the Omega European Masters. As an example, we increase the speed of the greens or the height of the rough.”
During the tournament period, 32 people work in the shadows, before (05:00 to 09:00) and in the evenings (17:30 to 21:00). "This year, everything is going perfectly. The high temperature of this summer helped us a lot", concludes the British-born head greenkeeper.