Course manager Steven Robinson was first made aware of the ryegrass problem at the clubwhen he was interviewed for the top job six years ago.
Over the years the club has changed the way they have managed and maintained their rough, trying everything from wall-to-wall cutting through to leaving some areas alone for a season. To keep unwanted grasses under control the sward was being cut short but this was not really in line with a top Heath/Moorland course, Robinson explained.
"Keeping high standards is very important here; this course is highly regarded nationwide and is in all the top rankings. We also have a lot of international visitors because of the Ryder Cup history, so it's important that the course is at its best at all times," he said.
He decided the rough needed to be chemically treated, and chose Rescue, a selective herbicide from Everris which is designed to eradicate perennial ryegrass and other invasive coarse-leaved grasses from close-mown and longer areas of fine turf.
"There are a lot of areas on the course which are lush and moisture retentive and as a result we see a lot of undesirables such as ryegrass, Yorkshire fog and other coarse grass. To tackle this we cut it down at the end of the season with the flail collector which removes the arising before applying the Rescue just as it is starting to recover, because this is when the grass is more susceptible."
Rescue was applied at the recommended rate of one litre per hectare, mixed in 500 litres of water, over a period of two and a half years during the spring and autumn windows. He said the difference is clear between treated and untreated areas.
"There are a lot of fescue grasses coming through now (which were naturally there) and this is solely from using the flail collector and spraying the Rescue."