The private Harleyford Golf Club in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, had planned a £500,000 fairway-irrigation system as part of ongoing course improvements.
But when the credit crunch made obtaining bank credit impossible, head greenkeeper Simon Marsh asked fellow committee members at the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) for advice.
They recommended DLF Trifolium, which Marsh then visited. He had already decided on overseeding as an alternative to irrigation but wanted to find the right variety.
Marsh said: "Harleyford is an extremely free-draining course, laid out over chalk and flint with only a thin layer of topsoil. I saw the great potential that Quatro sheep’s fescue offered our course. We took some away with us and tested the fescue and the dwarf rye side by side. Results spoke for themselves: the fescue was the obvious choice. It offers a high-quality, dense, good-coloured sward and requires less nutrient and water input, so is suitable for drier sites. The whole overseeding programme cost £10,000 and it should make our maintenance more sustainable in the long run."
Marsh has now applied the sheep’s fescue to all 18 fairways.
Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.