As a Golf Superintendent for the only Jack Nicklaus designed golf course in New Zealand, there are some pretty high expectations to live up to. Thankfully, the Kinloch Club have one of the best Greenkeepers to meet those expectations.
Award winning Golf Course Superintendent, Chris Downes has been with the Kinloch Club since 2005 and has managed to deliver one of only a handful of USGA spec greens in New Zealand.
From a promising career as a competitive golf junior to his current role, Chris has never been far from the game. The secret to a superb course is lots of attention to detail according to Chris. His team of 12 cut the greens to 3.5 mil and tees to 5 mil three times a week. And the fairways are cut to 13 mil at least twice a week.
It’s that attention to detail that led to Kinloch being awarded as NZ Golf Rankings Number 1 Course in 2014 and one of the Top 10 Golf Courses in the world in 2007.
‘’There are only two types of grass at Kinloch, creeping bent for the greens and tees, and fescue grass for the fairways, anything else is a weed’’ says Chris. His favourite piece of kit is the pro core for aerating the turf and coring.
The free draining pumus soil is just one of the reasons for the superior quality of the course. ‘’We can have a big downpour and then in a couple of hours it’s dry.’’
And as for the best times to play, Chris believes it’s late September and April.