From the Premier League and League One to Serie A and the Bundesliga. Our resort has hosted many football teams over the years - for pre-season training tours and overnight stays during the league campaign. One of the resorts biggest selling points is our full sized football pitch which is kept in pristine condition.
We caught up with our Head Greenkeeper Pete to find out what work goes in to maintaining this hallowed turf.
There's a lot that goes into preparing and maintaining a football pitch nowadays. It's not a simple case of cutting the grass and marking out the lines. It's a dark art. Professional football teams have a very high standard so it's really important that our pitch is in pristine condition to accommodate them.
As well as looking after two 18-hole golf courses here's the list of jobs that Pete's been carrying out to get our turf in top condition.
- Scarified the pitch twice to remove thatch from the top surface. This basically clears out all of the rubbish and thins the plant through.
- Hollow cored with 11mm centre tynes and then 15mm centre tynes and collected the cores. This again removes the thatch but deeper down and makes a hole to be filled with sand. This process is good for aeration.
- Solid tined to a depth of 8 inches. This is for aeration and to help with drainage.
- Top dressed with 90 tonnes of a sports dressing sand. This fills the holes created by the hollow tine and aeration. It also levels and low areas and creates a smooth playing surface.
- Drag the sand to create a smooth surface and force the sand into the holes and low areas.
- Drill seed the pitch with 200KG of BAR Elite Sport seed in two directions. This is to thicken the pitch up and fill in any thin areas.
- After about 5-6 weeks, once the new seed has germinated and was growing well, the pitch is fertilised to really get it growing and thicken up.
- Continuously cut and water it to get it where it is now. Pete loves a chequerboard cut. Those lines!
- Mark out the pitch from scratch measuring every line to get it spot on.
- Build new box net goals (supplied by those wonderful folk at Mark Harrod Limited) to give it a better more professional look.